Thanks and credits:-
The incredible week that I spent on this trip was a solo effort, but only in as much as I went on my own and only really had my own company to share this amazing bunch of experiences with...well, me, four cameras and a go pro.
So I'd like to thank the following people who were involved in making this a real trip of a lifetime and one that went off without a hitch and gave me so many incredible days and nights it's hard to believe I did all this in a week.
So..for encouragement and support:-
To Sue, my wonderful soulmate, awesome fiancee and bonkers bestie. You backed me on this dream for many years and were the catalyst for getting me on a plane and finally doing this. I literally could not and would not have done this without you. You were, and on many occasions you really were there with me to share the wonder, live, as it happened, no matter what ridiculous time I called or skyped or instagrammed you. Love you to Wyoming and back.x
Justine...mad sister and 100% supporter of making dreams come true, your support and encouragement ....and the cash :) were indispensible and you were with me when I parked where Roy and Gillian parked and 'I couldnt believe it was real'
Love you too sis and thanks!
Lynne up t'north. For sponsoring my trip: I hope this website demonstrates how much of a bloody awesome time I had and also how much I love your sis and how much she puts up with!
Jen and Sheila for the encouragement and bravery in allowing me to infiltrate my questionable humour and general tomfoolery into your family.
Brian, for wanting to come with me and share the ultimate movie road trip. Every Hog I saw and every song I blasted out you were there chap. Sundance had your name all over it. Thanks for the support and following my adventure.
Corey out in MN, most of what I saw and achieved was a direct result of our emails and your careful advice and suggestions on the other amazing locations that were in driving distance of Devils Tower. Your hotel and route suggestions were invaluable as were your tips for Minnehaha Park, Deadwood, Mt Rushmore, Badlands and Lead. I'm not sure I would have had half as much fun or incentive if it weren't for your 'on the ground' knowledge of the very area I was heading to. Sincere thanks.
....and talking of hotel recommendations....
To Roxanne and the team at Super8 Spearfish, and Stacey & Gregg and the team at the AmericInn at Belle Fourche:- you lovely people absolutely made my week. I can honestly say I was spoiled at each of your hotels and the time you spent on giving me advice, directions, humour, stories of the midwest, gun advice ( haha) where to find hidden ICBM's, where to find great food and how not to get lost out there in the plains was invaluable, welcome and helped me do so much more than I had on my original itinerary. It's a long way to go from a little UK village - 14,000 miles there and back and you folks made me feel right at home. Thanks for sharing my capacious enthusiasm for what I was doing and for adding much more to my daily agenda! You should be very proud of your state, SD is truly beautiful and far better than I could have imagined.
To Dark Arts Tattoo in Belle Fourche for giving me the ultimate souvenir. I love the tat and I loved chilling out with your main man and learning about real life in Belle Fourche, in South Dakota and the surrounding areas. It was good to get off the mountains, out of the car and just talk to someone. It was one of the funniest 2.5 hrs of the year and I came away with a different understanding of life on the prairies than the preconceived notions of 'the midwest' All the best.
Guidance, tips and movie mayhem:
To the Admin team at Close Encounters of the Third Kind facebook page for allowing me to hijack your page with endless videos and photos live from Devils Tower and for supporting me with the adventure and for the kind words against my posts. For all the followers of the page who have never been or plan on going, I hope the combination of my posts and this website especially days 2, 6, 7 and 8 give you a little insight of how utterly overwhelming it was to go there, especially from the UK and give you incentive to pack a bag, get in your wooden sided station wagons and crash your way through the midwest to see this amazing national monument. Special thanks to Paul from Tennessee for sending me amazing magazines from 1977 to kick start my belated collection and for securing a US-only 'CE3K production scrapbook/ making-of' signed by none other than Joe Alves as well as as Dennis Prince. Fantastic and much treasured!
Devin and the team of the Devils Tower National Parks Service: I can honestly say that Thur 4th May exceeded my expectations of what a night on Devils Tower might be like. Your humour, patience, skills and knowledge and downright enthusiasm to share all the afore mentioned combined to make it a night I wont quickly forget. The tour of the tower after dark, the telescope experience, the directors commentary on the whole event and the hi jinkw with lasers were fantastic. But best of all the 01:30 trek out to Joyner Trail for night exposures and a glimpse into the vastness of space and a chance to absorb the flora and fauna of Devils Tower and surrounding countryside with not a single other soul was unforgettable. It gave me the skills and courage to go back the next night and sit, 100% alone on the tower, watch 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' on my cell without fear of being eaten by something, and then drive to Joyner to take night shots solo. It was real.
The following musicians accompanied me on this amazing trip and helped make it real in more ways than one:
John Mayer, John Williams, Steely Dan, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis....I've never heard so much Christian radio, but it was remarkably relaxing and actually good company as I trekked back and forth across WY and SD.
Delta: all four flights were superb, great seats, loads of room, loads of drinks and food, excellent entertainment, great cabin crews at ridiculous hours, great flights from a flying point of view. Excellent. Again.
Kindness of Strangers
To Jeanette at the Black Hills Vacation offices in Deadwood, thanks for going out of your way to help me get a tour booked on the Minute Man II tour for May 2nd, even though I never found out you’d arranged it until I got a signal hours later back in Spearfish.
To the kind gentleman who found out about my plight and paid for my ticket with the hope that I would show up. We’ve never met and I don’t have your name, but if by luck you’re reading this and remember buying a ticket for a total stranger from Britain who never got there, my sincere thanks- you did a very kind thing and summed up in one gesture the kindness shown to me by so many people that week. As you can see from day 4 of this blog, I made it to Delta 9 silo at least and had a great time viewing the missile and silo. Sorry for missing the tour down the road. I arranged with Jeanette for payment of your ticket so I hope this got credited by way of thanks for doing something so generous.
The Office of the Governor of Wyoming
Governor Matthew H. Read for the correspondance.
Last but not least
Dad, for intilling an appreciation for movies of all types from a young age and for handing down the love of music from before I was old enough to realise how much it meant to me.
Glen. December 2017.
All content and images copyright Glen Ferris 2017. All rights reserved.