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Road Trip 2014 Part Two: Devils Tower PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:35

Approaching Devils Tower from the south

(Approaching Devils Tower from the south)

Devils Tower was the first declared National Monument, being so designated by Theodore Roosevelt on September 24, 1906. Technically it’s an igneous intrusion of rock formed millions of years ago. Despite lots of attention and studies throughout the years, geologists still can’t completely agree on exactly how it was formed or whether it’s a volcanic remnant or not. To your average non-geologist layman, none of this really matters too much. Devils Tower is just a cool looking gigantic pile of greenish-gray columnar rock.

Getting closer

(Getting closer)

Devils Tower dominates the local landscape as it erupts some 1,200 feet above the surrounding plains of northeast Wyoming, and can be seen as a small bump on the horizon from as far as forty miles away. The name Devils Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Col. Richard Irving Dodge when someone misinterpreted the Indian name to mean Bad God's Tower, which then became Devil's Tower. The tower was a sacred place for many of the Plains Indian tribes including the Lakota, Cheyenne, Crow, Shoshone, Kiowa and more, and each of them had their own name for it. Strangely enough, all of the Indian names involved bears: Bear’s House, Bear’s Lair, Home of Bears, Bear’s Lodge, Bear’s Lodge Butte, Grizzly Bear Lodge…well, you get the idea. They thought bears lived there.

Boulder debris field at the base of Devils Tower

(Boulder debris field at the base of Devils Tower)

 
Mount Rushmore PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Friday, 15 August 2014 10:43

The famous four, Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, left to right

(The famous four, Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, left to right)

There are few more iconic, quintessentially American sights or locations than the four-headed presidential hydra of Mount Rushmore. Yes, it’s a long way from anywhere unless you live in South Dakota to start with, but it’s a place that I think every American should visit at least once in their lifetime. This was my second visit and my wife’s first. My first time at Rushmore was more than twenty years ago during a cross-country road trip with my son. I remember we stopped, hung out for an hour or so, took our photos and left. This time we had a much longer, more leisurely visit, spent time examining all the different aspects of the memorial, and soaked in pretty much everything this American mecca has to offer, with both a daytime and nighttime visit.

Avenue of the flags of all fifty states

(Avenue of the flags of all fifty states)

Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore

(Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore)

 
The Bite Of Seattle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Tuesday, 29 July 2014 07:03

The crowd settles in

(The crowd settles in)

What exactly, you ask, is the Bite of Seattle? Although the name conjures visions of some 1950’s sci-fi film with a giant octopus devouring half the city, no, that isn’t it. Neither is it a tale of yuppy Northwest vampires sinking their fangs into tourists (hmm, I think I see a screenplay materializing here.) No sirree, the Bite of Seattle is, simply put, one of the nation’s largest food festivals, a three day eating extravaganza held annually on the third weekend in July.

International Fountain in the middle of it all

(International Fountain in the middle of it all)

What began as a modest event in 1982 on the shores of Green Lake featuring about twenty-five food booths, has now evolved into a sprawling, complex, multi-faceted affair covering most of Seattle Center grounds. It’s a simple idea, really. What could bring together a couple of hundred thousand people to one crowded place all united in one common goal? The answer is obvious: FOOD! Everybody has to eat and as anyone with the gift of sight can attest, your average oversized American loves to (over)eat.

What to eat first? Too many choices!

(What to eat first? Too many choices!)

 
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