Blogs from Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana, United States, North America

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We've begun our long return trip to Des Moines, and we're continuing our sight-seeing on the way. Our first stop after leaving Helena is the Little Bighorn Battlefield. It's a little confusing where to begin at this National Monument, and so, if you have the time, I'd recommend doing one of the tours led by someone from the Apsaalooke (Crow) nation. It was hot and sunny when we arrived, so we skipped the hour long tour because we didn't think the kids would handle it too well. We started out from the visitor's center and went up to Last Stand Hill, where the battle ended. From there, we worked backward. So, learn from my mistake! Instead of hoofing it from the Visitor's Center, drive to the other end of the historic site, at the Reno-Benteen Battlefield. ... read more
On Last Stand Hill
where Custer fell
"Indian Memorial"


Why visit Custer's Battlefield? I know. I keep asking myself the same question. It's not exactly on the beaten track. Even today the event is the subject of endless revisionist histories. Was it really Custer's fault? Was Reno drunk that day? Did Benteen's failure to act on Custer's orders to bring up the requested packs cause the final debacle? Every American history buff has a mutt in this infamous fight. It has always fascinated me. Between the Errol Flynn movie and 'Little Big Man' and my reading of 'Son of the Morningstar' and that Godawful color print my Grandmother had hanging in a dark corner of her basement showing Indians scalping soldiers while horses, reared, wide-eyed with fright; I've quite simply always had a yen to see the place. The battlefield park is less than 2 ... read more
Karen On The Battle Knoll
Troopers Markers
Point to Which Reno Retreated


"It was a terrible battle...a hard battle because both sides were brave warriors." (Red Feather, Lakota) The first time I went to The Battle of Little Bighorn (sometime in the 1980's), it was called "Custer's Last Stand." However, in 1991, Congress authorized the name of the area and National Monument to be changed from Custer Battlefield to Little Bighorn National Monument, signed into law by former President George W. Bush. (Public Law 102-201: "The public interest will best be served by establishing a memorial...to honor and recognize the Indians who fought to preserve their land and culture.") An Indian Memorial was also designed to honor the Native American participation in Battle (before there was just the Memorial for the 7th Cavalry soldiers.) The description of the Indian Memorial in the National Park pamphlet is better than ... read more
7th Cavalry Memorial
Custer postcard
Last Stand Hill


"As long as the grass shall grow and the waters flow". Sometimes quoted as "and the rivers shall run", this clause appears nowhere in the the Fort Laramie treaties of 1851 and 1868, but is often quoted as the sense of how long the treaties should be valid. The treaties "gave" the Sioux Indians their sacred Black Hills in perpetuity in exchange for peace. Like most treaties between the white man and the Indians, these treaties did not survive first contact of white men with valuable resources found on Indian Lands. On July 2, 1874, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer led a force of some 1200 men out of Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory (now Bismarck, ND) to the Black Hills for the purposes of finding a site for a fort, finding a route ... read more
Jennie, Jan in windstorm at Little Big Horn
Last Stand Hill
Indian Memorial Little Big Horn


Thank goodness we were able to sleep late this morning and no one came knockin' on the door to kick us out. That drive last night was exhausting and we were so tired and the extra sleep this morning was great. We eventually got out of bed and began our daily routine. Soon we were ready to leave the rest area in Crown Springs, Montana and head over to the Chico Hot Springs in a small town called Pray. On the drive over to Pray, Tim spotted a little coffee drive-thru so we pulled in to get him a cup of joe. As we were walking over to Poppy's Coffee Barn we spotted a place called the Old Saloon and thought we would check it out. The nice lady at Poppy's told us how incredible the ... read more
Goofing around in the tipi at Little Bighorn Battlefield
Wyoming Sunset
Wyoming Sunset


Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana LOL Ok, I have to go through this, we left on the 3rd, ended up in Seattle and Lucy took us on a tour of the industrial area! Scary, then we went through Spokane right into Coeur d'Alene,Idaho. It took us 2 days to get through Montana, but we stopped at The battle of the Little Big Horn Memorial Park. When we got to the gates to pay, she asked if we had a treaty card, I gave her my status card and we got in free. We spent quite a while there, drove the site, took lots of pics and videos (hopefully this site will work today, so I can upload some pics :) We are a day behind because of the stop in Seattle. LOL We keep saying ... read more
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Day 7. Sunday September 6, 2009 Well, here we are in Hardin, yet. This is our last day of avoiding the holiday weekend traffic, which didn’t really materialize. Yesterday afternoon, two big rigs from Texas pulled in with a show of dust and Midland accent. They weren’t the type to cook out doors like we do. So they went into town for supper while we enjoyed grillin’ fare. Yesterday, we went to see the Little Bighorn Battlefield which is about fifteen miles from our campground. It serves as a National Monument and a National cemetery. There is a little bit of everbody buried there. The story of the Battlefield serves as a good reminder of the difficulty native North Americans had with illegal immigrants encroaching on tribal lands. Back in 1868, the Fort Laramie treaty designated ... read more
Little Bighorn Battlefield
Little Bighorn Battlefield
National Cemetary


We rose feeling slightly better than when we had gone to bed, after 14 hours in the saddle!!!!, and set off to visit a friend of Wolf's who he had met in a gas station the previous year and had put him up for the night in Three Forks. It turned out that he and his wife had already left to go to Sturgis two days before, but another guy was there that had met Wolf before and he very kindly gave us breakfast. We left an hour later after having been fed eggs and cherries. More miles to cover with the awsome scenery and the chance to enter the state of Wyoming. The road was beckoning. The Interstate has mileage markers that count up or down depending on which way you are going. Leaving North ... read more
Little Big Horn Battle field
The Indian memorial
Wolf


Not much to say today. Spent most of it driving across Montana back towards Wyoming. Went via cowboy town of Billings and ended up at Little Big Horn. Saw where those nasty redskins massacred those poor cavalry boys and General Custer. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and the gang picked them off over two days, until they got Custer at his last stand on top of the hill where the monument is. Still chilly and snow about the place. It is a pain really, all nuisance value as there isn’t enough to ski in or hire a snowmobile, which are for hire everywhere. ... read more
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We took the Kings Hill Scenic Byway (Hwy 89) south from Belt, through a beautiful valley, alongside Belt Creek, into Lewis and Clarke NF. It's a lovely drive through the Little Belt Mountains, over Kings Hill Pass, el 7393, past Showdown ski area to White Sulphur Springs where we turn east on Hwy 12. As we head east, it becomes drier, less green, more sage. We've only gone about 1/4 of this trip on interstate highways. In our opinion, if you're not in a hurry, the scenic byways are the way to go. At Billings we got on I-90 east and stopped at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. They have quite a museum there and the grave markers and interpretive trail are pretty impressive. There are yellow wildflowers everywhere.... read more
Kings Hill Scenic Byway, MT
Kings Hill Pass, MT
Last Stand Hill




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