Coming into the grounds of Pipestone National Monument, MN, I had a sense of the importance of the stone from which ceremonial pipes were being made. It is instructive to me that the Chippewa, Sac and Fox, Lakota Sioux and Yankton Sioux regularly quarry the stone, from three places on this site.
I toured the visitors center first, though quite frankly, I was not impressed with the staff, other than one of the young women rangers, who seemed genuinely glad I had stopped there. The others were either perfunctory or rude, to varying degrees. The natural area was much more satisfying, but then, that is why I came here in the first place.
Here are some scenes from the trail network, which features a creekside walk, a clifftop view, and Winniwissa Falls.
The place itself is fascinating, as is the concept of fashioning ceremonial pipe from cut quartz and catlinite. More on the quarries will follow, in Part 2.