RIDE C2C L2 DAY 11 Keyhole State Park to Devil’s Tower National Park 8/9/19
Miles: 40 +6 more to/from the base of Devils Tower
TOTAL MILES: Nearing 450
Word of the Day: Unexpected
For about an hour in the middle of last night, we weathered an intense thunder-lightening-wind -rainstorm while huddled in our tent. I thought sure that our tent stakes were going to pull free and that our rainfly would disappear into the night. Our tent flapped and shuddered while the flashes of lightning and non-stop thunder shook the night. Now that it is behind us, I can say this was amazing to be in - but protected from- this wild weather.
In the morning...Rainfly soaked, tent and ground tarp a little wet, all else sound and whole!
A side note about last night - Doug and I went for a walk after dinner on a paved walkway with tall grass on either side between the roads and camping areas ...until we were SWARMED by mosquitos! I had applied bug spray, but Doug did not and I have NEVER seen so many mosquitos (even in Fairbanks) on anyone’s legs ever. There must have been 200 - we swatted and jogged away from this mosquito mindfield. That made for a short walk. We settled for games of Gin-Rummy instead.
This morning, as we rode away from the campground, the rolling hills and pastures looked like we were riding in a painting. It was so serene and beautiful, quietly pedaling under clouded and threatening skies.
The ride was mostly gently rolling hills with some rude punctuations of 4-6% several mile long climbs up with sweet downhills to match. It was spectacular bike riding - with unexpected scenery. We thought it was going to be all dry brown rocky hills, but instead we were treated to lush green rolling pastures, forested canyons, and a bit of a tail wind which always helps one enjoy the ride.
We got a glimpse of Devils Tower peeking over the hills and we knew where we were going!
The closer we got the more impressive the stone monolith became. Even now as I type in the setting sun, the colors are changing and you can see a new aspect of this natural wonder. I can’t stop taking pictures!
We arrived at Devils Tower KOA (at the gate for the national monument) at 10:30am and hung out for 2 hours so we could check in and set up camp. We had “2nd breakfast” (my favorite) at the KOA cafe-store, Doug iced his Achilles (it is very sore), wrote postcards, and tried to stay cool as the cloud cover had burned off.
Once we set up camp (and had a little nap) and ate lunch, we rode our bikes UP to the Visitor Center at the base of Devils Tower. Just past the entry gate was “Prairie Dog Village” which makes me smile to see those cute little guys standing guard at their dens. We even saw two looking like they were hugging each other.
At the base of Devils Tower, we went for the 1.5 mile walk on a paved path around the perimeter - offering different views surrounding the beauty of the rising stones. We saw climbers and were thankful that it wasn’t us. I’ll share lots of photos because I can’t stop taking them!
After our walk, we returned to camp, showered, rinsed our bike clothes (this is a daily activity) and had dinner at the cafe. We are waiting for “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind” to start at 8pm. I can hardly wait!
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