My first attempt started at the Little Devil's Tower trail head. From the parking area I headed off on the trail armed with a few clues that I hoped would lead me to my goal. But after a mile or so I began thinking that I had missed the unmarked turn-off. I was pretty sure it was close to the start of the trail. I still had some doubt, though, and the trail ahead looked very promising. Also, a memory from long ago surfaced and the phrase "Forward - Onward" kept popping into my head. I probably should explain where that came from. In the wandering days of my youth, a friend and I would regularly head out on warm sunny summer days with our thumbs in the air and catch a ride from some friendly motorist heading south toward the Black Hills. Our goal on this particular day was a place called Devil's Bathtub, a popular spot where the creek widened to form a perfect little swimming hole. We found a ride with some long haired hippie types...like us...who took us all the way to the start of the trail to what I thought would be our final destination for the day. However, after reaching the swimming hole and taking a nice cool dip, my fellow traveler thought it would be fun to keep on going upstream to see where it would lead. I concurred and off we went. After what seemed like a few miles (I have no idea how far we actually walked) I suggested we turn back. The only response I got was "Forward! Onward!" So we kept going. There was very little conversation other than about every mile we would pause, then in unison proclaim "Forward! Onward!" After hours of walking and discovering several old cabins we emerged at an abandoned mining town, followed a dirt road out of there and eventually ended up on the highway where we were able to catch a series of rides home. All that in one day. For some reason I've never forgotten that day, or that phrase. I may have even said it out loud a few times on my current trek, so it was probably a good thing that on this day there were few others on the trail to hear my strange incantations. I continued on...and on...and on... and was finally rewarded for my persistence with the pay-off of an incredible view that was worth every huff and puff on the way up.
"The secret of this kind of climbing," said Japhy, "is like Zen. Don't think. Just dance along. It's the easiest thing in the world, actually easier than walking on flat ground which is monotonous. The cute little problems present themselves at each step and yet you never hesitate and you find yourself on some other boulder you picked out for no special reason at all, just like Zen." Which it was.
I'm not sure how long I was actually there, but eventually it was time to go. I took a few more photographs, and left a couple of pictures that I had brought along for no particular reason. I decided to leave my book also. Hopefully others visiting this special place will take time to read a few lines and appreciate the genius of the author. Maybe you will decide to make the trip. I'm sorry that I can't help you much with directions. It's a place you should find mostly on your own. It's more rewarding that way, and you will have a greater appreciation for not just the destination, but the entire journey as well. Safe travels and good luck!