Saturday, July 1, 2017

Day 39 - July 1- Fort Laramie

David woke up early to go out and get this picture of Devils Tower with the morning sun on it. In my head, it was always much more orange, just like the rocks and hills of Utah. In reality, it was much different.
After breakfast, we headed out on the tower loop which is a short 1.3 mile loop that travels around the base of Devils Tower.
You were able to climb on these large rocks at the base of the tower. These rocks had fallen off of Devils Tower at some point – thankfully, not while we were there.
The trail around was absolutely beautiful and gave you many different views of the tower, but also views of the beautiful Wyoming landscape.
You would think that the boys get tired of seeing the wildlife, but they never do. We were within 5 feet of this guy – they clearly know that they are not allowed to be hunted while close to the tower :-)
During the month of June, the National Park Service voluntarily closes climbing on Devils Tower to represent the views of the Native Americans and the respect that they have for the Tower.  July 1 is the day that it opened so there were a lot of people out ready to climb first thing this morning.
The Native Americans also place these multi colored prayer cloths tied to multiple trees around the base of the tower. It is asked that you do not remove them.
This is another deer that we found along our trail.
If you follow my blog on the previous trip or on this trip – you know there was one thing my boys love – rocks. Those large enough to climb on or those small enough to throw into water – this had those that were large enough to climb all over. They were a lot of fun to climb on.

You are allowed to climb on the rocks up to the tree line and from there on out if you needed to have a climbing permit. By the time we got out there at 8:30 in the morning, there were several people that were climbing and were already more than halfway up the tower.
After that, we decided to go out to get our picture of the entrance into the park, but when we saw the line to get back in, we changed our mind and decided we would do that on the way out. Instead, mom and the boys and I got out and walked back to the camper through prairie dog town. There are many more that were out an active this morning. These guys were much fatter :-)

They are a lot of fun to watch because they run around, play, and chirp – which really is more known as barking.
We normally stop at the sign on our way into a park – but in this instance, we were worried about getting a campsite on the first come first serve basis and when we came back out to get the sign – the traffic to get in was 40 cars deep. So, we got the picture of the sign on our way out.

The boys got to take turns riding in mom and dad's RV.
After Hunter took a nap stretched completely out on the bed, he got up and was looking at the bird book. He loves to find the birds that he has seen and identify them. He and mom write the location and the year in the book.
After that, we headed to Fort Laramie which was part of the Oregon, California, and Mormon trails. It is considered to be one of the primarily primary reasons that people were able to move from the east to the west coast. Of all the fourth that we have been to, this ranked as one of the neatest. Here – the boys are in a solitary confinement sell in the new guard house.
This is the marker for where the pony express came through.
These were the barracks that were located there. It used to be a trading post, but then the army moved in in 1949 to make sure that it was safe and protected from vandals since it was the primary source of supplies that people would need moving from east to west.
This was the mess hall – they have done a fantastic job here re-creating the buildings in a manner that looked exactly like they did back when the fort was in use. It is very easy to picture what life would have been like here.

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