Fred and Jean's Travel Photos

2004 - South Dakota and Wyoming

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Lake Lakota, South Dakota
Lake Lakota, South Dakota
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While sightseeing through the Black Hills one day, we stumbled across a gorgeous and serene area called Lakota Lake. A couple of people were fishing and picnicking, but mostly I was only aware of the sights and sounds of nature. I could have stayed there for hours!




Even wonderful things must come to an end (and the South Dakota portion of the trip was truly wonderful!), and Monday, July 12, we left Rafter J Bar Ranch Campground and headed to Sundance, Wyoming, the place where the Sundance Kid got his name.

The area of Wyoming that we saw is mostly cattle and horse ranches; the land is not suitable for farming. Wyoming is the least populated of all the states with only 5.1 persons per square mile vs. 79.6 in the country! Maybe it has something to do with the rugged terrain and rough winters.

Devils Tower, Wyoming
Devils Tower, Wyoming
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Our purpose in going to northeastern Wyoming was to see the Devils Tower National Monument. (If you've ever seen the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," you'll recognize it.)

The tower is 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and very steep (see quintessential photo to the right). It is believed to be an erosional remnant of a volcanic neck and is about 40,000 million years old.

Devils Tower is within a 1,347-acre park that is filled with pine forests, woodlands, and prairie grasslands, where deer, prairie dogs, and all kinds of wildlife are abundant. Devils Tower was named the first National Monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Nursing Deer at Devils Tower Park
Nursing Deer at Devils Tower Park
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There is an enjoyable but very rocky 1.3 mile trail around the tower that we hiked (and took more pictures!). When we were a short distance from returning to the starting point, we spotted this baby deer nursing from its mother. Awww!

Sundance, Wyoming
Sundance, Wyoming
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On July 13th we left Sundance, Wyoming, and drove to Rawlins, Wyoming, for the night. We went through a small part of the Rocky Mountains to reach Rawlins, which is 6,000 feet in elevation. The scenery continued to look much the same as before with mile after mile with nothing but open fields, hills, and cattle...lots and lots of cattle!

July 14th we left Rawlins and continued our journey through the rest of Wyoming. Our next stop was a very off-the-beaten-path KOA campground in Nephi, Utah. It was well-worth the drive getting to it, though; it was another place we would have enjoyed staying an extra day or two if we'd had the time.

Virgin River Gorge, Arizona
Virgin River Gorge, Arizona
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From Utah, we drove through the little northwestern tip of Arizona on our way to Las Vegas, our last stop to visit Fred's daughter before going home. The photo to the right, along the Virgin River Gorge, was taken from the passenger window of the motorhome with our digital camera.

Finally, on Saturday, July 17th, we arrived home after five weeks and one day in our motorhome! It was a wonderful trip, but the rain that had begun following us in St. Louis finally stopped when we got home! Too bad...we really need it here in California!

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Until next time, happy and safe travels to you!

Copyright 2016 Jean Kennerson