Today was mostly a driving day. We left Gillette, Wyoming, this morning and crossed over into Montana by early afternoon to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Garryowen, Montana (stopping first in Sheridan, Wyoming, for our late-morning Dairy Queen). Neither Toby nor Aytan seemed too excited about stopping at Little Bighorn, but I really wanted to include Montana on our itinerary, and Little Bighorn was one way to do that without detouring too far from our intended path.
The site, run by the National Park Service, is probably best known as Custer’s Last Stand — the place where General Custer and dozens of other US soldiers were killed by Sioux, Cheyenne and other Native Americans in late June 1876. We spent a few minutes in the visitor center, which contains a nice exhibit on the battle and includes some original Custer artifacts. We then visited some of the monuments/markers for those killed — both US soldiers and the Native Americans — as well as a US military cemetery also located at the site (where many US soldiers and veterans from numerous wars, as late as Vietnam, are buried). There is a long loop path around the battlefield site, but we chose not to do that, mostly due to our wish to get back on the road.
After Little Bighorn, we headed northwest, to Billings, Montana, for lunch, and then southwest, back across the Wyoming border to Cody, from where I’m writing this post — on a picnic table outside our tent in a KOA campground. After we checked in to the campground and set up our tent, it was off to the Wal-Mart in Cody to get food for the next few days in Yellowstone, then back to the campground to do our laundry.
Night has fallen, the stars are coming out, and it’s pretty spectacular.
Tomorrow we head into Yellowstone, where we will meet up with a college buddy of mine (Farland Chang), who is driving cross-country in the opposite direction — from California eastward.