I left Sioux Falls, South Dakota and drove east toward Minnesota. It was a short drive, not many miles. I turned north at Luverne and headed toward Pipestone. There is a National Park in Pipestone ( operated by the National Park Service) that I wanted to see. I remember being in this area as a child while on a family camping trip. Now I was back to see it as an adult. The Pipestone quarry is known for the pinkish red stone that is quarried here by the Native Americans tribes. The stone is usually mined in the autumn of the year.
The pipestone name comes from an item that has been crafted from this stone for generations--the bowl section of a peace pipe (the pipestone). The stone is carved into interesting pipe bowl shapes and placed onto the end of the hand carved wooden pipe stem. The pipe stems vary in length. Some of the stems are very plain while others are intricately carved. Each tribe has their own design.
There is a walking path that circles through the quarries, the grassy meadows, past waterfalls, along the cliffs and by the rushing waters. This is a holy place to all the native American tribes who come to this quarry. Be sure not to disturb anything. There is a natural rock formation that overlooks the quarry that is in the shape of a man's face. It is said that he is the spirit that oversees all treaties. He is the great moderator. He is always present.