Devil’s Tower National Monument

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Whilst traveling around Wyoming and the Dakotas with my wife we took a detour to visit Devil’s Tower National Monument situated in north eastern Wyoming.

As we approached this imposing monolith surrounded by flat land we were reminded that this was the site for close encounters of the third kind. It was a beautiful Summer’s Day but the flat top of the Tower looked imposing and you could imagine the space craft landing.

Devil’s Tower is over 800 foot high and has a circumference of around about a mile. As you walk around the tower on a hard surface you are reminded that this is a North American Religious Site and you are asked to respect the numerous Prayer Bundles fluttering from the trees.

The Tower is a mecca for climbers but climbing is prohibited during Indian Ceremonial p periods at certain times of the year.

The sides of the Tower resemble large scratch marks caused by some prehistoric being clawing at it with their fingernails. Indian mythology says that the Tower rose up to protect two children who were being chased by a bear.

On the flat summit are chipmunks, mice and snakes. One wonders how they arrived on the summit. If you subscribe to Indian Mythology then the answer is easy they rose up with the children when the Tower rose.

Other answers suggest that the Tower was formed from a long dead volcano and birds may be responsible for carrying the small creatures to the summit. Certainly on the day we visited there were some extremely large birds circling the summit using the thermals to retain their position..

When we left the Tower and reached the valley floor we were presented with a view of a meadow with a large number of prairie dogs cavorting on the ground. This is one of the largest number of Prairie Dogs in the area and has been called Prairie Dog Town.

All in all a very enjoyable experience.

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Tony Prodger

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