Sunday, August 10, 2008

Today was dedicated almost solely to driving the nearly 400 miles from Boulder to Devils Tower National Monument (note: Devils Tower does not include an apostrophe for some reason). We started late after sleeping in and straightening up the car (again). Aside from a brief side trip to Fazoli's so Vienna could enjoy some of her beloved breadsticks, we stopped only for gas and a switch of drivers.

Pulling off the interstate, we found ourselves on a straight and traffic-free two lane, with Vienna at the wheel. Some clouds overhead suggested rain in the distance, and we had to use the wipers now and again, but generally we enjoyed the cool weather and the bursts of sunrays through the overcast skies. Vienna invited me to create a playlist from her collection of tunes, and once I burned the CD, we were rocking to a swell collection that ranged from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody to the Killers' Midnight Show.

A little after six, we made the final turn onto the road that leads to Devils Tower. I so enjoy spotting the tall outcropping of cooled magma that first appeared to me as practically a character in my favorite movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I even switched on snippets from the John Williams score to that movie as the tower appeared, pausing the music when a hill obscured our view, much to my fellow passengers' bemusement.

This was our third stay at Devils Tower. And following Wood Family tradition, we grabbed a "Kabin" at the KOA right at the base of the tower. What a deal: nice pool, friendly folks, rabbits hopping about, a nightly campfire, and best of all, a big screen showing of Close Encounters every night at nine. As usual, Jenny and I were first on the scene, sitting up front and waiting for that eerie intro music. While trees obscure the actual tower from the one on the screen, it was still cool to lift my eyes upward and watch the stars overhead, wondering whether the Mothership might appear. By now, the skies were crystal clear, promising a great day of hiking in the morning to come.

All text copyright Andrew Wood.
Photos copyright Andrew and Jenny Wood.