May 24 Looking for UFOs at Devils Tower

Scoria Pit dispersed camping area North Dakota sunset
Black Hills to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Location: Morning: 43.93898 -103.44763 Black Hills National Forest Evening: 46.9454, -103.5886 Medora, North Dakota

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Woke up after a great night of sleep and started making my way to Devils Tower. That’s been on my bucket list since the first time I saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Probably not an original idea but hey I love that movie and always wanted a Devils Tower made out of mashed potatoes of my own. While on the drive there passed through Deadwood SD. Wish I had budgeted some time for that. It was a really cool looking place. Definitely going back there in the future to spend some time.

Pactola Lake South Dakota

Made it to Devil’s Tower and from the first view 20 miles or so out it’s more impressive in real life. Most photos you see of it make it look like a giant tree stump but from certain angles it has this graceful curve to it. The area was way more crowded than I was expecting for the middle of the week and it took a few tries to find some areas that weren’t overrun by middle school kids. How come I never got to go on a cool field trip like that? All we went to were lame zoos where the animals were more bored than we were or to boring historical sites. When you’re 12 visiting a sanitized and whitewashed version of a plantation or early Presidential home they’re a snooze fest. But I digress. Devil’s Tower was definitely worth the side trip. Unfortunately there were no alien spaceships waiting there to give me a ride to a new galaxy. Now along with the desert rocks from Tremors, the Georgetown stairs from the Exorcist and Mount Rushmore from North by Northwest  I’ve seen some of my favorite movie locations in person. The drive on to North Dakota was uneventful except for the truck that blew by me and pelted my windshield with rocks. Checked for cracks but didn’t see any. Unfortunately later when one spread about 6 inches down I saw where it hit in the very top right corner. Put some RainX crack repair resin in it and it looks a lot better. Hopefully it will hold up. If I had spotted the impact point earlier I could have fixed it before it ever spread. Oh well. One leaking hose, one flat tire, one cracked windshield. Guess that’s to be expected when driving this much.