We finally made it to Montana! This was a first for me, and Scott hadn’t been here since he was a kid. We took 90N all the way up until we reached the border of Wyoming. Little Big Horn National Monument is located in southern Montana.
This National Monument “memorializes one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their ancestral way of life. Here in the valley of the Little Bighorn River on two hot June days in 1876, more than 260 soldiers and attached personnel of the U.S. Army met defeat and death at the hands of several thousand Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. Although the Indians won the battle, they subsequently lost the war against the military’s efforts to end their independent, nomadic way of life.” This was just the beginning of the struggle. They eventually were granted, by treaty, a large area of eastern Wyoming as a permanent Indian reservation. That only lasted until gold was discovered in the Black Hills, and then they were told to get out of there, too. There are many Indian reservations all throughout the west, but they are not in areas where the Indians wanted to be. The white man kicked them out. Disgusting. We stood on a once battlefield and read about the historical events that occurred many years ago. You can almost picture the brutal scene with many dead bodies and horses strewn across the land. It almost doesn’t seem real.
Our half-way point to Glacier National Park brought us to Columbus, Mt. It is a small town of about 2,000 people. Itch-Kep-Pe Park, is a city park that runs the entire length of the town, nestled in between the railroad tracks and the downtown shops.
On the other side of the town is the Yellowstone River. The park is completely free-of-charge, however there is a five-day limit for campers. There is also a “donation box” to support the upkeep of the park. It was high in the mid-nineties when we got settled. Scott blew up our Lipton inner tubes and we walked about 1,000 steps from our campsite to the Yellowstone River. First we took a dip, and then we floated on the refreshing water. Then, we walked back on the rocky shore to our starting point.
There were brown and bright, green flogs and tons of grasshoppers frolicking around.
That evening, the temperature dropped to the low sixties, and it was even a bit chillier in the morning. Not a bad place to break up the driving. Next stop, Big Sky, Montana!