I live in a part of the world with few, even perhaps any, highly recognizable scenes but I do get to travel some and so take the usual tourist snapshot of objects, natural or man-made, that everyone knows. These are easy scenes to get fairly good-looking photos, especially if the weather is cooperating with good lighting. Plus I’ve observed that people more easily respond to scenes, natural or people/animals, that are within their experience than the more abstract scenes of “artsy” photography. So I’ll continue with a few more posts of some of my most recognizable scenes before turning to some less recognizable scenes that just appeal to my fancy.
Given that this object is rather far off the beaten path I suspect more people have seen it in movies than in real-life, but it’s worth the visit if you ever happen to be driving on I-90 in Wyoming. My shot is from the east, rather than the normal approach from the south. I’d wanted to see the Wyoming section of the Black Hills and so was driving on some backroads from South Dakota. Actually this is a good vantage point to see Devils Tower. You first see it in the distance and then get additional vantage points as you get closer and closer. Once you’re almost there it’s hard to get a good shot of the entire thing, but visiting the National Monument is a lot of fun, especially if you get out of your car and take the pleasant walk entirely around this thing.
In case you don’t know exactly where this is it’s in the eastern part of Wyoming. If you know where to look you can see it in the distance from I-90 but it’s a short side-trip, in otherwise fairly featureless eastern Wyoming, and worth the visit. Almost certainly, up close, you’ll see people climbing this thing but even without being a technical rock climber you can clamber around a bit to get a feel for the geology of this thing and the interpretive signs explain its origin (once it was “underground” and the softer material has eroded to expose the harder igneous rock).
I didn’t see any UFOs, of course, but instead a raft of tour buses with people from many countries coming to see this unique object. The hiking trail around it is easy, but while walking I recalled the first time I was there, as a child, and thinking it was an awesome hike (it’s quite easy for an adult, just over a mile). While the geological conditions that created this are visible in other places, e.g. Devils Postpile in California or along the coast the British Isles, this may be the most visible version of this kind of rock.