Close Encounters of the RV Kind
~Monday, May 23, 2022~
Day 708 (Travel Day)
We say goodbye to Guernsey, though continue touring more of Wyoming with the next landing spot…..Devil’s Tower, camping at Belle Fourche Campground, right in the park. Do you remember the movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”? With it being first come, first serve, we wanted to get an early start due to the 5-hour drive ahead of us, not to mention the few stops we needed to do along the way. At least with the sun up at 5:20 a.m. or so, it makes getting up at 6:00 a.m. a little easier.
We got on the road by 7:00 a.m. as scheduled and all necessary stops, accomplished. We’re gassed up, DEF’d up, with the propane filled and a dump run included. Always a good feeling to hit the road with all the boxes checked. We did have a little glitch with the propane as the Tractor Supply chain we always rely on had a broken hose; plenty of propane, but nothing to fill with. At least I scored on some awesome dog treats for Sadie. They also had a recommendation for another propane place only 5 minutes away but with one caveat……$1.50 more per gallon ($5.00/gallon). With our bad propane mojo lately, it would have to do. In the end we had to spend $20.00 more than we would have at the Tractor Supply but we have peace of mind now which is always PRICELESS!
Sorry to be bringing up the dreaded subject of $ but hey, we’re just trying to let you guys know what the RV world’s price tag is these days. And it has changed drastically since we started. We began the trip with diesel at about $2.00/gallon and propane at $2.50/gallon. Not to mention groceries. Had we known how much our food bill would increase, we would have bought a bigger trailer with a bigger fridge (with room for buying bulk). Hmm….but then we’d be spending more on gas with a bigger rig. Who knows?? All we know is we’re feeling the effects for sure, like everyone else and it’s definitely cheaper than owning a home.
Ah! So nice to have an easy drive compared to Colorado. No big passes to cross, and hardly a soul on the road. Did you know that Wyoming ranks #50 in population, with only 582,000 people.
Maybe it’s because of its high, rugged terrain, and expanse of valleys and plains, not to mention their brutal winters. But visiting the “equality state” is leaving us in awe. With open land as far as the eye can see, empty highways, fields of cows and horses enjoying their Spring grasses, and the patterns of light and dark clouds above, it’s quite a gorgeous state.
As we got closer to our destination, the scenery, at least this time of year, just got better and better between the lush green meadows, the red sandstone hills and the dark clouded sky. As we came around a turn only minutes from the park entrance, there it was…..Devil’s Tower National Monument, upthrust against the gray sky;
and Belle Fourche Campground…..right near the base of it. With only 40 sites in the park, we weren’t sure if we’d get a site, though we thought surely with it being a Monday and our 1:00 arrival, there’d be something. Never have we had so much selection on a first come, first-served basis. The campground has only been open for a week or so, with it being closed during the winter season. Without checking the other loop, we found the perfect site in Loop A. And an added bonus…..it’s a pull-through right on Prairie Dog Town…..a lush, green meadowy area with the Belle Fourche River running next to it. Gorgeous. Oh, and yes, lots of prairie dogs. Oh, and did I mention the tower itself is right out our front window? Holy cow. We couldn't ask for more 🙏. After I went back to the entrance to pay, I drove through Loop B, just to see if we missed anything. Loop B’s first campsite was definitely a close 2nd. But honestly, I think we have the best site in the whole campground. I guess it pays to show up on a Monday!
Within minutes, our camp host Sandy paid us a visit. Very nice lady who was intrigued with our collapsible water bottles. We can’t tell you how many people ask us about this handy little item.
While we were setting up, we had a light rain, but not enough to disrupt the flow. Man, the thunder was amazing. Just loved it! The strange thing though, we didn’t see one bit of lightning.
We were both pretty wiped out from the day, so decided that leftover chili would fit the bill for dinner. Jeff and Sadie found a fun trail in front of our campsite, right on the edge of Prairie Dog Town where there are hundreds of Prairie Dogs, all of which drove Sadie batty. Thank goodness she was on leash. Jeff told me about how curious they were, popping their heads up every few seconds from their dens and making a racket with their whistle sounds, probably alerting each other about Sadie. I didn’t join their walk tonight since I wasn’t feeling so great (wiped out and felt a cold coming on), nothing that a few Zinc lozenges and a long night’s sleep couldn’t fix.