For at least me, Devil’s Tower Natl. Monument has symbolized a sort of coming home on this trip. Around this time last year, (early July, or late June) Devils Tower was a turning point for our the Three Week Trip, quite literally. That was when it stopped feeling like a vacation, and started to feel like home. We still didn’t know if we could stand each other for that long, but now we had a vague idea of what it was going to be like. Key words: vague, and idea. Very vague idea…
It was actually very different on this trip. We had to re-learn everything, things like, where on earth are we going to put all our extra water jugs? We hung them from a hook in the bathroom. What can I do with all my books? Put them under my mattress, in my basket, closet and now on my shelf. How does one go about writing a blog post that someone will want to read? Just go for it and hope you don’t make a horrible mess, the more pictures the better. How do you fight a mountain lion? Make lots of noise and do not run, this has not been tested by me. Just saying.
There,I got all the sentimental stuff out of the way. I said this was going to be about Devil’s Tower, so I’ll cut to the chase. Devil’s Tower is sacred to over twenty native american tribes, and they consider it a place of peace. Even when they were enemies of the plains, there was no fighting at the Tower. Actually, they didn’t even call it Devil’s Tower, they called it Bear Lodge, or Bear Tower. I’m not going to tell you how it got that name, there’s a very long story. They came up with the story because of the columns, they look like something came up and raked it’s claws down the side of the tower over and over.
So it’s pretty much a big scary looking chunk of rock on the edge of the Great Plains. On one side, we’ve got some nice, rolling hills, there’s a trail or two in there, on the next side, a KOA and trading post. They have Internet at the Trading Post, it’s within a mile of the camp ground if you want to walk. As a buffer between the KOA and the park campground, there’s a huge prarie dog town. If you want to watch them, it’s best to watch in the morning, when it’s not hot out yet.
As for hikes, we did the Tower Loop, Red Beds, (Can both be accessed at the Visitor Center) and the Joyner Ridge Trail. Those are all very pretty, but WATCH FOR RATTLESNAKES. They are dangerous and you should avoid them. (Saw that on a sign in California.) My personal favorite is Red Beds, as it’s pretty flat, and there aren’t many people. The Tower Trail is can get rather clogged. It’s also fun to climb around on the boulder field, but you do need a permit to climb the Tower itself.
It may be a trek out to here from Michigan or New York, but it’s certainly worth the trip.