Cellpic Sunday – 18 July 2021

White Horse Hill National Wildlife Preserve, North Dakota.

I first saw it on an aeronautical chart, but on the chart, it is called Sully’s Hill. No, it has nothing to do with “Sully” Sullenberger of “that airliner ditching in the Hudson River” fame. The refuge was named Sully’s Hill in recognition of Civil War and Indian Wars military officer Gen. Alfred Sully, who led several massacres of Native Americans.

Ironically, this hill is located on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. The Native American name for the hill is Sunka Wakan Ska Paha, in English, White Horse Hill. In 2019, at the request of the Spirit Lake tribal officials, Senator Kevin Cramer, R-ND introduced a bill to restore the name of the hill and surrounding preserve back to the original Native American name. On August 19, 2020, there was a ceremony at White Horse Hill celebrating the name change with these words, “I’m sorry it took so long.”

“If it was ever acceptable to name this for the person this was named for, it was never OK,” Cramer told the tribal leaders. “I am here today, not to change the history, not to celebrate the history, but to right the wrong.”

It is a steep hike to the observation tower at the top of White Horse Hill, some 193 steps on a man-made staircase built into the hillside. A few more steps put me at the top of the observation tower where the view of the surrounding area is commanding. In a future Travel Tuesday post, I feature many more photographs of this beautiful wildlife preserve near North Dakota’s largest natural lake, Devils Lake.

About the photo: A view to the west-southwest gives a birds-eye view of the Spirit Lake Reservation and the large area of North Dakota forest and prairie. At the bottom of the photo, you can see the first few steps at the base of the steep climb to the top of the hill.

I captured the image with my Samsung S20U cellphone using automatic exposure settings. Click on the image to get a closeup view and full metadata details from my Flickr gallery. Look closely at the trees just to the left of the bottom of the stairs and you can see my white car. I point that out to give you a distance reference.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge-response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


  1. Nice image, John. I had to click on it to see how high up your were. Originally, I though the trees were some type of brush. It has a lot of color ot it also when you look at a larger view.

    • Thanks. I hadn’t thought about the trees looking so small, but now that you mention it, I can see what you mean.
      Upcoming, I have another view from the top of the hill, in the opposite direction looking toward Devils Lake.

  2. Great landscape photo John, especially when opened in Flickr 🙂 I’ll look forward to seeing more of this area. And I’m so glad they renamed the hill!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.