2012 June - Devil's Tower, Wyoming
Devil's Tower Wyoming, also known as Mato Tipila, or Bear Tower, which is the name I prefer, is one of the landmarks which takes my breath away. There is a charming legend regarding the Tower, that you can read here: http://www.devilstower.net/legend.html.
The Tower comes into view, as you approach the National monument, on a two lane road. At first, from this distance, I found myself somewhat disappointed. It was not the looming hulk I had envisioned. Ah, but distance can be so deceptive!
As we approached the park entrance, drawing ever closer to the monolith, I became more and more impressed by its enormity. I found myself stunned at each turn in the road, as the monument appeared to grow in size at our approach. It filled my imagination with questions of how something so large and solid appears in the midst of an otherwise, relatively flat landscape, in eastern Wyoming. I fear I lack information in my education to explain such marvels. And, sadly, even when I read the available literature, I still lack complete understanding. What I do not lack, is wonder, amazement, and awe!
|Our view from our campsite|
Our stay was in the shadow of the Tower, just outside the National Monument Grounds, at a KOA campground. We generally avoid KOAs simply due to their cost, but this was the only game in town, so to speak. We ended up staying three nights and enjoying the experience very much. The campground makes use of the location, as well as the fact that the movie, "Close Encounters" was filmed in the area, by offering a showing of the movie every evening. Unfortunately, the showing was on a large TV screen, in the cafe. This made for distracted viewing, as well as difficulty hearing dialog over the conversations of diners. It would've been better to offer a dedicated area for movie watching. Still, it was surprising to me, how well the film held up, in spite of its age. There were also scenes that I didn't remember, though, whether that was memory impairment, or simply a different cut of the film, I'm not sure.
Our brief hikes around the Tower made me regret that I am so desperately out of shape and that I never pursued my momentary interest in climbing many years ago. Wonder am I too old to get in shape and actually learn something about climbing? Of course, since Raymond was still in the midst of healing his ruptured Achilles, it was a moot point, at the time. Also, traveling with Greyla often means forgoing some things we might otherwise tackle. Many areas in Federal Parks, as well as many state parks, forbid dogs on trails, so we are limited to short hikes where we are comfortable leaving her in the motorhome, if the temperature is moderate. Too often while we have been traveling this last eight months, it has been too hot to leave her in the motorhome, even with the air conditioning turned on, since we fear the power going out, or the breaker tripping, while we are away.
Our time at Mato Tipila was wondrous. Perhaps we will visit again in the future. Only, in more temperate weather, and perhaps in better physical shape.