Devil's Tower & Gillette, WY
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Devil's Tower &
Gillette, WY

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While in the area, we knew we had to visit Devils Tower, the high-point of the 1978 movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". The Devils Tower was designated the nation's first national monument. The monument is thought to be a volcano core exposed after millions of years of erosion (at least, that is one theory, there are others).

The tower has been a navigation point for thousands of years. Before the pioneers used it, the American Indians  used it and created many legends about the rock. One story goes like this: Seems there were these Indian Maidens who were chased by a huge bear. They jumped on a three-foot rock and begged it save them. The rock complied by raising itself into the sky. The bear's claws created the long marks along the sides. The seven maidens were pushed so high that they  are still there. They are the seven little stars (the Pleiades) in the night sky. Why not? The American Indians consider the tower a sacred area.

We knew we had to hike around the Tower... a part of the ever-extending-our-experience-level or as we say, "Increasing our box of experience!"

The Escapade Rally was in Gillette, WY. Gillette made it big when oil and coal was discovered. They worried about what would happen to them when the oil and coal ran out. So they built a huge convention center and host many big rallies, rodeos, and conventions. And that's about it; except they have a great Walmart!

Looking from a distance The Visiters Center The Devil's Tower
The American Indians used the Devils Tower to navigate the high plains as it was in view from many miles away. Tthe Tower looms up from the Visitors Center in the park. The Tower rises 867 feet from its base and stands 1,267 feet above the river and 5,112 feet above sea-level. The diameter at the base is 1,000 feet.
Along the trail Rocky trail Red Rock
The trail around the base is 1.3 miles and has some pretty steep hills to climb. The columns on the sides continue to crumble from the enviroment and the base has huge fallen rocks from the deteriation. The trail meanders among them. The American Indians believe that as the buffalo raced through the area, they left a trail of blood from their hooves. Thus the red hills around the area.
Pretty pix Indian totem Climbers
The area demands picture-taking. There are beautiful scenes everywhere. The American Indians continue to believe the area is sacred and they leave totem (prayer bundles) on the trees for their ancesters. On July 4, 1893, two guys climbed the tower in front of 1,000 spectators. And thus a tourist attraction was born. Climbers continue to climb the tower daily.
The View Halfway around Almost there
The scenery is inspiring. We turned our cameras away in respect for those who were sitting on rocks meditating. When we arrived at the halfway point, we were a little discouraged. We thought we were almost done! We made it! We had expanded our "box" again! Our "experience box" is getting huge. Joy thinks maybe we should think about where we will carry the thing.
Prairie dog Sunset Parking
The Black-tailed Praire Dogs are everywhere! The signs begged the tourist to NOT feed them. But they did anyway. Gillette is in the middle of nowhere. But the Conference Center and fairgrounds are ideal for huge crowds of people and RVs. The sunsets are gorgeous and occur around 9:30 - 10:00pm. Around 750 rigs attended the Escapade Rally from around the Nation. The Escapees are a bunch of full-timers with a sprinkling of part-timers (like us) who just enjoy RVing.
Escapees Meander Siffing Walmart
The conference hall easily handled the nearly 1,500 RVers and provided a stage for some very entertaining performances. Gillette had some very nice parks and Meander enjoyed them very much. She still has not learned to stop crotch-sniffing where-ever she goes. Gillette has its own special way of doing up their Walmart.