Close Encounters
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Day 175 / 06.24.11

At the very western edge of the Black Hills sits a monument to both the deepest of mythical mysteries and the wildest of science fiction fantasies. Past and future seem to collide perilously into the failing remnants of an extinct volcano. Mato Tipila. Bear Lodge.

Devil's Tower

Devil’s Tower National Monument peeks up above the horizon in the northeast corner of Wyoming, a prominent precipice in the seamlessly flat grasslands of the Great Plains.

Devil's Tower

We circle around, taking in each claw mark from every angle.


Legend says that two Sioux girls were playing in the fields when they came across a giant bear. Angry, the bear chased the girls, gnashing and growling and slashing, and to escape, the girls jumped onto a rock and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Suddenly, the rock began to grow and grow, and the bear could not climb the mountain to reach the girls; he could only claw in vain at the steep sides. The rock continued to grow, carrying the girls to safety in the heavens, where they play forever as Pleiades.


After our trip around the alien structure, we headed down the road to Hulett, a rough-around-the-edges and pretty rough-in-the-middle town surrounded by oil and gas development and other industrious types.

Devil's Tower

As we walk into a local bar, the record scratches and all is silent as the friendly bikers with big tattoos and Budweisers give us the critical once-over.


But in typical Pardo fashion, we play pool and sit at the bar and talk about the last time Jonmikel was there, when it happened to be No Panties Thursday. After that, drinks were on our new friends and we were welcomed as locals.