Friday, October 07, 2005

Spearfish, SD - Devil's Tower

We took a scenic drive to Devil's Tower today. The campgrounds in the area are closed already, so we didn't have the experience our friends Jim and Chris had - they got to watch the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind on an outdoor movie screen with the real Devil's Tower in the background. Cool. We day-tripped it and took the Tower Trail walk around it to see all sides. It's a geological wonder that does stand out in an area that is generally rolling hills.
Devil's Tower is not considered a "monolith" since it is actually made up of a number of bundled 5- or 6-sided columns. Occasionally a column breaks off and ends up at the base of the tower.

After learning that 8 Indian tribes called this "rock" a name with 'bear' in it, we want to call it Bear Lodge or Bear Tipi or Bear Den, too! The Indians still consider this a sacred place and have several different legends as to how the rock came to look as it does. Most legends revolve around bear claw marks. To respect the Indian's beliefs, the NPS asks rock climbers to voluntarily not climb the Tower during the month of June which holds special sacred meaning for the Indians.
On this tree you can see several prayer flags and prayer bundles.


At 11:34 AM , Chris said...

You guys are living such a dream! We are still loving our RV lifestyle, but are so envious of your travels. But, Hey!! That dream is not supposed to be in a Winter Wonderland. HEAD SOUTH ... NOW!


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