July 4, 2010
Happy Fourth of July!
We have been trying out State Parks and have been pleasantly surprised by how nice they have been. We made our way to Moorcraft WY and Keyhole Reservoir State Park. The campground was a little difficult to find but the place was very nice and our site is huge! We asked if they were doing anything for the 4th and we found out that the park had the celebration the night before. The Park Ranger said, “Trust me you should be glad you were not here as they were a rowdy crowd and kept it up all night”. Ok then, I guess I am glad we weren’t there. She told us that the campground at the base of Devil’s Tower would have a fireworks display and that it was a sight to see with the Tower in the background. Even though we were tired I quickly packed up a snackie dinner and drinks, grabbed supplies and we drove to Devils Tower. When we came around a corner and got our first glimpse I just had to stop. Of course my first thought the movie “Close Encounters” and why they were so intrigued by it. I had to pull over and just stare. It is such an amazing site. I can’t really explain why but I felt a connection to it. We were surprised to find that the park was still open and couldn’t wait to walk around the base. The sun was low in the sky and just lit up the tower and showed off all the details. The kids had fun rock climbing but Chase accidently hit his knee and broke his scab open. He was in a lot of pain but we talked him into finishing the walk around the base. We were hoping it would take his mind off his knee. As we walked around we saw some rock climbers on the side of the cliff. A climber was telling us they were heading to the top to watch the fireworks. He also told us that all the bandanas, strings, name badges, etc. that we saw hanging from tree branches were from climbers over the years. They are an offering to the mountain and a way of asking permission to climb her.
After taking hundreds of pictures and finishing the hike around the base we decided to head into town. I was surprised how many cars were there for the show. We found a good parking spot pulled out our chairs and our dinner and waited for the show. To get us in the mood the sun started to set right behind the Flag that was flying over the parking lot. By now we were all exhausted and it took everything we had to stay awake to watch the firework show. While we waited people started lighting fireworks and throwing them at each other. One of them actually landed under a car. Boy, what drunk people will do! The show finally started in an open field and I have to say I was a little disappointed because it seemed like the fireworks were store bought. The kids enjoyed it and that was what mattered. We were about to leave, when to our surprise, huge fireworks were coming from the canyon by the Tower. WOW! I have seen lots of fireworks but this show was a little freaky because when the firework exploded it would echo down the canyon. Bye the way…we could see the climber’s lights at the top of the Tower that we had seen earlier.
Cool show but then we had the “looong” drive back to our campsite.