We left Keystone, North Dakota on June 11th driving west for a one night stay at a Best Western Hotel in Hulett, Wyoming and a different kind of monumental experience. I’ve wanted to see this rock since first hearing about it in the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. What rock am I talking about? Well, that would be the famous Devils Tower National Monument! All I can say is wow, wow, wow, now that’s some kind of rock! We stopped here on the way to Hulett, 9 miles away, and thoroughly enjoyed our walk around the base. While we were not alone on our walk around the base, we did think of the famous line from the movie - we are not alone, and please note we did not see even one spaceship! And now you know WY we went to Wyoming - That's WY is the Wyoming Tourism Bureau's cleaver slogan right now.
We were both glad we took the time to swing through Wyoming and visit Devils Tower. While we have been in the northwestern side of Wyoming in the Yellowstone National Park (approximately 96% of the park is located in Wyoming) and Grand Teton National Park previously, we thought we would take a drive across the state to see the vast plains and pop into the Rocky Mountains. It was a long day driving to Moran, Wyoming (elevation 6,749) for our one night log cabin stay at the Hatchet Resort. The Hatchet was a great place and we look forward to spending a bit more time there in the future.
It was snowing in the hills about 200 ft. above us the next morning! When we drove across Wyoming the previous day it was in the 80s! We left Moran on June 12th for our next destination - Ketchum, Idaho. After about 10 miles into our drive, we decided we should backtrack and head north into Yellowstone National Park since we were so close. With D’s Golden Age Pass we did not have to pay the combined Grand Teton/Yellowstone park fee of $50. Love that pass especially since we were only driving through and not staying for long.
Due to the snow level, we did not see the magnificent Grand Teton, and as we approached Yellowstone, rain turned to snow and traffic. Fortunately, it was still spring and the hordes of people had not yet gathered creating the massive summer traffic jams Yellowstone is known for. As we made our way through the park, traffic did come to a halt once – hmm, must be an animal sighting. In fact, it was the mother of all animal sightings – a black bear in a tree eating bark. How cool is that? Seeing bears is not a common occurrence as it was back in the 1950s when my grandparents used to travel here. At that time, the bears came right up to the car windows because people were feeding them! Fortunately for us, the bear stayed in the tree. This Teton and Yellowstone deviation to our plans added 3 hours to an already long travel day, but we saw a bear, we saw a bear! Definitely worth it because we saw a bear!
Thanks for joining us on our journey.