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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
1st Aug 2016 - Summer 2016
Day 68-August 1, 2016-Little Bighorn Battlefield

Day 69-August 1, 2016-Little Bighorn Battlefield

Sunny, 90 today.

We spent the day on the battlefield today.  On June 25-26, 1876 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his army of 263 men took on between 1500-2000 Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian warriors lead by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. We all know how that went. But today I re-learned the who, what, where, , when and why all over again.  (I’m sure I was supposed to learn it in school before). Many people have told us that this is a great National Park but I always thought it was just a monument and some info. Was I wrong! At first we watched a 20 minute video in the visitor center about what happened and why it happened and then we went outside with a view of Last Stand Hill (Custer’s last stand) and listened to a ranger for 45 minutes fill in some details about what happened.  What made it better was that we were at the actual place where this happened.  The ranger pointed to a set of mountains or the Little Bighorn River or just a rise and told us what happened there.  You could actually visualize the scene.  We then drove the five mile road right smack dab in the middle of the battlefield.  There are 17 stops that have interpretative signs and cell phone audio.  You dial a number, plug in the stop you’re at and you get a description of what you’re looking at.  There are reference points on the signs as to where to look to understand the scenario.  The white markers are where military fell and red ones where Indians fell.  The military have been re-buried under a big monument on the battlefield and the Indians have been returned to their famililies.  There is even a horse burial mound because at the end the army shot their horses and used them as a barrier. There are markers all over the five mile road, a twisty, narrow, one way in, same way out road that covers 1.2 square miles, most of which is in the Crow Indian Reservation.  You start at Custer’s last stand and go backwards to where the battles really started. We saw some horses in the distance and then came upon a herd grazing just off the road.  Beautiful scenery, almost hard to imagine the massacre that took place here.  But then again, easy to imagine with all the details we’ve been given.  Also, there was no blame put on either side, they just presented the facts.  There’s also a National Cemetery in the front of the visitor center, some men from this battle are buried there but mostly veterans and their families.  We stopped at the Custer Trading Post right outside the cemetery, a gift shop with more artifacts and local crafts along with the usual tourist junk. Back to the campground for dinner, then we climbed the hill again to get another spectacular view of the sunset.  We also saw a fire in the distance, some people said they could smell it over near the battlefield.  We can see the entire campground from up there and it’s nearly empty tonight.  

Next: Day 69-August 2, 2016-To Belle Fourche, SD, the Geographical Center of the Nation
Previous: Day 67-July 31, 2016-Eastern Montana and Garryowen, MT

Diary Photos

We thought he was stuck in the fence

National cemetery

Last Stand Hill

Nat'l. Cemetery

Indian Marker

Us on battlefield


Marker up close

Road through battlefield

Horses in distance

Horses up close

Markers at skirmish

Indian Memorial

Skull at the Trading Post

Us and teepees

Diary Movies

Horse video

Little Bighorn skirmish site with markers

Little Bighorn video

National Cemetery at Little Bighorn Battlefield

Another beautiful sunset at the campground

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