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THE DEVILS TOWER
Just 50 years ago today a presidential proclamation made Devils Tower the country's first National Monument, September 24, 1956.
It may be closer to a 50 millionth anniversary for the old Tower itself. An 800 ft. shaft rising out of rolling ranch land in northeastern Wyoming, Devils Tower was originally a molten mass of rock which cooled slowly underground. Shrinkage as it cooled created a network of cracks like those in a sun-baked mud flat. Hence the rock is columnar in structure, and the sweeping lines of the great columns add immeasurably to its impressiveness.
The almost vertical walls of the Tower have long challenged climbers. First to reach the summit were Rogers and Ripley, local ranchers, who in 1893 built a ladder of wooden pegs up one of the vertical cracks. This feat, though amazing, is rather looked down on by modern climbers who prefer to climb with rope and pitons for safety, but without such aids as two-by-fours and sledge hammers.
In 1937 Fritz Wiessner led the first "rock climbing" ascent of Devils Tower using standard mountaineering techniques and equipment. A year later Jack Durrance led a second ascent by a different route, which is the route most used by climbers today.
Next to visit the summit was George Hopkins in 1941. He dropped there by parachute as a publicity stunt, but had underestimated the difficulty of getting on down. After six lonely days for Hopkins, and six frantic days for the staff at Monument Headquarters, he was rescued by Durrance and other climbers.
Many climbing parties now reach the top each summer. This year as part of the anniversary celebration a "Mountaineer's Week" was held in July, with at least one team on the rock each day. Climbers must get permission from Monument Supt. R. W. McIntyre. His requirements are stiff, for he is determined to continue the perfect safety record among climbers maintained thus far.
An excellent climb on firm rock, Devils Tower will remain a challenge for each new generation of climbers.
Herb and Jan Conn
When Betty and I were on our vacation last summer we were fortunate in being able to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this great monument. We listed the Obsidians as one of the participating clubs.
FOR ALL YOU COOKS
You have all noticed those silver-wrapped "things" that Lorena Shinn eats on all the trips that she attends. Well it seems that so many have tasted them that by popular demand we are placing the recipe here for you with Lorena's compliments. Proceed at will.
1. Cut 22 graham crackers into ½ inch squares.
2. Melt ¼ lb butter (or oleo), add ½ cup sugar, ½ cup chopped nuts, 2 Tbsp cocoa, and 1 beaten egg. Stir and bring to a boil (boil 1 minute only). Add 1 tsp vanilla.
3. Add to graham crackers and mix, then press into buttered 8 by 8 pan and set in refrigerator to cool.
4. Prepare a powdered sugar icing with butter (oleo), powdered sugar, milky and vanilla (fairly stiff). Spread over cooled graham cracker mix.
5. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter (oleo) with 2 squares of bitter chocolate (over hot water) and pour over icing mixture.
6. Cut into 1 by 2 inch bars when chocolate is firm but not brittle. (For trips they should be wrapped in small squares of aluminum foil).
(ILLUSTRATIONS IN THIS ISSUE BY MYRTLE SMITH)
FIRST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH 13 OBSIDIAN PICTURE NIGHT AT FRIENDLY HOUSE, 2445 KINCAID, UNDER JOE DANIEL'S DIRECTION.
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