Saturday, June 28, 2014

#81. See Devils Tower

Take me to your leader

In 1977 Steven Spielberg produced an epic movie called Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  It's based on a character named Roy who is played by the ubber talented Richard Dreyfus and its based on how this guys life changes (more likes melts the hell down) after an encounter with a UFO. Throughout the movie Roy becomes unknowingly obsessed with this crazy rock formation (Devils Tower) after his encounter. To make things more complicated for Roy he isn't entirely sure why he's drawn to the rock. In the process he does some rather crazy things throughout the movie like ripping out the landscaping in his and his neighbors yard and builds a mini Devils Tower in his living room. Let's just say his wife was less than pleased with his actions. He also can't make it through dinner without making mashed potatoes into the shape of Devils Tower. 

Hang in there Roy

Since I was in elementary school I don't think I've ever eaten mashed potatoes without carving them into a mini butter filled Devils Tower. For the love of god I'm 32 and I'm pretty sure I still do this. Don't get all judgey on me you probably do weird shit too. ANYWAY my point is as a child of the 80's this was my introduction to this South Dakota natural monument. It planted this magical vision of the rock formation in my head and I have always wanted to see it in the worst way. On June 25th, of 2014 I finally got to get blessed by its presence while on a cross country trip with my Dad. 

When we first came around a corner and saw it. It was pretty hazey...hence the blue. 

One of the best parts about visiting Devils Tower was I had no idea that I would be seeing it the day I did. My father and I had rolled into the Badlands and we stopped to grab a map and use the restroom. On the back of the map I saw that our route was about 40 miles from Devils Tower. I ran back to to the truck over come with excitement and when I told the old man how close we would be his eyes glazed over. Pretty sure it was our destiny. We replotted our course and off we went cracking jokes about gas masks and dead cows. 

Roy and Jillian make it to Devils Tower

Bobby K (My Dad) makes it to Devils Tower

I kept saying to my Dad the closer we got, "I always knew I'd see it someday....I just didn't know today was the day!!" We ran up the trail like two kids and got to exploring the area. It was actually beautiful. We learned that the Native Americans in the area told the story of its creation in that there were some young girls walking in the area when several bears came across them. The girls ran from the bears in fear of their lives and climbed a rock, dropping to their knees praying to the great spirit to save them. The Great Spirit hearing them raised the rock towards the heavens saving the girls from the bears. The bears clawed the sides leaving the marks visitors see today. 

The view from the base of Devils Tower

It was an awesome side trip on our way to move me out west. Read more about that experience here: 

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