More Than a Meteor
The last climbers repelled down the south face of Devils Tower soon after twilight faded. First Perseus rose to the northeast, followed by Arcturus, the 4th brightest star in the sky. Satellites slowly came and went while meteors vaporized at a much faster speed. The aurora painted its colors on an invisible canvas, undetectable to my eye for the most part. One glow soon replaced another when the crescent moon rose at midnight. In many previous visits I’ve scouted all over the national monument looking for the best vantage points. This patch of prairie that I marked on my map is barely within the park boundary. Dodging deadfall, making my way across a steep slope and up and over a cliff is hard enough during the day, doubly so at night. I kept waiting for a big aurora display to give me a reason to come back here. That never happened, despite the forecast. But even an ordinary night is worth experiencing at an extraordinary place like this. Those who only visit Devils Tower during the day miss out on half the scenery.
- Kevin Palmer
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