Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Close Encounter

Way back in 1977 when Spielberg did Close Encounters of the Third Kind, there really were coastal dimwits who thought Devils Tower was a special effects creation. I set out today to prove that is not true.

From Custer I drove up the west side of the Black Hills, in other words the Wyoming side. Keep going long enough and eventually you run into this ancient volcano plug.

It's a national monument, and the admission price to the grounds is $10. Unless you are planning to do some hiking/climbing, or you need a ranger to tell you all the factoids that you could read in the brochure, I don't think it's worth $10 to get a slightly closer view than you can get from the highway.

It didn't take long to get my snapshots and drive on to Spearfish, so before checking into my hotel I took a ride through Spearfish Canyon. It might be heresy to say so, but I think this drive is overrated. I think there are many more lovely canyons and valleys in the Black Hills, but they don't have paved roads running through them and they don't get the publicity. I drove back to Spearfish via gravel county roads. There were a few potholes to avoid, but I thought it was just as scenic as the canyon. Don't tell anyone.


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