Pink Rock

A pipestone quarry at Pipestone National Park

A pipestone quarry at Pipestone National Park

Orion and I got home late last night and I have photos to sort through this morning.  So a late posted blog because I have to tell you what we’ve been up to.

We took a weekend trip out to the pink rock country.  We visited Pipestone and Sioux Falls.  As you know this year my women’s group each adopted a diorama from the Bell Museum.  One of those diorama’s was of Pipestone.

Our adventure began by stepping into the diorama.

Standing in the diorama - you can see the pink rock cliff over the prairie in the distance

Standing in the diorama – you can see the pink rock cliff over the prairie in the distance

The tall grass prairie is in bloom at this time of year.  Several of the exhibits at the National Park talk about the herbology of the Native Americans in the area.  This is buffalo country, but the only one’s we saw were statues.

The Sioux Quartzite formations are very dramatic.  They are full of fissures and faces.  Towering above us they still embrace us, like sitting in a circle of elders.

Circle of Elders

Circle of Elders

This site is sacred to many different tribal nations, and that sacred ground is very apparent.  Walking under the cliffs has the feel of being in a cathedral.  The stones sing, as does the river that runs through the site.

Only registered Native Americans from tribes that historically mined the area are allowed to quarry the pipestone.  They still do it by hand, with respect to the land.  The quarries sometimes collapse or fill with water.  There are families who spend years coming out to Pipestone to reclaim quarries that have fallen.  Tending these sites is like a gift to the ancestors and descendants.  It is sacred work.

The oracle looks out over the prairie

The oracle looks out over the prairie

We got to talk with some of the pipestone carvers, who work doing demonstrations at the Information Center.  Carving is also a generational skill.  Travis Erickson has been carving most of his life.  He also saves the pipestone dust from his carving and makes a resin in which he embeds sacred herbs (like flat cedar).  He turns these into amulets also for sale at the museum shop.

Old man in the rock

Old man in the rock

We spent the night at Palisades State Park in South Dakota.  Our hostess reserved cabins so we didn’t have too much haul and carry.  The cabins were not “accessible” but manageable and comfortable, especially since I had help.  We had perfect weather, a late night watching the Perseid meteor shower, and breakfast on the cabin deck. Orion and I didn’t go walking through the park (except the hike to the bathrooms) but some of my friends did and judging from their stories there are some wonderful spots.

Breakfast on the balcony porch

Breakfast on the balcony porch

Sunday we spent in Sioux Falls.  We went visiting family (not mine, but it’s always fun to meet my friend’s parents) and gawking about town.  Apparently Pokemon Go functions as a guidebook to interesting sites.  We found many in Sioux Falls, and made a point to visit a few.  We went to see some of the sculptures on the Augustana College campus.  We drove down the sculpture walk and of course spent some time at the falls.

The statue that drew me to Augustana. Titled Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight it says: "Seek ye wisdom and gain understanding"

The statue that drew me to Augustana. Titled Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight it says: “Seek ye wisdom and gain understanding”

Sioux Falls runs over pink rock, but here it’s not pipestone but quartzite.  The falls powered a mill early in the development of the city.  The ruins (it burned down) form some of the park structure.  Again, we couldn’t have asked for a prettier Sunday afternoon.   Of course the park was full of people and I wasn’t getting the wheelchair out climbing on the rocks.  We did find a spot where we could stand in the spray of the falls and that was refreshing.

Standing in the spray of the falls

Standing in the spray of the falls

This pink rock is Sioux Quartzite

This pink rock is Sioux Quartzite

the old mill, much of the quarrying and construction was done by federal prisoners and indentured servants

the old mill, much of the quarrying and construction was done by federal prisoners and indentured servants

The wildlife appreciated the calmer spots in the rapids

The wildlife appreciated the calmer spots in the rapids

Sioux Falls South Dakota

Sioux Falls South Dakota

 

Advertisements

About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on August 15, 2016, in Bio, celebration, grattitude, spiritual, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Please feel free to leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: