My adventure began two Thursday evenings ago and ended this past Tuesday morning, which happens to be a lot of travel for someone not quite use to the lifestyle. I ended up flying out of Shreveport, Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee, and then onto Gillette, Wyoming via Salt Lake City, Utah. I have never been to Utah or Wyoming; I didn't know what to expect in the landscape, the people or the weather. As the plane began its arrival into Salt Lake City, I was in awe. The sheer beauty of the snow covered mountains, as well as the vastness of the Great Salt Lake, exceeded my pre-conceived imagery. I wish I could have snapped an aerial photograph to share with you all.
Wyoming was not what I expected; neither was South Dakota (another state to add to the "been there" list). History books have often painted these two states as bleak, empty and nothing but prairie and mountains. While there is a great amount of the latter, Wyoming and South Dakota are anything but bleak and empty. This part of the country is full of natural beauty, a plethora of wildlife and an expanse of untamed wilderness. It was amazing!
A sacred sited for Native Americans, the tower was originally hailed as a rock where 7 Native American girls were seeking safety from a large bear. Legend says, the girls began to pray and the rock grew taller and taller, pushing the girls to the heavens. Along the 1.3 mile base trail, a visitor can spot prayer bundles tied onto tree limbs by the local Native Americans. Prayer bundles contain natural items such as seeds, animal hair, rocks, arrow heads, tobaccos, etc. and are considered secret to anyone other than the creator.
Some original aspects of the monument have not been fully finished to this day. Behind Lincoln's head, there is a room tittled The Hall of Records. Borglum envisioned this sanctuary as a place to store America's historical account. He hoped to have stairs carved to the right of Lincoln for the public to have closer viewing abilities, as well as access to The Hall of Records. Today, the room has been completed, but it is not open to the public.
|A National Monument|
On our way back to Wyoming, we followed the scenic route via Custer State Park. I always assumed this region known as the Black Hills was aptly named due to the color of the rocks, however, after a much closer look, it is the forest green conifers and their black bark that lend the hills their colorful moniker. As we winded through Custer, my husband was hoping to spy a buffalo or two. This was his first time to see the creatures wild.
|Wyoming Snow Fence|