It’s been a while since I’ve posted and there are a couple of reasons for that. One is that I traveled quite a lot earlier this year through much of the north and western United States and took so many photos I don’t know where to begin. It’s a bit overwhelming.
The other reason is that I took many of those photos on my phone. With my old phone this wouldn’t have been a problem. I would have just downloaded them onto my computer using a USB cable. This doesn’t work with my new phone. When I plug it in, my computer can’t find or access the pictures. This, apparently, is because all these pictures are in ‘the cloud.’ Google or Microsoft (not sure which but I suspect Google) has kept my photos in the cloud for ‘my convenience.’ It appears I have no option in this matter. New phone, new computer, too (since I accidentally killed my last computer) and few options on how to access or use the photos that I took. It honestly feels like Google has hijacked/stolen my pictures. I’ve found through trial and error that I can email the photos to myself then download them onto my computer in order to post them on this blog (at least, I think that’ll work – I’m about to find out). But, I’ve found no easier or more direct way. It’s not a huge problem unless you’re dealing with that many photos and, like I said, I took a lot. But, it’s tedious and honestly, dispiriting. Not the end of the world but, yeah….dispiriting.
So I’ve decided that instead of trying to post about my travels in order of occurrence, which I’ve always tried to do in the past, I’ll just post randomly and not put strictures on myself. Maybe it’ll get me going again. I do like sharing my photos and I hope you enjoy them.
So, here goes….
Ever since the first time I saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I’ve wanted to see Devil’s Tower. I’d never heard of it before and it looked amazing. Turns out it’s this country’s first National Monument. Who knew?
I’d always imagined that my first sight of it would be the iconic one that Richard Dreyfuss and Melinda Dillon saw in the movie, but…..
…..not quite. It was shrouded in low-lying clouds. I thought, “Oh no, I’ve come all this way and I won’t be able to see the top!” But, onward. When I got to the entrance of the park (my National Park pass allowed me in free) I asked the Ranger about being able to see the top and she said that once I got closer to it, it shouldn’t be a problem…
…..and she was right.
So, here’s today’s geology lesson. About 50 million years ago, molten magma was forced up through sedimentary rock and cooled underground. It did not erupt like a volcano. This is called a volcanic plug or volcanic neck. As it cooled, it fractured into columns. Over millions of years, erosion of the surrounding sedimentary rock exposed this volcanic plug which rises 867 feet/264 meters from its base. The diameter of the base is 1,000 feet/305 meters. It’s nigh unto impossible for me to fathom the time it took to expose this once underground monolith.
Yet, here it is.
Here’s more of a close-up of the columns. If you imagine yourself standing next to one of those trees and think about how much they would be towering over you, you may get a sense of how enormous and massive this thing is. It makes the trees look like little weeds sprouting out of it.
It turned out to be a really good day to visit, honestly. The weather was cool and the hike all the way around the base can warm you up a bit, there weren’t many people there and it was so peacefully quiet.
I have a million more pictures to show you of this but they’re on my phone and, well, see above.
I did, however, get that iconic view of it when I was leaving. I happened to look in my rear view mirror and saw this…
…..so I got out of the van and took this.
I’m happy with it!
It was so cool for me to finally see this. I may have said it before but I’ll say it again, if you’re ever touring around the United States do not hesitate to get a National Park Pass before your travels. It is so well worth having.