2010 Montana travel blog

Jim and me starting out on our hike around the tower

Just for Will, climbers going up the side of the tower

The tower from the road into the park

The rig in front of the tower-our campsite- for Dad

Edna sitting in the warm sun

The great race

 

Jim resting-1/2 way through our hike. Backside of tower

another angle

another angle1

prayer rags in trees

Judy being stupid and climbing up the rocks-"but it's a once in...

The tower in the morning after the clouds burned off

Jim coming to pick up Buster and me

Up close and personal.."They bite, telephoto lens, only!"

Family Breakfast


Good Morning all, what a beautiful morning it is here at Devils Tower. I am sitting here looking out the window at the trees and red clay cliff of the campgrounds. It is a whole new experience to be in the park and have to run the generator for electricity and use propane for all the other utilities. Yet it is quiet and so pretty.

Yesterday, Jim and I went up to the tower and did the hike all around it. By the end of the hike my poor knees were just about to give out. Jim was huffing and puffing which I teased him about being an "ol' man."

The tower is pretty dog gone awesome. It is amazing to see this huge natural structure in the middle of nothing.

Wyoming is great place. I really love it here. Lots of rolling hills, green grass, cattle, horses, sheep, antelope, deer and vast empty land. Again, who said we are running out of land. Wyoming is more of what I had pictured Montana to be. "Home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play....where seldom it heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day." Well that last part is not necessarily true. It has been cloudy and it even rained last night. It is clearing up, some, today.

Back to the tower. We saw several climbers working their way up to the top.

I think they must be nuts. It is a pretty sheer face on all sides and it would seem that ones finger tips would have to be awfully strong.

The surrounding area on the tower is beautiful with the rocks that have fallen off of the tower and the trees that interlace the rocks and trails.

There is alot of poison oak so staying on the path is really important. There are several hiking trails and I thought of Will and Kasi, taking off into the woods to see what there is to see.

On the opposite side of the tower is an open meadow that Jim said ET came down and landed. {{laugh, snicker, snicker}} I shot a few pics of the climbers for Will to see. Jim said he would want to climb the tower too.

The native Americans think of this place to be a sacred area. In fact, one cannot climb the tower, in June, in order for the Indians to come and have their religious ceremonies. Hanging, in the trees, surrounding the tower, is prayer rags.

The Indians will come here to pray and leave a prayer rag as a gift to their gods. It is said that when they come here to pray that they receive wisdom and strength for the coming year. In 1999, the tribes went to federal court to stop the climbing of the tower. This area is a very religious and sacred place to them and the native americans feel that climbing the tower defiles what is most dear to them. The federal courts shot them down, saying that the climbers didn't harm them physically in any way and thus they didn't have a case. Geez, I guess there really isn't religious freedom in the U.S. This trip has opened my eyes to how the American Indian is still discriminated by the government and the white man. It would be the same way if someone wanted to climb the statue of liberty. We hold that structure as a sacred emblem of our nation and wouldn't let be defiled with ropes and hooks. Yet we would defile a structure where the Indians come to pray. Well off my soap box.

In just a little bit I am taking Buster on a walk to the prairie dog range to snap some pics. Then we are off to Glendo Lake. Ooh, the sun has popped out and the trees are glistening in the light. Oh, one more story. The Indians have two legends around here. One is that the buffalo challenged the tribe to a race. Since the buffalo run much faster than the man, the people asked to birds to race for them.

The race was on...birds against buffalo. they ran so hard that they bled from their noses and eyes turning the the dirt red. The other is that seven young maidens were out walking in the woods when a bear came upon them. They ran to a rock and began to pray, "please rock, rise up and save us from the bear." The rock began to rise and the bear scratched the sides trying to climb up it's sides to get his dinner. Yet as the bear scratched and scratched, the rock rose and rose, up into the sky. Eventually, saving the maidens from their terrible foe. Thus, the devils tower.

Jim's note: Had a great RV Day. Nothing bad happened.

Before leaving, the clouds have burnt off

and am taking Buster for a long walk to the Prairie Dog Pasture.

Jim picked me up there and we are headed for Glendo Lake.

Edna loved the prairie dogs.

She was all excited about them. She is like a kid! "When will we get there?" "How much further?" and "There's a gas station." She is obsessed with gas stations! {{smile}}



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