We got an early start leaving Medora and began our 7 hour drive south. The drive was pretty uneventful and we had decided to take a little detour back into the NE corner of Wyoming to Devils Tower National Monument (DTNM) on the way down. DTNM was the first national monument and is an imposing site from over 10 miles away. The tower rises 867 feet above its base and is very popular with technical rock climbers. We scanned it but no one seemed to be climbing today. The first two to climb the tower were two cowboys in 1893 who climbed 350 feet using a wooden ladder they had constructed and their wives were selling refreshments at a stand that day! The tower is made of phonolite porphyry- I am not sure what
this is but it gives the tower a very distinctive look. :) Our plan was to hike the easy to moderate 1.3 Tower Trail which circles the entire tower for views from different sides. That plan quickly went away- a large boulder field lay in front of us that the kids eyed hungrily and their parents eyed warily. The kids asked if they could climb a boulder or two and that turned into a 400 yard boulder scramble in which G, V, and T went over boulders ranging from bowling ball size to pickup truck size. It was all G could do to keep up. Once he reached (wheezing mightily!) the treeline (almost to where the technical climbers start), the kids had not only climbedup the boulders but were now also 35 feet up a tree. Oh to have the energy of a kid again! We carefully made our way back down another route and met up with L at the bottom. Needless to stay, that was the end of that- no 1.3 mile trail after that excursion. We headed back and got
back in the RV for the 2 hour trip into Custer, SD. Big Pine Campground will be our home for the next few days. We arrived by 5 pm and quickly set up camp. The kids were off to find adventure at more rocks (not sure what they will do upon returning to the flat Lowcountry) and a playground. We got a nice dinner and grabbed some groceries at the local grocery store and piled in for a quick episode of Gilligans Island on DVD- we now being boat experts after our 8 HP Glacier outing!