I slept in fairly late, then need to do some laundry. The laundry rooms were pretty busy, so this took a large part of the afternoon. I never had time to get up to Devils Tower.
Dinner tonight was provided by the KOA staff. During Tour Talk afterwards, the owner told us the history of the area, including the filming of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” on the property in 1977. He was 16 years old at the time, and said that they kept having to chase him off the set as he rode through on his motorcycle. He said that before the film, the average number of visitors to Devils Tower was 10,000 people per year, but after the film it jumped to 40,000. That is when his family decided to get out of the ranching business and into tourism.
After dinner, Tauna drove a vanload of us up to the Tower, so I was happy that I ended up getting to go after all. When we returned, they were showing “Close Encounters” on video at the KOA, which apparently they do every night. I watched a bit, but went to bed around 10:30pm before it was over.
Filed under: Coast to Coast 2004 |