Friday, July 1, 2011

Broadus, MT to Hewlett, WY - 90 miles

Today we leave Montana and skirt the edge of the state of Wyoming. It was a long day for the riders, but the end of the day was rewarded with a sight straight out of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Devil's Tower which rises 1267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. Once hidden, erosion has revealed Devil's Tower. Also known as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site for many American Indians. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower the first national monument in 1906.

On the way to Hewlett, WY and Devils Tower I came across this saloon in Alzada, MT ... not only does it have 'cheap drinks', but it also has 'lousy food' as the sign proudly states!
 In front of the Stonevill Saloon was a rather original ride....
The Legend of the Dakota Territory Riders (DTR), a band of loyal renegades who ride chrome steeds,  defend against troublemakers and perserve the rights and laws of ordinary people...
 It just seemed a little out of the ordinary that the legend was posted in a wooden coffin...
 Then it was into Wyoming for our 5th state [Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana being the first four]...
 An informational sign as I entered Wyoming told me about Camp Devlin which was a summer bivouac site of Lieutenant Colonel Luther Bradley, who was tasked with establishing a telegraph line between Deadwood and Fort Keogh, thus bringing together Montana, Wyoming and the Dakota Territories. This mission was successful.
 Once again the scenery is spectacular, and I was amazed at the change in landscape once I entered Wyoming,
 It is beautiful.
 I just had to get a picture...
 The corner bar in Hewlett, Wyoming
 Devils Tower, the nation's very first national monument. In 1906, President Teddy Roosevelt designated it so under the new Antiquities Act. His action made Wyoming home of both the first national park -- Yellowstone in 1872 -- and the first national monument. Devils Tower could be called the nation's first natural monument. It is actually believed to be the core of a volcano exposed after million of years of erosion brought on by the Belle Fourche River and the weather. The rocks and boulders around the base of the tower are actually broken pieces of columns having fallen from the sides. The tower stands 865 feet high and it is said to be some of the best rock climbing around.
Many Native American legends have been passed down through time, but I am told that this is the most popular one regarding Devils Tower....

"One day, an Indian tribe was camped beside the river and seven small girls were playing in the distance. The region had a large bear population and a bear began to chase the girls. They ran back toward their village, but the bear was about to catch them. The girls jumped upon a rock about three feet high and began to pray to the rock, "Rock, take pity on us; Rock save us." The rock heard the pleas of the young girls and began to elongate itself upwards, pushing them higher and higher out of reach of the bear. The bear clawed and jumped at the sides of the rock, and broke its claws and fell to the ground. The bear continued to jump at the rock until the girls were pushed into the sky, where they are to this day in a group of seven little stars (the Pleiades). The marks of the bear claws are the lines coming down the tower.

As look at the tower and think about it; it isn't hard to imagine this legend as fact.
 At the restaurant at the bottom of the tower I found this sculpture...
 Black-tailed prairie dogs live in their own town near the Devils Tower Monument entrance. These animals are communal and I find them facinating to watch. This group didn't appear to be scared of humans and actually appeard to be posing for pictures....

If you look real close you can see a climber in red in the middle of the photo.

Of note today:  Several of the riders reach century distances for the day by riding to Devils Tower instead of getting a shuttle ride from the hotel.

Kudos to:

Frank H - 114 miles
Marnie R - 105 miles
Jeff & Sue M - 105 miles
Bill K - 100 miles
Rich G - 100 miles

You guys are rock stars!

 After all the riders arrived at the Devils Tower Best Western Rich G's wife Mary, was given a present for all the help she has provided during her visit. I think the pigtails are stylin'!

Tomorrow we are off to Spearfish, South Dakota

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