Saturday, September 25, 2010

Devil's Tower, Revisited.

Devil's Tower NM, WY 9.25.10
Today with our visiting family we tackled Devil's Tower. It's about 80 miles NE from Deadwood, just on the eastern side of the Wyoming Black Hills. The weather was amazing; 75°, blue skies and little wind. We made it there around 11:30 this morning. It's Public Lands Day and so there was no entrance fee. Ten dollars saved and everything keeps getting better!

First things first, we went into the Visitors Center and stamped out National Parks passports. We are slightly obsessed with collecting these cancellations. They're usually very pretty stamps and I like that the date you visited is usually included.

The Family! Devil's Tower NM, 9.25.10
Roughlock Falls, 9.25.10
Then the majority of the group took off on the loop that circles the base of the tower. It's just over a mile long, tarred and incredibly peaceful. The rocks that have fallen from the tower are called talus and the path follows just along the edge of the pile. On the other side is open forest with little underbrush and a few fallen trees. We walked taking a few photos along the way. We saw about 10 climbers. More than on any of our previous visits.  Over the course of the trail we spread out quite a bit. The youngest was the first all the way around and Josh and I nearly brought up the rear. It was just what I needed. Then we hit up the free cookies and water and headed back.

As a detour we went through Spearfish Canyon. The leaves here are in their peak colors and it was spectacular. Greens, yellows and oranges popped along the canyon. There was a lot of traffic but that didn't seem to take from the scenery. 26 miles of changing leaves, exposed peaks, occasional caves and a perfect stream to follow.

We stopped into Roughlock Falls where our wedding ceremony was going to take place. It was busting with people. So many people. The water was clear and the air was warm. It's a very beautiful place.We enjoyed every waterfall, each little bridge and overlook. There wasn't one overlook that wasn't already occupied but we managed alright. Some beautiful photos were taken. Everyone seemed to enjoy it despite the amount of people. So many Leaf Peepers.

Roughlock Falls, 9.25.10
We eventually made it home. The fresh mountain air is exhausting. It was great day and we are so happy that our family was here to enjoy it with us. And to see why we've been hanging out in South Dakota for so long!

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