"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Devil’s Tower

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Rising out of the plains of northeastern Wyoming is America’s first National Monument.  Created in 1906, just shortly after Yellowstone become our first National Park.  It is an iconic landmark that has captivated people through the centuries.  I found it most unusual that geologists agree on what it’s made of, but can’t agree on how it got there. At present there are four different theories.

It begins to get light around 5 AM this time of year in Wyoming.  I decided that I would get up early and do a hike around the base of the tower.  As one leaves the campground you pass this sculpture.   Created by a Japanese artist, it is called the Sacred Circle of Smoke.  Depicting a puff of smoke from a peace pipe, It is designed to help visitors understand the importance of the tower to Native Americans.

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It is his third such sculpture around the World.  The first two being at the Vatican and somewhere in India.

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The tower is massive, but it doesn’t have the visual impact up close like it does from a distance.

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Towering nearly 1300 feet higher than its surroundings, the tower has been a worshiping ground for many tribes of Native Americans.  Prayer cloths and other items are scattered throughout the area.

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The tower was first climbed by a couple of ranchers back in 1893.  Since that time it has been climbed by hundreds, if not thousnds of people..  The youngest being six, and the oldest being eighty 0ne.  Once on top, one is required to then rappel back down.

Climbers scale the tower daily. Do you see them?

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We spent the night in the monument campground.  It was rather small, situated in a cottonwood grove along the Belle Fourche river.  No facilities other than water and toilets. There was abundant wildlife in every direction.

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Though we joked about the old move “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” from back in the seventies or eighties, we didn’t see any Aliens.  What was weird is that both our phones showed voice and data available, but we couldn’t make a call or text.  And, according to the rangers, it was supposed to be a clear night with possible sightings of the Northern Lights between 11 PM and 1 AM.  Thunderstorms rolled in at dark, and lasted most of the night.  There might be something to that Alien influence after all.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad we made a little detour to mark this one off the bucket list.

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  1. Cool place isn't it--the Cowboy has even walked part way around it!

  2. Hope you also had a chance to take in the antics of the Prairie Dog Village on the way out of the park.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. looking good...I was there in 2012, and like you, it rained most of the time...a neat place for some exploring, and history...soooo are you going to keep going North?? :)) safe travels my friend, I'm enjoying riding in the back seat.. Horst sends

  4. Wow! I've heard of it but never seen it. Did a bunch of earth caches in the Northwest so now I can recognize it as columnar basalt.

  5. Amazing site! Did the hike around the base in 2012 and wish I could go back and do it again. Love the photos of the climbers.

  6. Great pictures! Has been a long time since we were there. We did not get to stop there on our way thru this time:(

  7. You are so right, from a distance it is quite impressive. When we were there we climbed about 30 feet up, but we didn't go any further...not our thing. It is an incredible monument with a lot of history tied to it. Thanks for sharing.


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