Devil’s Tower, WY – Remember “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” ??

The Lakota called it "Bear's

Lodge"

Rock climbers scale the facets of Devil's Tower.

Devil's Tower, Wyoming

September 13, 2007 - Every since I saw the movie "Close Encounters

of the Third Kind" I was intrigued by Devil's Tower, so when I saw it on

the map in Wyoming as we left the Tetons behind, I told Mark we had

to make the turn.  It is a beautiful drive to get there.  When the rock

showed up in the distance it was quite dramatic.

We learned that the Lakota Indians had a legend about the rock

involving a bear climbing the sides of the rock and Indians defending

the rock from its flat summit.  The bear's claws scraped the rock as he

climbed, making the striped indentations that are there today.  They

called it "Bear's Lodge."

An early American fellow named

Dodge had visited the area and seen

the rock from 20 miles off.  He

apparently mistranslated the Lakota

name for the rock and thought it was

called "Bad Spirit," which is how it

came to be named "Devil's Tower."

I was intrigued that Devil's Tower in Wyoming looks a lot like Devil's

Postpile in California.  But I learned that Devil's Postpile heaved

upwards, while Devil's Tower got its shape from erosion, and

Devil's Postpile consists of basalt while Devil's Tower is granite.

One of the greatest charms of this national

monument is the community of prairie dogs

that lives in the fields at the base of the rock.

They bark and play and scamper around to

the total enjoyment of all the tourists.  There

are little entrance holes to their lairs

everywhere.  They were constantly popping

up out of their holes to look around and then

diving back down again.

We had a glorious day

visiting Devil's Tower.

We didn't see any

extra-terrestrials but

were enchanted by

the adorable prairie

dogs and the unique

and real stories behind Devil's Tower.  Leaving this unique

granite formation behind, we wandered east and south into the

Black Hills of South Dakota.