AMERICAN WEST

Crickets, Bikers and Drunks-Oh My!
Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming is America’s first National Monument, established in 1906 by Teddy Roosevelt. The giant tower, which some theorize is the leftover plug of an ancient volcano, looks like a giant white mushroom with no top sprouting in the middle of the woods, 867 feet tall and 1000 feet wide. Part of “Close Encounters” was filmed here. Ethan describes Richard Dreyfuss sculpting a pile of mashed potatoes into a replica of the Tower, totally freaking out his wife and kids in the process, but I don’t remember that scene.At the Tower’s base, we watched blue and yellow specks of climbers making their slow ascent, the Devil’s crevasses slashing in lichen yellow and moss green from top to bottom. In 1893, Mrs. William Rogers became the first woman to climb Devil’s Tower, using a wooden ladder her husband built. Keep in mind he was using 19th century building technology. I got vertigo thinking about this lady pioneer, probably wearing a long skirt, climbing rung by rung and looking down over her shoulder at the free-fall should she slip. Mrs. Rogers must have been one tough chick.Thousands of Harley Davidson bikers had the Tower surrounded that day. Tough chicks in black bikini tops and leather chaps snapped photos of their bearded boyfriends on their Blackberries and…..Read more…