Pipestone National Monument
This one must be a real dilemma to the politically correct crowd. On the one hand, it is a sacred and traditional place among American Indians. On the other hand, it has been totally dedicated to the production of tobacco paraphernalia for centuries.
A jumble of rocks, and some dirt mounds greet us, as we begin the climb up to Pipestone National Monument. These are remnants of small scale quarry activities which began  hundreds of years ago.
This little road winds around taking us up into the hills, and into Pipestone proper. 
A look up the hill, with many loose rocks and boulders visible.
Some scattered outcroppings dot the hillside, though most of the rock was taken from large bedded exposures.
A look down the hill towards the road, and town. Some exposures of pipestone can be seen. The topsoil is pretty thin over most of the hill, making the rock easy to get at.
The namesake of the park, an outcropping of pipestone. The stone was the preferred material for the pipes carved to serve in so many Indian rituals. The stone was preferred both for it's color, and the relative ease with which it could be worked. I would guess the stone to be quartzite, or perhaps a form of chert, though I can not be certain. Legal  restrictions prevented me from obtaining a sample to look over more closely.
What I believe to be a hawk, circles overhead. Actually, there were several patrolling the fields around Pipestone. I am no ornithologist, and would appreciate it if a more knowledgeable person could tell me what kind of birds these were. 
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