After three weeks of weaving our way through Montana, we finally left Hardin on Tuesday, Sept. 4. It was another hot day so we stopped for a couple hours to cool off in Buffalo, Wyoming. We looked around the historic downtown district and walked a short distance along the Clear Creek trail before coming to rest on a park bench under a shade tree. After an excellent lunch downtown and a quick tour of the local (air conditioned) museum, we were on the road again.
Our next destination was the Black Hills of South Dakota, but we stopped for the night in Gillette, Wyoming. We set up camp in the Wal-Mart parking lot, along with six or eight other RVs. Wal-Mart is friendly toward travelers and most of their stores welcome overnighters, so we thought we'd give it a try. The stay wasn’t as comfortable as an RV park. We were parked next to a landscaped island with a malfunctioning sprinkler that squirted straight up and another that just pumped water onto the asphalt, creating a small lake. Three guys with hot motorcycles entertained (annoyed) us for a while with their loud biker antics and trick riding. The parking lot lighting was so bright all night that we couldn’t tell if it was morning or not. But it was free and, as Bonnie says, “You get what you pay for.”
We left Gillette early the next morning and drove to Sundance where we parked the RV at a gas station, uncoupled the Honda and drove the 27 miles to Devil’s Tower Nat’l. Monument. It was a perfect day and the scenery was beautiful over the rolling hills with scattered ponderosa pine forests. The only obstacle we encountered was a house being moved down the narrow highway. The house was wider than the road and it took a while to find a spot wide enough to allow traffic to pass.
Devil’s Tower was more impressive and interesting than we thought it would be. We walked the trail around its base, shooting pictures from all sides and taking in the views of the Black Hills and valleys below. Very nice. After a few hours, we continued into South Dakota to our next campground in Black Hawk, just outside Rapid City.
Trail around the base of Devil's Tower.