On the way out of Rapid City we see patches of dead bug trees. The bark beetle is killing a lot of pine trees. We have seen these dead patches throughout South Dakota. The only way to treat is to cut and spray.
Deadwood. Why all the motel rooms? Answer. All the gambling houses. They only outlawed brothels in the 1980's. The Taco John's is advertising Ghost Pepper wings. Good thing the hospital is across the street.
Deadwood has capitalized on the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok. Moral: Don't sit with your back to the door. My Wild Bill never does. Beware the dead man's poker hand, 2 eights, 2 aces and a nine. Also it's probably not a good idea to go gambling to make a stake for your new bride.
The Wild Bill Bar has memories for a dear friend. He was served his first drink here. We don't know if he went upstairs.
The bust of Wild Bill downtown was sculpted by Korczak, the sculptor of Crazy Horse.
After Deadwood we head down Spearfish Canyon, catching a couple of waterfalls, Roughneck falls and Bridalveil.
Out on the prairie again we stop at Vore Buffalo Jump. The sinkhole has filled in over the thousands of years of use.
Then we head to Devil's Tower. The Lakota name for the tower is Mato Tipila or Bear's Lodge. The military officer who reported the name seems to have misunderstood the translation of the Lakota name. We hiked the Tower Trail, a paved 1.3 mile path with some ups and downs. This is a spiritual place for the Lakota. No climbing is allowed during June when Lakota celebrations are held. I found it hard to believe that the climbers sued saying the one month ban on climbing violated their rights. Thankfully a judge found otherwise.
The Circle of Sacred Smoke is near the picnic area where we ate lunch.
On our way to Buffalo WY we see lots of coal trains. One long coal train after another, all Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
It is cold overnight in Buffalo and there is some melting snow on the steps to the bathrooms. Driving on 16 out of Buffalo We did not think about crossing the Big Horn Mountains and Powder River Pass at 9,666 feet.
Here we are in Cody, Wyoming. Another Bill. Buffalo Bill Cody started this town and it is still a peon to him. We go out to dinner at the hotel he built in 1902 and called “just the swellest hotel that ever was.” The hotel is named The Irma after his youngest daughter.
|Lots of cool Halloween decorations on this old fireplace mantle|
|Just outside Cody|
|Near Sylvan Pass|
Going over Sylvan Pass to Yellowstone is not bad. The snow was night before last and has been cleaned off and the pass has been sanded.
Right at the intersection from West Thumb we saw a huge wolf just trotting along the road.
We headed on into Grand Teton National Park. Again everything is buttoned down but the scenery. We take most of the side roads in the park.
Fifty years ago I spent a summer working in the Laundry at Colter Bay.
|Mount Moran at Jenny Lake|
It will be pedal to the metal time from now on. We will be checking the weather reports to make it over Donner Summit before the snow flies.