Devil's Tower, Bighorn Stew, and 11 over the speed limit...

Cody Travel Blog

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$12? We don't need no stinking passes...
Same results?  Definitely.  After the two man made monuments, we traveled across the state line into Wyoming.  Another state, check it!  I had heard from numerous people how amazing Devil's Tower was...so we ventured off the beaten highway and headed into the northeast corner of Wyoming.  Same results as before.  Except this time, the view wasn't quite as amazing.  I think the admission was something around $12, which would've been $3 a person.  Not expensive by any means...but we were trying to save every penny.  And what was a view of that amazing tower with the sunlight behind us anyways??  As you can see...the sun was unfortunately placed behind the plateau, but you could still see the ridges snaking down the tower from the edge.
Devil's Tower
  It was a sight to see....so randomly placed, randomly shaped, randomly made into a tourist trap.  It's just a tower...albeit a picturesque and famous one.  But still.  Honestly?  These college kids weren't about to pay again....so we stopped in the gift shop at the foot of the tower instead.  After a brief browse through the store, we called it a day in terms of sightseeing and made our way deep into the heart of Wyoming.  Next stop...wherever we felt like stopping.

There was little debate about which route to take.  The longer, less scenic route seemed commonplace and less adventurous.  We chose the scary as hell, pitch black, winding route through woods that reminded me of the Blair Witch Project.  But before all that, we needed food.
Wrong side at the wrong time...still breathtaking though
  When we got to a good stopping point, aka a rest stop halfway up the Bighorn Mountains, we pulled over and made way for another stove top meal.  This time, however, one of my roommates was bent on making a fire.  So there, in the middle of the parking lot, a fire was created that brought life to Bighorn Stew.  This meal, a distant relative of Badlands Stew, consisted of Ramen noodles, green beans, and corn.  And Tandori Sauce.  Delicious!  Actually, it really was.  Increasing in altitude as we went across the mountain range, we quickly noticed the temperature change when we got out of the car to make dinner.  This warm meal was welcoming to our shivering bodies and empty stomachs.  I think we probably could've mixed just about anything and it would've tasted amazing, haha.
Bighorn Mountains
 

After this hearty meal and some pictures of the mountains/moon, we set out for west.  No stopping point mentioned.  "Just go until you can't go anymore."  I love it.  My parents would kill me if they realized that philosophy we took.  My roommates took it in stride. 

It was my turn to drive, and I'll never forget the next 200 miles of my life.  It started out much like the previous 20 miles had before the rest stop....slow, winding, and treacherous (we were beginning to see more and more snow).  Then...the road got narrower, the trees got taller and closer to the road, and thicker.  And the inclines/declines of the road forced me to be 120% alert for 3 straight hours.  Seeing deer warning signs EVERYWHERE, I was extra cautious.
Rest stop for more stew!
..driving a car not my own.  We passed a total of 4 cars in that 3 hour stretch...none of them going any faster than we were. 

Back to the creepiness of the area....without headlights, I wouldn't have been able to see my hands in front of my face.  The moon was tucked away behind the thick branches of the densely-packed forest around us...so that was useless.  And deer.  Oh boy....deer.  I passed 4 deer on the side of the road, saw 3 deer scramble into the woods when they saw headlights, and still another 2 dart in front of the car as we descended the mountain.  Scary stuff.  My heart was beat-boxing.  There was no rhythm to the constant jumpiness of my vital organs.   After what seemed like half a day, we finally emerged at the bottom of the Bighorn Mountains, having successfully made it to the other side after a scenic (way too much so) ride through the heart of Wyoming.
First fire....on the asphalt
 

An hour later, you could find our car on the side of the road in Worland, Wyoming.  Side of the road as in we had been pulled over.  I had been pulled over.  For the first time in my life.  Pulled over at 12:30am, going 41 in a 30.  41 in a 30.  Say it again.  41 in a 30.  You do it all the time, right?  Well, when you pass through a town that enforces a speed limit drop of 35 mph just like that (65 to 30 in the blink of an eye), then you pay the price.  Worland, Wyoming, according to the 2000 census, has a population of 5,250.  They've gotta make money somehow, huh?  Well....I feel like a good samaritan after mailing them a nice hefty $116 check for my 11-over travesty.
The moon over Wyoming
  Oh well.....can't let it happen again for a while.  Those small towns will get you, my dad said before I left.  Yep...I guess I learned my lesson.  Those small towns SUCK.  3 traffic lights, and 20 minutes to go 5 blocks.  Ridiculous.

Anyways, I finished my stint and slept through the rest of the drive to Cody, Wyoming.  Our living arrangements this night would not be so luxurious.  If you haven't looked into this, though, I strongly recommend you do.  Walmart Supercenter.  24-hour parking, 24-hour camping...well, we made it camping.  Two roommates pulled out the tent and set up camp in the rear of the building, while I, along with the remaining roommate, stretched out the front seats and made reclining car beds.  Free isn't free.  You pay the price of sore necks, cold feet, and this awful feeling of congestion/bad taste in your mouth when you wake up. 

Ahhhh, the GREAT outdoors...of Cody.  Haha.  Just a pit stop, we'll make do for the night.

Yellowstone tomorrow!!!!!
sylviandavid says:
Those tickets really cost.... my brother got one and the officer escorted us to the bank for a cashier's check.... :( sylvia
Posted on: Jul 07, 2008
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$12?  We dont need no stinking pa…
$12? We don't need no stinking p…
Devils Tower
Devil's Tower
Wrong side at the wrong time...sti…
Wrong side at the wrong time...st…
Bighorn Mountains
Bighorn Mountains
Rest stop for more stew!
Rest stop for more stew!
First fire....on the asphalt
First fire....on the asphalt
The moon over Wyoming
The moon over Wyoming
Cody
photo by: marg_eric