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Published: September 9th 2011
I must put you in the picture, ever since arriving in America Howard and I have had this strange compulsion to start moulding things into this odd shape. It started off with little packs of butter at breakfast, progressed to ice creams, even soggy towels weren’t safe. Once we had bought a fork in Walmart it got worse, any time we had food we seemed to form a kind of mountain out of it and then had to use to fork to scratch down the sides. I was beginning to get seriously worried I can tell you!
One evening I was flicking around on the tv trying to find HBO so I could watch True Blood when a news station caught my eye, I couldn’t believe it, there just for a flash was a picture on the screen that really resembled these models we had been making!!! I missed the title of the place but caught the words Wyoming, which was where we were!!! My god we had to set off quick in search of this……………………
So we are driving along and I keep flinching convinced there is a helicopter following us overhead, we go round a bend in
the road and there it is..................... Devil’s Tower - get in!!!!! Just like the movie utterly brilliant, except in the National Park there is no mention or hint of extra terrestrials as it is actually a sacred Indian site. For us though the years of watching close encounters was the reason we went, when we got there though the place itself and its uniqueness – there are no other mountains near and certainly we have not seen another shaped like this one in all our travelling in the states so far, was by far the most important aspect. However I did manage to find a close encounters fridge magnet at the tacky souvenir shop just outside the park so I had to buy it!
There are many legends about the mountain and the one I really liked was about the young indian girls playing when suddenly a bear appears and chases them, they jump on a rock and pray for help, the rock starts to rise and the bear leaps up, but it is so high it can not reach them, but its claws scar the sides of the mountain. The young girls go up into the heavens and
become stars and form the Pleiades – the 7 sisters and the Bear constellation can be seen behind them. Beautiful and how else can you explain this strange phenomenon? I for one think this is the best explanation.
We followed the trail right round the base of the mountain and saw sacred prayer flags tied to a few trees, the Lakota Indians still preform spiritual ceremonies here, it was a very tranquil and peaceful place. As I said the mountain is a sacred site and another controversy is people climbing the mountain, the Indians are very much opposed to this desecration (hammering in pitons etc) but it still goes on, we saw probably a dozen climbers on various parts of the mountain while we were there. As a gesture of goodwill to the Indian Nation there is a voluntary one month ban on climbing a year (which is voluntary and so not always observed) – big deal.
After a great day we headed on to Deadwood for a 4 night stay.
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