America’s first national monument

A unique and mysterious geological formation located in the state of Wyoming is home to America’s very first national monument, Devils Tower. President Theodore Roosevelt first declared Devils Tower a national monument on September 24, 1906.

Devils Tower National Monument is a famous geological mystery that geologists today are still puzzled as to how the process of the formation occurred. According to the National Park Service, “When the Tower formed around 50 million years ago, it was one to two miles below the Earth’s surface. Somewhere between 5 and 10 million years ago, erosive forces began to expose the Tower.”

This natural wonder also has many ancient Native American legends behind it. All of the legends are related to a giant bear and the Great Spirit. Two of my favorites are from the Lakota tribe and the Kiowa tribe. The legend of the Lakota tribe talks about a young warrior who ventured alone with his buffalo skull to worship the Great Spirit. The buffalo skull is still on top of the tower today and can be seen at its highest point. The legend of the Kiowa tribe talks about seven little girls and how they became the Pleiades constellation. During the winter months, the seven stars are seen directly above the tower.

Native American tribes have their very own names for the tower as well. The most common name is Bear Lodge. Local tribes and tribes throughout the United States consider this to be a sacred site. Many tribes still come here today for ceremonial rituals. If visiting, you will find pieces of colorful cloth tied around trees that they call prayer ties. They use these as spiritual offerings and ask that you please do not remove them.

During my visit, I felt the spiritual energy immediately. It’s a feeling that is unexplainable but yet undeniable. No matter what your religious beliefs or thoughts on religion, I can guarantee you will feel some powerful energy that is mystical. This energy is carried on through the connection with the divine and brought upon us through a realm that we can feel in our soul. This personally made me feel a earthly spiritual connection. I then knew why this place was so sacred to the Native Americans.

My husband and I hiked the Tower Trail, a 1.3-mile loop around the tower, which is the most popular. This trail is paved and very easy. It also shows the significance of the size being so close-up. After our hike, we stopped at the Devils Tower Trading Post. An interesting fact that I learned from visiting the trading post is Devils Tower is in an alien-related movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” There have also been numerous UFO sightings at Devils Tower.

Inside the Devils Tower Trading Post, you will find a wide variety of souvenirs to choose from. They also have a snack bar and beer! For a first trip visit, I recommend visiting Devils Tower National Monument during the months that the trading post is also open. I hope you can visit America’s first national monument and feel that powerful mystical energy while making new memories. It’s a spiritual connection I will never forget!

Why explore America?

It can be easy to forget how big the United States is, currently ranked third-largest country in the world. With 50 states to choose from, we have a wide variety of diverse landscapes to explore. I feel very fortunate to live in a country with immense diversity.

 It’s always been on my bucket list to experience the natural scenic beauty of each state in person. I’m talking about exploring deep into the heart of each state and discovering what makes each of them unique from one another. From all the different geographical and cultural landscapes that America has to offer, there is infinite adventure.

You can be sure to discover each state has its very own picturesque natural attractions. Many poets have written about the abundance of natural beauty in America and there is a reason why they call it “America the Beautiful.”

Katharine Lee Bates, an American poet, wrote the famous poem “America the Beautiful” that was published in 1895. It was later on transformed into a song that many of you may have heard before. Numerous artists have recorded it but the most famous version was sung by Ray Charles in 1972, “America the Beautiful”.

Reading Katharine Lee Bates’ original poem and listening to the song version sung by Ray Charles, it will certainly paint us a picture in our minds of vast mountains and shining seas. This is all the more reason I someday hope to fulfill my ultimate bucket list goal of exploring all 50 states.

I challenge you to go out and explore your local area, discover it’s natural beauty! I’m very optimistic you will be inspired at what you find is surrounding you. Never stop exploring.