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Friday, July 12, 2013

Medicine Wheel Historic Site, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

This pre-Columbian structure is located at 10,000 feet in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming near the peak of Medicine Mountain.  I have made the pilgrimage to this site numerous times, most recently with my two daughters and grandson.  It is about a 2 hour drive from Billings. 

What you see mainly in this picture, is the fence that surrounds the Medicine Wheel to protect the site from potential damage by visitors.

People frequently leave offerings tied to the fence.  Most of the offerings are made of fabric or feathers that blow in the wind.  It is really very moving to visit this place even though it doesn't look like much in this picture.

Below are a few closer images:

The wheel is constructed of loaf sized white rocks (found nearby) that form an 80 foot diameter circle.  It is intersected by 28 spokes radiating from the center.  There are 7 separate cairns built around the edges.  Two of them intersect with the summer solstice and others line up with the rising point of several stars.  It was built between 1200 and 1700 A.D.

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