This was our first time visiting Devils Tower. And no, that’s not my grammatical error. It’s officially Devils Tower due to a clerical error. Though while we were visiting we learned that there is a petition to rename the monument to a name more reflective of it’s original native names, such as Bear Lodge or Bear’s Tipi. J and I had an interesting discussion about place names and the meanings that can get attached to a place because of the name.
The monument was well worth a visit. There’s a 1.3 mile paved trail around the base so you can see it from all the angles of looking up at it. Late afternoon/evening was a fantastic time to see it because it caught the light of the setting sun and just GLOWED. And we could see the climbers rappelling down which was nerve-wracking to watch.
In the trees all around the base of the tower were bits of cloth tied to branches. These are prayer cloths left by native peoples who regard the tower as a sacred site. This sparked another interesting conversation for J and I because it reminded me of prayer cloths I saw at sites around Cyprus.
We camped the night at Belle Fourche River Campground within the boundary of the monument. It was a nice camp area with large trees and almost every site had a fantastic view of the tower.
And then some jerks had to play the music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind after night fell. Funny but unnerving.