Right next to our hotel was a piece of the Berlin Wall. Apparently, Rapid City is a sister city with Apolda, Germany.
This area had lots of memorabilia about the Berlin Wall. This sign was at Checkpoint Charlie.
We drove into Wyoming to see Devils Tower. Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower as the first National Monument. Devils Tower is called Bear Lodge by local Indian tribes. Bear Lodge has great significance and is closed for the month of June to respect American Indian ceremonies.
Close Encounter of the First Kind
Closer Encounter of the Second Kind.
Closest Encounter of the Third Kind
The tradition of the Lakota tells of a group of girls that went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb. When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the stars of the Seven Sisters.
This display in the visitors center demonstrates the unusual formation of this structure. As the molten rock cools, it hardens. It contracts and fractures, forming cracks that are about 120° to each other making hexagonal geometric shapes. With time, the columns begin to break off.
We lunched at nearby Devils Tower Gulch and had a mouthwatering homemade blueberry pie.
These boulders that have fallen from the structure are massive. This rare type of igneous rock is called porphyritic phonolite. It is found only in northeastern Wyoming, central Montana, and mostly in East Africa.
We traded picture shots with Stefan and Carmen from Switzerland. Shortly after this picture, we all approached a park ranger, and Stefan asked, “Do you have any beers? The ranger said, “Did you mean beers or bears?” We all had a good laugh.
Prairie dog towns used to be everywhere in the Great Plains. They are common in the protected National Parks. A group or coterie of prairie dogs can be seen hovering together above their homes like meerkats.
Hay is big business and everywhere we look there are circular bundles waiting to be transported.
On our drive to North Dakota, we saw a flock of wild turkeys crossing the road. They were in a hurry … just like us!!!