Our plan this morning was to visit Pipestone National Monument before we left. Our plan after visiting was to stay for the day. The beauty of our lifestyle!
Pipestone is an amazing place – and probably overlooked by far too many people. The town is small and friendly – and very walkable. Pipestone NM is all about the Plains Indians, and the catlinite sandwiched in between layers of Sioux Quartzite, and the sacred grounds. Catlinite is a soft stone that is used for carving ceremonial pipes (Peace Pipes) by Native Americans. In this area, catlinite can only be quarried by Native Americans. I look forward to visiting again and walking the Circle Tour to see the actual sites.
The Visitor’s Center at Pipestone NM has a wealth of information, as well as several artisans working with catlinite and creating pipes, jewelry, and other pieces of art. The surrounding land is considered a tall-grass prairie, rich with wildflowers – including lovely native prairie roses and milkweed with monarchs and caterpillars.
The Three Maidens are also located at this site – three glacial erratics – very large boulders – that are also considered sacred/holy grounds. Gifts and offerings are often left by American Indians in gratitude for the gift of stone from the Earth, as well as other thanks.
The heat and humidity today was again oppressive. It was also the catalyst for evening and night thunderstorms – much different than our South Dakota experience. Very little wind with this storm, it was filled with grand and glorious thunder and lightning.
No miles traveled – just side trips.