Today we made a 250 roundtrip drive from Rapid City to Devil’s Tower, Wyoming and back.

Devil’s Tower was designated as America’s First National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The Tower is 867 feet tall from the visitor center to the summit.  The monument covers 2.15 square miles.  The top of the Tower is about 1.25 acres and covered in plants.

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According to the Devil’s Newspaper published by the National Park Service, there are between 4,000-5,000 climbs of the Tower every year.   A technical rock climb to the summit of the Tower takes an average of 5 hours; times vary between 18 minutes and 16 hours!!!!

Climbers on Devil s Tower

Devil’s Tower is composed of symmetrical columns which are the tallest (some more than 600 feet) and widest (10 to 20 feet) in the world.  Along the trail that we hiked, columns lied toppled among the pine trees. Although there is evidence of fallen columns are around the base, the exact date of the last major column fall is unknown. No one in recorded history has seen one of those giant rocks fall from the Tower.

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Prairie Dogs

Bridal Falls in Spearfish Canyon

On the way back to Rapid City from Devil’s Tower we stopped at Bridal Falls along the Spearfish Canyon Loop.  We hiked across an ice cold  little stream to the falls.

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Rapid City Bronze Sculptures of the Presidents

The City of Presidents project began in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency.  Each of the sculptures was privately funded, and the pattern of placement was chosen to maintain a coherent pattern and eliminate any sense of favoritism. Here are a few of the ones I photographed today.

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President Bush

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President Kennedy

IMG 9160President Ronald Reagan

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President Gerald FordIMG 4448

President Nixon

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