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Devils Tower and a Mud Bath

It was a chilly 36F and raining most of last night but my camper stayed warm and dry! After a big breakfast this morning, I set out for Devil’s Tower. The clouds were slung low over the hills and the rain continued to fall. As I approached Devil’s Tower, it was mostly obscured by low clouds and I feared I would not get a full look at this massive rock. I stopped frequently along the road leading up to the tower to take photos. At one point a flock of Sand Hill Cranes in a V formation flew right in front of the shrouded hill. Spectacular! Their distinctive cries filled the air. They must be heading for warmer weather!

The closer I got to the tower, the more the clouds lifted but the rain continued. I struggled to keep my Nikon D5200 dry today and finally draped it with a plastic bag I had in the car. I need to get a rain cover for it when I get home. When I arrived at the foot of the tower, the clouds had lifted enough for me to get some photos. I stepped out of the truck in the visitors center parking lot with my cell phone in a chest pocket of my vest and my Nikon in hand, took two steps and hit a patch of slick mud. My feet went out from under me and I pitched forward smacking my elbows and the camera on the pavement, and rattling my teeth! I thought the Nikon was a goner for sure but thankfully it’s a tough piece of equipment and suffered no damage. My cell phone received a small crack in the screen, my elbows were scraped, and I was covered in mud but otherwise OK! The front of my jeans from hip to ankle were caked in mud as was my jacket. Yikes! Well, my pride was hurt more than anything, so after washing up a bit I got back to enjoying the day. Despite the poor weather I managed to get some interesting shots of Devil’s Tower and the surrounding landscape. A nice young man, Andrew, took my photo in front of the monument. Thank you, Andrew! As I walked up the path to the Tower, a man was playing his Native American Flute and I got a few seconds of video. It was so beautiful to hear that flute while gazing at the sacred hill that I didn’t think to turn on the camera until he was almost done…. What a gift! I also captured a few shots of deer today. They are as plentiful here as crows are back home. They graze openly in the fields and stroll across the road unfazed by traffic, but will startle and duck for cover if they hear a vehicle stop (to take a photo!). I did catch one beautiful doe standing right by the road and a couple of bucks in a field using my 300 mm lens. Enjoy the photos!

My mud adventure encouraged me to take care of my laundry this afternoon so that chore is all caught up. 2.00/washer and 1.50/dryer here at Mountain View. This is a nice clean facility with new appliances.

Tonight it’s predicted to freeze (27F) and possibly snow but it should warm up to the mid 40’s during the day tomorrow. I have unhooked the external water hose and will use water from my freshwater tank instead. I also turned on the heat pads to help keep the water system in the trailer from freezing tonight.

Tomorrow I plan to drive to Mt Rushmore which is about 1.5 hours away.  I’m hoping for sun!

 

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Pat Maley #

    I look forward to your posts daily. I anxious to hear how you feel about travelling alone. Are you ever scared, anxious or lonely? Its a given that you miss Steve but I am guessing that what you are getting from this experience is very interesting.

    October 3, 2017
    • Sarah #

      Hi Pat. Thank you for the feedback and for the question. So far I am thoroughly enjoying this solo adventure. You are right, I do miss Steve but we talk at length every day and that helps. I have only felt afraid (briefly) on a couple of occasions. Those occurred on the trip out before I picked up the trailer and while I was staying in motels. I never felt afraid for my personal safety, but did feel uneasy about leaving my nice truck loaded with goodies in a few of the motel parking lots…
      Since I have been in the trailer, I feel totally safe and secure. I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to get anxious or lonely. The days are full of driving or adventure and the evenings are busy processing photos, catching up with friends and family and the chores of daily trailer life. I’m actually looking forward to a more restful trip this winter to Arizona and New Mexico where I hope to find a place to plant myself for some period of time. It will be interesting to see what comes up when I’m able to spend some quiet time alone. This trip has been quite a centering and affirming event for me. I was feeling that I had lost a critical part of myself, that I had become dull and much too domesticated. This trip has reminded me that I am capable, adventurous, and yes, just a little bit wild! I feel that I am coming home to true nature more every day. The more I do, the more my confidence grows. Stay tuned!

      October 3, 2017
  2. Jean Ledoux #

    Amazing photos, guess the mud bath was worth It! What an interesting formation, the capture of the sign was a nice addition. What? No beer and pizza at the laundry? Hope you clued them in. 😜💕. J

    October 3, 2017
    • Sarah #

      Thanks Sis! Glad you’re enjoying the photos! Mud baths are expensive in some parts of the country…I got this one for free!

      October 3, 2017
  3. pat b. #

    Awesome photos…I admire your resiliency (sp.?)

    October 3, 2017
    • Sarah #

      Thanks so much Pat. Glad you are enjoying the view!!

      October 3, 2017
  4. Lucy & Charlie #

    Sorry about your mishap in the mud… glad you and camera not hurt!
    Wonderful photos… as usual!!!
    Charlie says don’t forget to shut off the heat pads! (From experience! Lol!)
    Keep on having fun!!!

    October 3, 2017
    • Sarah #

      Thanks Charlie!!

      October 3, 2017

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