Geological Wonders

Aug 04, 2022 by Tempe Javitz
The western United States is full of famous geologic
sites, none more grand than the world’s first national
park, Yellowstone.  In southeastern Montana, near my 
grandparent’s ranch on Rosebud Creek' there were  
some amazing sandstone configurations.  Sandstone, of
course, over time weathers and erodes.  

Jessamine took a series of photos of the sandstone formation
locally known as “Camel Rock."  It's  very close to the town of 
Decker near the Wyoming border.  Camel Rock was large and 
covered quite a bit of ground.  As a child it was always 
exciting to look for the camel as we were driving towards 
Sheridan.  Jessamine’s photos show how substantial this rock

formation was.

                                       Camel Rock in 1928

       The south side of "Sand Mountain", June 15,1924

Unfortunately, in the 1970s the Decker Coal Mine began a surface 
mine in this area.  In no time at all the Camel Rock disappeared
forever into the pit!!

Just north of the X4 Ranch in Kirby is an area of sandstone formations
near Davis Creek.  Jessamine titled her photos the “Garden of the Gods”
after a similar area in Colorado Springs of highly unusual rock 
outcroppings.  Unlike the Colorado version, these sandstones are not
so dramatic, yet interesting in shape and form.  These photos were taken
in July 1927.

    Much like a tepee form, yet
     with a wonderful eye hole.

         A fascinating row of eroded rocks.

 My favorite, crenellated sandstones.

Not far down the road toward Busby, Montana from these sandstones 
was the ranch of one of Jessamine’s favorite Cheyenne friends, Laban
Little Wolf.  She took a photo in 1928 while walking the property.  
She called this “tepee rock”.  What I find interesting is that there
is a tree growing out of the rock.  I wouldn’t be surprised if today
it looks quite different due to erosion and the force of tree roots.

The next time you are out hiking take notice of the amazing power of
erosion on the landscape around you.  

Cowboy Jargon:
Sand:  A person with “sand” has courage and grit.  A sand flat is an 
arid and sandy stretch of flat country.  The Sand Hills of Nebraska 
is a region of grass stabilized sand dunes in north-central Nebraska,
which covers an amazing 19,300 square miles.  The Blackfeet tribe of
Native Americans speak of their dead as having gone to the sand hills.
Dust Devil:  a small whirlwind of sand.
Sand Wagon:  A stagecoach specially built with wide tires and high
clearance in order to cross rivers that had quicksand.
Sand bur:  A prickly part of several western plants with spiky seedheads.  
They hurt when touched.
Sandcast:  This refers to jewelry made from molten silver poured into
a two-part mold carved from soft tufa or pumice blocks wired together. 
Sandhill Crane:  These huge and gangly gray birds inhabit marshes in
the West.

*Thanks again to google search and Win Blevins “Dictionary of the American