Devil’s Tower

Monday, July 25, 2016

It is HUGE!

From several miles away I got my first glimpse and there was no mistaking that it HAD to be Devil’s Tower. Standing solitary in an otherwise sparse landscape, it becomes more and more impressive the closer one gets to it.

Then, once in the park, I walked entirely around the tower. That walk revealed more detail and wonderment for me. It hardly seems possible that this is a product of Nature, the lines so straight, the columns perfectly six sided and precisely fit together. 

Native peoples and others revere this place as sacred and spiritual. For a time I sat on a bench and quietly listened to Nature, letting the tranquility be absorbed in me. I closed my eyes and briefly drifted off - thankful for the beauty that I have observed on my drive across country. I am thankful for being able to see and appreciate all that natural beauty. It is as though my eyes can only take in so much, but my soul, like a sponge, absorbs it entirely. And yet my soul, my spirit, yearns for more. There, in the shadow of this mammoth monolith, I felt at peace. 

From the lush green farmlands, along the wide Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, windswept, wide open praires waterfalls, rolling hills, mountains, waterfalls, mirror image ponds, and so much more, what I can not see my heart listens and sees for me.

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This day presented me with fantastic scenery, starting in the Black Hills (which really are mountains) from the town of Leads  and traveling up Spearfish Canyon to Spearfish, South Dakota. This was one of the must do drives that Dan in Murdo suggested. I was not disappointed. Steep cliffs on either side channeled me along the drive with stops to see waterfalls, quiet ponds, ponderosa pine forest and a perfect day. There, in the valley, the temperatures had not yet tipped into the hot category, but once out of the canyon and again up to  the higher plains, the heat was noticeable. Along the canyon drive I hiked up a steep trail to a supposedly good vantage point over the canyon. The view was mediocre at best, but I must say, I got a significant workout on the ascent. By the time I reached the top, I don’t think I had a dry stitch on me. Following that, I hiked an easy trail to see another waterfall along the highway, By then the temperature had begun rising. In the afternoon when I reached Devil’s Tower, it was 96˚. The humidity was not high today making it very tolerable to be outdoors.

Initially, I had thought I would be back home in Phoenix by today or tomorrow. Of course that will not be so. I am enjoying this trip and seeing much more than I thought I would. 

It is obvious that I will not be back home tomorrow either. From Newcastle, Wyoming where I am spending the night there are over 1100 miles to go. This leaves me with little alternative but to hightail it home to arrive by Wednesday. 

Planning will now commence on the Fall drive back to Phoenix form Ohio. © Donald E. Kline 2012