We got up early again today to be at Devil’s Tower National Monument by 8am, when the visitor center opens. Leaving the campground:
Approaching the tower:
There’s a prairie dog colony along the road to Devil’s Tower:
At the prairie dog colony:
We took a hike around the tower. M is on the left:
After getting our Junior Ranger badges in the visitor center, B took a peek through the scope:
Saw this rig in the parking lot. It’s built on a 4’x8’ cargo trailer. Personally, I’d rather stay in a 10’x15’ tent.
Leaving the tower, we headed west. We arrived Fort Phil Kearney National Historic Landmark. The visitor center was interesting, and one wall of the massive stockade had been rebuilt. I think it was a little abstract for the kids.
M has had enough at this point:
The rest of the stockade is marked with paths and ground markers. It was quite large!
M in the corner guard post:
After visiting the fort site, we drove a couple miles north to the site of the Fetterman Massacre. The interpretive trail was long, but it gave a good feeling for how the battle progressed.
We had originally planned to go on to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, the site of Custer’s last stand, but that would cause us to miss the rodeo in Cody. Since the kids didn’t get much out of Fort Kearney, we decided to skip it.
We headed north on I-90, then took highway 14 and 14a across the Bighorn Mountains. The grade was 10%+ in some places. On top, it was all wildflowers and short plants. There was still snow in places:
After coming down off the Bighorns, we approached Heart Mountain:
Near Heart Mountain is the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, where nearly 11,000 Americans were imprisoned during World War II for being of Japanese descent. Norman Mineta was a prisoner here:
There’s not much there, just a paved walk and some interpretive signs. The site is a sobering reminder of how thin the veneer of personal freedom is in the US:
Of the 500 buildings (the camp was at the time the third largest city in Wyoming), only the hospital and a few ancillary buildings remain. The area was listed as a National Historic Site in 2007, and a visitor center is being built:
After leaving the relocation center, we headed west to Cody, where we experienced the rodeo. Trish enjoyed it much more than I did. The highlight of the evening was when they had all the children in the audience come down to the ring. They then released 3 calves with ribbons on their tails. They told the kids that whoever got the ribbons would get a prize. General mayhem ensued. Unfortunately, M and B didn’t participate.
We drove about 350 miles today: