Alaska Journey Day 10 / by Dave Hileman

The Life in a Barn Day

Up and out early on the Red Bed Trail at Devil’s Tower. What a beautiful hike first across a prairie dog town and along the Belle Forsch River. The trail then starts upward and along very red cliffs of the Spearfish Formation that looked amazing in the morning light with the vibrant green of the river valley in view as well. We spotted a very Black-Billed Magpie, a fabulous bird and lots of Nuthatches and Chickadees. The trail wound along grassy fields punctuated with fragrant pines and spots of bright yellow or white flowers. The Tower loomed over the scenes but occasionally it would disappear behind a thick growth of trees. At the 2/3 mark we were back on top at the VC and replenished our water. Then the descent back to the campground along a newer yellow rock called the Sundance Formation. Great views again as we completed a 4 mile circle of the Tower. We then packed up and headed north toward Dickinson ND. Along the way in a tiny hamlet called Buffalo we found a free dump station in a roadside park and a nice coffee shop! called Blossom and Brews. Otherwise miles of perfectly straight two-lane roads and endless green grazing lands. We arrived at our friends farm in ND about 5 and they cleared out a space in one of the barns for us to back into because the forecast was for strong storms and hail. After burgers and chat we headed into the barn. A strong storm did ensue and we were glad for the protection. 

Cadillac’s Most Correct Viewpoint

So even with my warnings the Guides headed out to walk on the vibrating mountain. I had to go with them, despite the danger, for they clearly needed my protection. We made it around, must be some sort of ritual but I kept myself between them and the mountain. So I am exhausted as we set out again, maybe tomorrow i’I'll be in Alaska. I napped a bit and we were again in the insidious South of Dakota. SD has to be the biggest state we have been in seven times. Thankfully we finally arrived North of Dakota at some more nice people’s home and they cooked. Highlight of the day. But the Guides are sleeping in a barn! Moose don’t sleep in barns and the outside is full of those bovine beasts. Fortunately I have access to the house because Tori adores me already and invited me inside. That was a close call.