Day 28 – Sundance to Buffalo & the Bighorns

We left Sundance fairly early as check-out time at the motel was 10am, and again we didn’t have that far to go, so were a bit worried about what we would do with our time. I’ve been booking places not too far apart as we don’t want to spend all day driving, and just rush through the country, but on the other hand if we get to a very small town early in the afternoon and there’s not much to do we struggle to find enough to keep us occupied and just end up on the computer/ipad/phone which is not great – we are on holiday after all!
We took the US14 as a detour to go and look at Devil’s Tower which is something mentioned in all the guidebooks, and it was well worth the detour, especially as we had more than enough time on our hands! We saw loads of Prairie Dogs just after entering the park (again the $80 annual pass came in handy) and had to stop to check them out. They are very strange little animals and some got quite irate when we got out of the car and started yapping at us – this is of course how they got their name, as their calls sounds like a high pitched dog’s bark. At the Tower we walked around for a bit but didn’t do any of the trails as we didn’t expect that there’d be too much more to see than we could on our little walk. The boulders at the bottom of the Tower are bits that have fallen off the Tower and are huge, giving you an idea of how big the structure is.
After spending some time at Devil’s Tower we got back on the road to Buffalo, only driving through Gillette as it was supposed to be nice, but if it is we couldn’t find the nice bits! In the distance we could see the Bighorn Mountains appearing, with snow still capping the peaks.
Once in Buffalo we checked in and fortunately our room was ready. We read about a driving route in a local guidebook that was supposed to take 1-2 hours and provide scenic mountain views; we finished the drive in about 45 minutes and it wasn’t all that scenic! As it was still fairly early we decided to drive to Sheridan, which is another historic town and has a very nice main street, full of original frontier buildings, and it turned out to be quite a good diversion. There are loads of sculptures on the streets of Sheridan so of course I took pictures of all of the ones I could find, though I won’t bore you with all of them!
Getting back to Buffalo it was still fairly warm, so we took a walk in the small historic part of town and stopped for a beer at the Clear Creek Cantina, before heading back to the hotel. As is quite often the case on Mondays, a few of the restaurants nearby (other than the fast food chains) were shut so we were left with only one option, which was the Bozeman Trail Steakhouse, which turned out to be just fine! I had Chicken Fried Steak with loaded mash potato and salad, and Brian had yet another burger – we really should have been keeping track of the amount of burgers we’re eating on this trip!
Highlight/lowlight of the day: Stuffed animal heads, including kudu and zebra in Bozeman Trail Restaurant. Also, the massive thunderstorm brewing when we left the restaurant – I LOVE thunderstorms!

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