The Lakota called it "Bear's
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
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.