Size Comparison

Sears Tower as compared to Devils Tower. That's base to base height, but if you were to judge Devils Tower from the base of the river it would stand very close in comparison with the Sears Tower at 1,267 feet. 

Gear?

Bring a tripod and a camera. That's all you need. Head out to Joyner Ridge and enjoy the evening. One of my favorite shots was taken on my Samsung Note 4! 

Close Encounters

Of course, in a round-about way Devils Tower has some indirect Star Wars trivia. Steven Spielberg wrote and directed Close Encounters of the Third Kind and in 1977 he made a bet with George Lucas that Star Wars would do better than Close Encounters. Lucas wasn't sure about Star Wars so they decided to bet 2.5% of their share of the movies profits. As you know Star Wars went on to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time. It's said that Steven Spielberg made 40 million throughout the years off of the first Star Wars movie... 

Devils Tower

Devils Tower is a staple of the West. It’s an iconic Tower that looms over the eastern Wyoming landscape like a boner in sweatpants. As you drive towards the Tower presumably from the south you start to see it peaking over the landscape like an oddly placed peg in an otherwise flat game board. The Tower is a special place, a sacred place for many, and grammatically incorrect. The apostrophe in Devil’s Tower is missing. According to the visitor’s center at Devils Tower the proclamation establishing Devils Tower was published, the apostrophe was unintentionally dropped from “Devil’s” – and this clerical error was never officially corrected. They never fixed it because of how much it would cost to change all the signs and books. To make matters worse; Devils Tower was not the name the Native Americans called the Tower. In fact, they opposed the name Devils Tower because it was negative. Many of the tribes call it “Bear Lodge” or “Bears Hat” because of the stories they tell of the Tower revolving around bears chasing people or children and the Tower growing to save the people from bears attacking them. The name Devils Tower came from Colonel Richard Dodge, who in 1875 was on a geological expedition when he decided to rename the Tower to “Devil’s Tower.” According to Dodge, an unnamed Indian tribe called the Tower “Bad God’s Tower”, but many believe Dodge lied about that incident. Merica!

The Tower is the first United States National Monument. It was established in September of 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. Other random facts include the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind using Devils Tower as a plot element. I was trying to figure out why the gift shops outside the park had aliens on their shot glasses, and when I asked someone they said it’s because of the famous Spielberg movie which at the time of this writing I still have yet to have watched. 

My wife had asked me what I wanted to do on my 30th birthday. I told her I wanted to go on a road trip. So, this is where I ended up on my 30th birthday. Standing in a field watching the warm glow of the sun creep away from Devils Tower. Earlier in the day we stopped at a brewery in South Dakota called Crow's Peak and I had a few celebratory brewchachos while she watched because she was pregnant. Had you told me I would be in South Dakota drinking beers and watching the sun set in Wyoming on my 30th birthday when I was 20 I would have thought you were crazy. 

"...looms over the eastern Wyoming landscape like a boner in sweatpants"

Our experience at Devils Tower was memorable. I talked to the park ranger before we went out to the Tower and asked him questions about the Tower, the surrounding areas, and the best places to photograph. He told me to take the first dirt road I saw on my way out up to Joyner Ridge. Before we went out to Joyner Ridge we hiked the entire 1.3 mile loop trail around the Tower. On our way around the Tower we saw people climbing this massive rock, and even though I’ve never climbed anything professionally I’d love to try to tackle that beast without pissing my pants. 

Later on that night we drove back to Joyner Ridge for sunset. We arrived about an hour before sunset with the place mostly to ourselves. Another couple was already there taking selfies in the prairie with the Tower, but they left before the good stuff. My wife stayed in the car for the most part because she was tired, pregnant, and anxiously waiting for Game of Thrones. 

We stayed in Hulett, Wyoming. Hulett is about 10 minutes north of the Tower. It’s a small town with a few cafes, bars, and a Best Western. They have a bank too. It’s literally called Bank. We stayed at the Best Western which was the biggest and newest looking building in town. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of this town at first because I saw a mini horse and dogs playing together in the yard across the street from the Best Western, and in the same frame I also saw chickens running down a dirt alley that ran perpendicular to the hotel. I mean, where in the fuck was I? I could have watched that scene unfold for hours.  

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