Why does Momaday travel to Yellowstone, the Rockies, and Black Hill?

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As the title suggests, Momaday travels to these places to get back to a particular Kiowa landmark: Rainy Mountain. This is why the title of the book is The Way to Rainy Mountain.  There is one particular quote that shows the significance Momaday's travels:

A single knoll rises out of the plain in Oklahoma, north and west of the Wichita Range. For my people, the Kiowas, it is an old landmark, and they gave it the name Rainy Mountain.

Momaday's travels through Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains, and Black Hill were all an effort to reconnect to his Kiowa heritage and an effort to get back to Rainy Mountain. Momaday even gets more specific for his readers:

I returned to Rainy Mountain in July. My grandmother had died in the spring, and I wanted to be at her grave.

If the reader puts both of these quotes together, the significance of Momaday's travels becomes clear. Momaday will use these travels to put together the myth, the history, and the personal experience of the Kiowa tribe and eventually write it down in those three voices. The result is his impressive work The Way to Rainy Mountain. As a result, the book is Momaday's own journey towards his roots in the Native American tribe of the Kiowa. He walks this "way" due to his respect and his love for his own grandmother, Aho.

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