Billings MT to Medora ND - 12,442 kms
Aug 02, 2014
Thumbnail is a marker marking where Lt. Colonel George Custer fell at the Battle of Little Bighorn June 25th 1876.
A shot literally from our hotel window this morning of part of the Boothill Cemetery. About time they cut the grass around the cross's.
We found our visit to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument a very moving experience with walking paths throughout the battlefield and markers where all the men fell including the Indian Warriors. This is where the last 40 Cavalry men fell including Custer on what is known as Last Stand Hill. This is where they gathered and shot their horses to shelter behind to shoot until their ammunition was exhausted and where they were overrun by 1,500 to 2,000 braves. You do have to wonder just what Custer thought he could achieve. The remains of the soldiers, scouts and civilians who died in the battle are buried at the top of the hill under a granite monument other than those removed and taken elsewhere. The Indian dead were removed by their people and placed in tipis and on scaffolds and hillsides. The view is down the hill to the Visitor Centre and what is now a National Military Cemetery.
And a shot of part of the Indian Memorial which was built in 2003 and is really tastefully done. I feel great sorrow for the plains Indian people, their lifestyle had already been destroyed at that point with the rapid demise of the Bison which their survival depended on and the actions of the government officials was one of lies and treachery. Having said that, even had they not been hounded onto reservations then their lives couldn't have been the same as they were facing starvation. A tragedy all round, the soldiers were following orders and the indians were doing what they had to do to defend their people and lifestyle. No winners in a personal sense. The Indians were a strong civilisation with great spirituality and there was great arrogance on the part of the white man. The Indians desire for real peace expressed in so much of the Monument sight is generous and enabling.
And a shot of part of the National Military Cemetery.
We called into Hysham to fuel up and there were supposed to be sculptures in the town but the only ones we could find was a bear at the servo and some at the Yucca Theatre. A big number of buildings were built in this style.
The ride today was long but where yesterday we enjoyed the early morning fragrances of the forest today it was the sweet fragrance of recently baled hay which reminded us of our childhood so a good start to the day again and we rode through huge areas of grass plains and farmland surrounded by stony ridges. There were countless rolling hills and fields in tiers which seemed to rise in steps until they met surrounding stony ridges. Even when the plains were huge the same step process seemed to be in place so our view went back and forth from close views of rocky mountain ridges to really distant ones. This is a close view from the side of the road.
We had lunch in Miles City and this is their 'Natural Oasis' or so the sign said complete with lifegaurds.
The City looked in good shape with some very substantial buildings including many Art Deco ones and other older brick buildings. This is a shot in the main street.
Geetting later in the day and a bit weary we stopped in Wibaux for a cold coke and looked across the street at what we thought were a couple of bars and headed into the Rainbow bar. It was an experience and before we left another 4 bikers arrived so we enjoyed a bit of good fun banter before we headed out and found the bikes surrounded.
As we headed for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park we started to come across even more rugged and beautiful outcrops. We had seen some in the distance earlier which looked like the painted Desert we have seen photos of and this was the first chance to stop and take a shot.
Bits and Bobs:
Interesting to find that burnt diesel here smells more like jet fuel than diesel at home. Love it.
A sign we obeyed at the Little Bighorn site this morning!
And a sign I spotted at the Rainbow Bar. Loved it.
Last Night's Accommodation:
Boothill Inn and Suites, 242 E Airport Road, Billings MT 59105
Good sized comfortable room. Included breakfast, parking and wifi that actually works.Yay. Helpful staff, comfortable lounge in foyer and comlimentary tea, coffee and juice throughout the day as well as cookies on check in and at supper which I forgot to grab. Also complimentary shuttle bus to and from town (which is a bit of a hike) but we walked a short distance to dinner. Gym and swimming pool on site. Good value for money.