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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Devils Tower

May 16th, 2010 · No Comments

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Ever since I saw Steven Spielberg’s great movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” in 1977, I wanted to see Devils Tower up close and personal. I finally got my chance today.

Devils Tower plays a central role in the film, because this was where those friendly aliens landed. I had never heard of Devils Tower before I saw “CE3K” and at first I thought it was just a stage set.

Devils Tower is in the Black Hills at the far northeast corner of Wyoming. It is our first national monument. Teddy Roosevelt established Devils Tower National Monument in 1906.

But the tower began 50 million years ago when molten magma forced its way through sedimentary rocks. It rise 867 feet from its base and stands 1,267 feet above the river and 5,112 feet above sea level.

En route to the tower I drove through miles and miles of the Thunder Basin National Grassland. I saw many pronghorn antelope, including this one:

A Pronghorn Antelope at a Watering Hole

A Pronghorn Antelope at a Watering Hole

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Within the Devils Tower National Monument is only one town. Here is one of its inhabitants:

A Prairie Dog on Guard Duty

A Prairie Dog on Guard Duty

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A trail that takes a bit less than an hour encircles the tower. Since I don’t have climbing gear, that was as close as I could get to it. But I had to step back a few miles to get this view:

Devils Tower

Devils Tower

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Now I know that it’s real.

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