Thursday, February 5, 2015

Road Trip USA Part III: Devil's Tower National Monument

Devil's Tower is simply incredible. The first time you see it, it's just a bump on the horizon, and as you approach you can see the parallel cracks and tubes coalescing into the surface of an astounding geological monolith.

It is an amazing place with incredible atmosphere. The natural world produces many things of tremendous beauty, and Devil's Tower has it's place among them. The funny thing is, I'd never heard of it. I was looking on the map of the area we were in and I was totally intrigued by the name. Not knowing when I'd ever have the chance to see it again, we drove on. I was rewarded for my curiosity with an awe-inspiring place. I can see why it is and was sacred to many native tribes.

It's size is spectacular, as you can see from the climber in the above photo.
It is a structure made of uncommon igneous rock called phonolite. The formation was created by what might have once been a volcano, or a remnant of a geological formation called a laccolith.

So, it must be mentioned that on the way here, we stopped at the geographic center of the US. This was a very good lesson in how the achievements of man can be dwarfed by the action of nature. It was a bit of a letdown I guess. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it was just a large, albeit nicely engraved and polished, slab of stone. It's very close to Belle Fourche, South Dakota.


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