My last two Throwback Thursday posts centered around the Devils Tower in Wyoming, one of my favorite places in the world. I mentioned that in my latest book, Back on the Bike Path (A Jack Miller Senior Moment: Book Four), my cosmic bike rider pays two visits to the Tower, also known as the Bear Lodge to a number of Native American tribes. The first is when Jack travels through time and lands atop the Tower in 1977 as the classic movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, is being filmed below. Later, he pedals into the mythological world of the Lakota and is part of the Tower’s creation.
In between these two chapters, Jack is riding along the cosmic tunnel known as the Ultimate Bike Path when he has a chance meeting with a small life form that may—or may not—be Theodore Roosevelt. So what does our 26th president have to do with the Devils Tower? The scene will speak for itself.
Another rider pulled up alongside me on a bright yellow hobby horse go-thing with oversized wheels. I glanced at him warily but decided that this one posed no threat. The life form was a miniaturized, four-foot lookalike of our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt—mustache, monocle, and all.
“Well, hello there, Jack Miller!” he exclaimed in a booming voice. “Nice to see you.”
“Yeah, hi…” I began. “Wait, how did you—?”
“My, that is a fine-looking bicycle,” he interrupted. “Wish we had those back in my day.”
“Your day…” I shook my head. “Who are you, and where are you from?”
“Who am I?” He appeared nonplussed. “Don’t you know your own country’s history? I’m Teddy Roosevelt, by God!”
“Okay yeah, you look like a short version of him, but he died a little over a century ago.”
He shook his head and did that tsk tsk thing. “Oh Jack,” he sighed, “after all of your excursions and adventures along this cosmic tunnel, how can you doubt anything?”
“I guess you’re right. But I’ll ask again: how did you know my name? And why did you come looking for me…assuming you did?”
“Because of a recent excursion you took. The one to the summit of the Devils Tower. Just wanted to know what you thought of the place.”
“The Devils—” Oh wait, now I sort of understood why he would want to know that. The Devils Tower was the first national monument in the United States. Teddy Roosevelt established it in 1905 or thereabouts—
“Actually, Jack, it was in September of 1906. One of the best things I ever did. Not just the Tower, but all of the monuments that followed.”
Jeez, did everyone know what I was thinking? “Hey, if you can read my mind, then you must already know that in addition to winding up on top of it in 1977, I visited it a few years ago with my family. And I loved it both times.”
Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Rider, took out his monocle and winked at me. “Yes, Jack, I knew that, but I wanted to hear it from you. Now, I must be off. Best of luck on your future adventures. Perhaps someday we’ll share one of them together. Oh, and one more thing.”
“The Devils Tower is not done with you.” He drove his heels into the sides of the hobby horse, shouted, “The Gatlings!” and darted off in blur-speed, leaving me to contemplate just how bully it would be to ride with him…and also what in heck he meant about the Devils Tower.
Jack will learn the answer to that in short order. Back on the Bike Path is available in eBook and paperback from Amazon, as are all of Jack’s previous adventures. Enjoy!