November 3, 2016
Devil's Tower rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, standing 867 feet from summit to base. Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt.
According to Native American folklore, two Sioux boys wandered far from their village when Mato the bear, a huge creature that had claws the size of tipi poles, spotted them, and wanted to eat them for breakfast. He was almost upon them when the boys prayed to Wakan Tanka, the Creator, to help them. They rose up on a huge rock, while Mato tried to get up from every side, leaving huge scratch marks as he did. Finally, he sauntered off, disappointed and discouraged. The bear came to rest east of the Black Hills at what is now Bear Butte. Wanblee, the eagle, helped the boys off the rock and back to their village. A painting depicting this legend by artist Herbert A. Collins hangs over the fireplace in the visitor's center at Devils Tower.
Our first view of Devil's Tower.
We were excited to see two buffalo alongside the road. Of course we stopped to take pictures.
These climbers were but a speck on the side of the tower. Fortunately, my camera has an awesome zoom. One guy...
...and a girl were climbing.
A few souvenirs later, we drove around to the other side of the tower.
Next, The Big Day