Devils Tower, WY
We recently took a trip to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. We have visited before, but I never quite get enough of the raw beauty of the place. Even far in the distance, it beckons the curious.
I am always struck by the awesome, raw power of the place. There are many legends and oral histories about the origins of the sacred mountain. My favorite is the Kiowa legend in which seven sisters are in the forest when they are set upon by a huge bear. They climb up on a tall stump to evade the bear. The bear starts to climb and claw his way up the stump and the sisters pray to the great spirit. The Great Spirit lifts the stump causing it to rise higher and higher. The bear continues to grow as well and claws at the stump all around trying to get to the sisters. In the end the sisters are born to the skies and become the constellation “seven sisters” or as we know it the big dipper.
Of course other explanations of the tower are more scientific, and much less exciting:
This is still a sacred site and there are many prayer shawls and ribbons festooning the trees and shrubs, some high off of the trail. I have not included any pictures of them out of respect for the sacred nature of the artifacts.
As you walk around the back side of the tower, you see further evidence of nature’s power, and wrath. Huge felled trees, providing shelter for smaller life with their decay.
Remnants of fires that have swept the area for centuries.
Scorched rock from a lightning strike.
But then again, there’s always beauty, showing itself even through the devastation
and life, everywhere.
In the most unlikely places.
We ended the trip with a stop at the trading post outside the park. Awesome spot to get your goofy Devil’s Tower souvenirs and a tasty snack.