By now you know my story: July 2009, 8000 km road trip, 3 generations, 1 van. Crazy? Yes. Lomographically limited? In no way whatsoever! I took along 10 cameras and 40 rolls of film. We passed through 10 American states and 3 Canadian provinces, and we only paid too much for dinner once.
Devils Tower was the first United States National Monument; established as a protected public location over 100 years ago. It is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Recent statistics report that roughly 4000 visitors actually climb the tower every year. (I’d venture to guess that for every climber, there are 100 tourists taking pictures)
We arrived at Devils Tower at about 8 in the morning. As we drove up to the gate of the park I had a ten dollar bill ready to pay the entrance fee, but the signs all indicated that this was a “Fee Free” weekend. I don’t know why, but when someone tells me I don’t have to pay, I don’t ask too many questions! The parking lot for the trail is to the west of the base of the tower – unfortunately, that means the sun was behind it (not as good for lo-fi pictures) and I wished we had enough time on this trip to walk all the way around, but we needed cover nearly a thousand kilometres today, and this is only one of several interesting (and photogenic) stops. We walked about a 1/4 of the way around, and then turned back to the parking lot (and checked out the visitor’s centre).
I had been to Devils Tower several years ago, on a road trip with my wife before we had kids. On that trip we stayed at the campground nearest the tower. Every night, the campground set up an out door screen and played the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which uses Devils Tower as an important part of the plot. It was a very cool, and slightly cheesy, experience.
I did try to take one picture through a telescope here – see if you can pick it out of the gallery…
PS: if you decide to visit, don’t miss the “gopher town” on the way out of the park – hours of entertainment.