Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day 11, from Wyoming to Nebraska and back again


Today really began with a long night. The wind was gusting 30+ MPH at Devils Tower, enough to collapse half of our tent. We reconfigured the rain fly and Dan tied the poles down to the picnic table. Fortunately, we didn't get blown to Kansas and woke up with the sun and a cooler breeze blowing through.

After a warm breakfast of oatmeal and tea, we hit the road to Nebraska. The first stop was Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Supposedly this place has a great museum and many fossils. However, the vistor center was closed down (press release will be publicized later this week -- Dan thought there were FBI agents on the scene) and only two trails were open. All was not lost, though, as we did walk a one mile loop trail and saw fossils of ancient beaver burrows (Daemonelix).

We drove another 50 miles south to Scottsbluff. The town's towering 400 foot natural feature was a popular landmark on the Oregon Trail. Apparently, it marked the end of "America's Desert" and the entryway to the Rockies.

We hiked to the top observing interesting plant and animal life. We saw a walking stick! He's missing a leg but it will probably grow back. From the summit we could see part of the Oregon Trail.

Late afternoon we hit the road again for Laramie, Wyoming (just west of Cheyenne) to check out some rock at Vedauwoo in Medicine Bow National Forest. There are some huge rocks that we hiked around after a warm dinner of canned soup. We bid farewell to the sun next to a campfire with toasted marshmallows.

Tomorrow we are finally Colorado bound!

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