2014 Trip Across the US & Canada

Day 293


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Devils Tower National Monument, WY, Day 2 - 0 miles, 14,115.2 For the Trip

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After posting last night's page, I drove up West Road, a gravel road that is a left hand turn (going up) about a mile from the top. While there is a sign stating it is a view point for the tower, it is small, and easy to miss. If you visit, be sure to take the short drive to the parking area for the Joyner Ridge Trail. A great location for viewing the tower, particularly at sunset.

Last night it was very quiet - almost no one there, and no sound but the wind in the trees. While I was sitting in the RAV4 waiting for the sunset, a deer walked across the view. Unfortunately, as I got out of the car for a photo, it took off. No clouds, and no color to the sky, but lots of changes in the color of the face of the tower.

When I got back to the campground, I programed the CamRanger & D700 to shoot some star photos. I wasn't sure what time the milky way would appear over the tower, so I set it up to take a photo every 20 minutes. The last image before the camera battery died was at 2:00AM, and included the milky way. I also included a bizarre image made by putting together a stack of all the other images from last night. The shots were too far apart time wise to make a good star circle, but it is different.

I woke up to a great sunrise the next morning, and, although it was east of the tower, I managed to catch part of it in a photo.

There was rain off & on during the day, heavy at times. I spent most of the rain in the trailer reading. I decided it would be a good day to go out for dinner & drove 9 miles to Hulett for a shrimp basket with cocktail sauce that had the most horseradish I've ever had. Almost had my eyes watering!

This evening I went back to the Joyner Ridge Trail parking area, and it was full of vehicles. I found a place for mine, and waited for sunset. met a couple from Quebec that was taking photos of their RV against the tower. They were doing it for the same reason I have taken photos of my trailer - hoping to get them in the manufacturer's calendar. A much better sunset than last night. It is amazing how fast the colors change. I was ready to pack it in at 8:15 as the shadow moved up the tower, but decided to wait & was rewarded with some color in the clouds.

The Tower & the Milky Way
A Composite
Last Night's Sunset At Joyner Ridge Trailhead
Sunrise @ 5:30AM From the Campground
View From Joyner Ridge Trailhead @ 7:00PM
Getting Warmer @ 8:15PM
Some Color @ 8:35PM
Looking Away From the Tower & Towards the Sun

There is a real temptation to drive back to the Joyner Ridge Trail parking area tonight for a photo of the milky way from the other direction, but I'm not sure I want to go for a drive at 2:00AM.

Until tomorrow.

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Last Update: July 30, 2014