Okay. The first U.S. national monument is many things to many people. Point taken. It’s known as Bear Lodge to the peoples who traveled the area before the Anglos discovered it, as an igneous intrusion to a good share of the geological crowd, and popularly known as Devils Tower.
Bear Lodge is an awesome sight. It’s no wonder First Nation peoples have legends about the site.
Limber climbers ringed the rock like beetles on a tree.
At the campground nearby, we visitors indulged in ice cream (of the huckleberry persuasion) while watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the film which features this landmark prominently. As the movie began at dusk, bats emerged from habitat near the tower and swooped in to clear away pesky flying bugs. That was cool; that’s what bats do.
We were able to visit Jewel Cave, as well, home to species of bats, and finding out that control of white-nose syndrome has become a priority around places where bats hang out. The disease is caused by long-viable spores that latch onto the exposed skin of bats (usually the nose area). The bats are not able to hibernate effectively, waking and trying to feed in he winter when there is no flying food.
At Jewel Cave, visitors walks through a solution that disinfects the bottom of the shoes worn into the cave. My boots have never been so clean.
Approaching Casper, Wyoming, we spotted a solitary antelope (They weren’t particularly plentiful while we traveled.) and a solitary cell phone antenna disguised as a tree.
A late-evening blow rattled our tent noisily. I don’t think it lasted an hour. Tent stakes didn’t budge.