WELL TRUE TO FORM, AS 4TH JULY WORE ON, THE CLOUDS THICKENED AND WHEN I WENT OUT FOR LUNCH, LIGHTNING WAS FLASHING ALL AROUND. AFTER BOOKING IN TO A MOTEL AND UNLOADING THE BIKE, I SET OFF TO VISIT A LOCAL HOSTELRY. I JUST MANAGED TO ORDER A BEER, WHEN THE LIGHTNING BLEW OUT THE POWER. SO I LEFT THE BAR & MOVED ON TO ANOTHER PLACE CALLED ‘THE TRIANGLE 4’, WHERE THE POWER WAS STILL ON AND WHERE I HAD SOUP & A CAJUN CHEESEBURGER BEFORE HEADING BACK TO MY MOTEL TO WATCH THE FIREWORKS. UNFORTUNATELY, NOT MANY OF THEM WORKED – MAYBE THEY WERE DAMP – EVERYTHING ELSE WAS!
AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, A THUNDERSTORM WENT THROUGH LUSK. THANKFULLY. THE POWER CUTS AND RAINFALL, MOVED ON BEFORE THE FIREWORKS STARTED AT AROUND 2100. IT WAS A GOOD NIGHT, BUT I COULDN’T CAPTURE MANY GOOD SHOTS OF THE TOWN FIREWORKS.
NEXT DAY I WAS ON MY WAY TO NEBRASKA! SO, AFTER FILLING UP THE BIKE, I TURNED RIGHT AT THE MAIN CROSS ROADS. WELL, ONLY A COUPLE OF MILES DOWN THE ROAD, I COULD SEE THAT THE THUNDERSTORM FROM LAST NIGHT HAD NOT MOVED ALONG MUCH, WITH RAIN AND LIGHTNING FILLING MY VIEW AHEAD. SO I DECIDED THAT NEBRASKA COULD WAIT FOR ANOTHER TIME AND TURNED BACK TO LUSK, WHERE I COULD RIDE NORTH IN BLUE SKIES & SUNSHINE.
I DID GET SOME PHOTOS, BUT OBVIOUSLY,NOTHING LIKE THE ONES YOU CAN GET IN THE MOUNTAINS.
I RODE A FAIR BIT UNDER BLUE SKY & SUNSHINE – ALL THE WAY TO MOORCROFT IN WYOMING. JUST AS I GOT THE BAGS ETC. OFF THE BIKE AND INTO THE ROOM, THE THUNDER CRASHED AND THE LIGHTNING FLASHED AND IT STARTED TO RAIN.
This was a motel that Christine and I stayed in last time we were here. It was very clean – newly renovated, in fact, and very comfortable – so I decided to stay for 2 nights.
Unloaded – I went of to find a beer and a burger
Branding on the bar room tables
Can you see the ground hog come racing in?
One local, had his car smashed. as a big rotten branch from a tree, fell on to it. Even the local Sheriff was out taking piccys of the car & damage.
In the bar, one of the waitresses, was anxiously wating for her time to be over, as the same storm, 5 miles out of town, had produced hen’s egg-sized hail, and her house and those of the neighbours, had suffered a lot of damage. We had hail in Moorcroft – but not so large as that
Next day – July 7th
I RODE INTO THE PARK AND WALKED ALL AROUND THE BASE OF THE TOWER, TAKING PHOTOS ON THE WAY. THERE WERE A LOT OF INFORMATION BOARDS, ON THE TRAIL, BUT SOME OF THEM WERE FACING THE SUN AND WERE IMPOSSIBLE TO GET A DECENT SHOT OF.
Devil’s Tower was a sacred area for several Plains Tribes, and that it has been encoded as an important landmark in tribal stories. According to the National Park Service, over twenty tribes have potential cultural affiliation with Devils Tower National Monument.
Here are a couple of the stories:
The Cheyenne people have a sacred narrative or legend on the origin of Bear’s Lodge. “A band of Cheyenne Indians went on one of its visits to ‘Bear’s Tipi’ to worship the Great Spirit, as did many other tribes before the white man came. The Cheyenne braves took their families with them as they felt that would be safe, as Bear’s Tipi was a holy place.”
Devils Tower is where Sweet Medicine died and it is his final earthly resting place. Sweet Medicine is the great culture hero of the Cheyenne who brought the Four Sacred Arrows to the tribe. The Four Sacred Arrows’ sanctuary was located within a secret cave on the south side of Bear’s Lodge. Sweet Medicine also founded the Cheyenne Warrior Societies, tribal government, special laws, and ceremonies. As Sweet Medicine lay dying in a hut by Bear’s Lodge, he foretold a dark prophecy of the coming of the horse; the disappearance of the old ways and the buffalo, to be replaced by slick animals with split hoofs the people must learn to eat (cattle). He told of the coming of white men, strangers called Earth Men who could fly above the earth, take thunder from light, and dig up the earth and drain it until it was dead.
A Sioux legend tells of a Lakota band camped in the forest at the foot of Bear Lodge. They were attacked by a band of Crow. With the supernatural assistance of a huge bear, the Lakota were able to defeat the Crow.
At Devils Tower, they fasted, prayed, left offerings, worshipped the “Great Mystery” (the essence of Lakota spiritual and religious life), and performed sweatlodge ceremonies.
The healing ceremony is known to have been performed at Bear Lodge, conducted by a healing shaman. The Great Bear Hu Nump imparted the sacred language and ceremonies of healing to Lakota shamans at Bear Lodge. In this way, Devils Tower is considered the birthplace of wisdom.
ANYONE RECOGNISE DEVIL’S TOWER? IF YOU ARE A SCI-FI MOVIE FAN, YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THIS AS IT WAS THE LOCATION FOR SOME OF THE MOVIE, ‘CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND’
I COULD SEE TWO TEAMS OF PEOPLE CLIMBING DEVIL’S TOWER. ONE TEAM WAS AT THE TOP PREPARING TO GO DOWN, AND THE OTHER TEAM WERE HALFWAY, COMING DOWN.
EN-ROUTE I MET A COUPLE OF YOUNG ENGLISH LADIES WHO WERE DOING A 3 WEEK RANCHING HOLIDAY, RIDING HORSES & WORKING, BUT THEY HAD GOT SOME TIME OFF FOR SIGHTSEEING. ANYWAY AS WE STOOD CHATTING (ONE OF THE TWO HAS A TRIUMPH ) A STRANGE BEETLE LANDED ON ONE OF THE GIRLS’ BREAST AREA. HER FRIEND TOOK A PHOTO WITH HER PHONE AND I ASKED IF I COULD ALSO TAKE A PICTURE BUT I HAD TO EXPLAIN THAT MY 14MM LENS WOULD HAVE TO BE RATHER CLOSE, TO GET THE BUG. I THINK SHE THOUGHT I WAS TAKING THE MICKY, UNTIL I SHOWED THEM THE PHOTO. ON THE WAY OUT, I STOPPED BY THE ENTRANCE AND GOT SOME SHOTS OF PRAIRIE DOGS.
THE MOTEL IN TOWN ADVERTISES FAST INTERNET, SO I GOT A ROOM AT ABOUT 1300, AND GOT ON WITH SENDING ALL THE PICCYS TO CHRISTINE.
IT HAS BEEN A BRILLIANT DAY, ALL DAY. RIGHT UP TO NOW, WITH THE WEATHER ALERTS ON THE TV BEEPING AWAY EVERY 15 MINUTES, WARNING OF A DANGEROUS THUNDERSTORM. SO FAR, IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS FURTHER EAST, BUT THE COUNTY IS ON ALERT UNTIL 2100, BECAUSE ANOTHER LINE IS GOING OVER DEVILS TOWER ABOUT NOW (2019), AND IT IS PRODUCING DAMAGING HAIL, SO I KEEP CHECKING OUT THE DOOR. I’M THINKING ABOUT BRINGING THE GUZZI UNDER THE HALF ROOF. LAST THING I NEED NOW, IS THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER TO BE WIPED OUT BY HEN’S EGG-SIZED HAIL. FINGERS CROSSED
IT’S JUST BEEN ANNOUNCES, ‘HAIL EXPECTED TO HIT SUNDANCE, AROUND 2055’, SO MOVING THE BIKE NOW.
WELL, AS I DID THAT, THE FIRST FLASHES OF LIGHTNING HAPPENED, AND NOW THUNDER. HA, I MIGHT BE HERE FOR ANOTHER DAY, AS ITS ALL MOVING SLOWLY SOUTH EAST, NOT MUCH POINT IN STAYING IN THE MOTEL THEN RIDING STRAIGHT INTO IT TOMORROW MORNING BUGGER
TV IS NOW SAYING THAT QUARTER SIZE HAIL, IS CAUSING DAMAGE TO VEHICLES AROUND DEVILS TOWER JUNCTION, AND TO EXPECT DAMAGE FROM WIND GUSTS RIGHT GOING TO GET SOME BEER AND GET READY TO TAKE PICS. I’LL ADD ANYTHING INTERESTING AS THINGS DEVELOP
TAKE CARE OUT THERE