Goodbye South Dakota! Hello Wyoming! Why oming? because it is beautiful.
We left Rapid City after a two night, one day stay. A traveler could probably spend weeks in that area exploring the parks, hills, and prairie. We quickly found ourselves back on I-90 passing Sturgis then Spearfish, and the next thing you know, we are visiting a tourism center welcoming us to Wyoming. They advised us to take a northern rout to Devils Tower before heading to Cody.
The northern route to Devils Tower was is called the Devils Tower Scenic Bypass as well as the Spirit Highway. Coming from the east, turn north off of I-90 to north on 111. Then turn west onto 24 and enjoy the windy hills as you approach the tower. We saw several golden eagles perched on the fences right next to the road. We first saw the tower about twenty miles away, it continued to grow in the distance until we found ourselves at it’s base. We had over 400 miles to drive today, so we just passed by.
Leaving Devils Tower, we took a cutoff back to I-90 and followed this all the way past Sheridan, WY. Once in Sheridan, we cut over the Big Horn mountains and national forest through the Bighorn Scenic Byway (hwy 14 to Greybull). Our elevation rose from 4,000 feet to over 9,000 feet and rain turned into snow on top of the mountain. The high-elevation fields were full of wildflowers, elk, and some very cold looking motorcyclists.
Coming out of the mountains, we made a quick stop to watch a waterfall before completing our drive to the cowboy town of Cody. If you come to Cody, there is a nightly rodeo at 8PM. We wanted to catch this but the kids had enough with life that day so we just put them to bed.
Day four was an interesting day. We saw cactus, alien spaceships, devils tower, real mountains, and ended with cowboys. Rapid City started at 77 degrees, big thunderstorms blew over us and as we climbed these storms turned to snow and ice while the temperature dipped to 35. It wasn’t long after that we were awed by big waterfalls dry arid land and a windy cowboy town.