We arrived today at Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming. It’s hard to describe what it is about this place. I’ve not seen anything that quite compares to this landscape. For miles around it is fairly flat with only rolling hills and grasslands. But suddenly, this tower juts from the ground. It is thought to be the clogged core of an ancient volcano: the surrounding rock of the volcano having worn away centuries ago. For the indians of the area, it is a sacred power place, and I can believe this. We hiked an icy trail around the tower and discovered many prayer bundles and flags placed by indians in the trees along the way. One needs to show respect for their efforts and I tried to photograph with this in mind. I was careful not to disturb each site and tried to convey a sense of each location. Sometimes, the bundles just look like rags thrown into the trees. Those of us who don’t have the knowledge could easily make that mistake. This is the essence of my Marking project. It is easy to see how sacred places can be desecrated unknowingly. And even knowingly by those who just don’t care.
The cold weather and snow has followed us here. It is getting unusually cold for October. Today’s hi was around 38º and later in the week the low’s are supposed to go well below freezing. But this weather is giving me a fresh perspective on each of the places we visit. It is a challenge keeping warm, but well worth the experience of making photographs in this kind of weather. Using snow as a design element is fairly unusual for me and I am enjoying the experience. I will be staying here for another day in hopes of seeing the tower in sunlight, but we need to be moving on to the Spearfish Canyon area near Rapid City, South Dakota soon.