Travel Day: Billings, MT To Moorcroft, WY

Posted by on May 24, 2013

Woke about 7:30, had a quick danish & fruit for breakfast and I threw together a couple of salads for lunch.  We hit the road about 8:45.  We’d seen a FedEx drop box up at the gas station last night and Michael dropped his drill off in it to send to a Milwaukee Tool Repair Center.  We should have it back when we get to Goshen for the National Rally.

Beautiful, sun-shiney day!

Beautiful, sun-shiney day!

Yesterday at one of our rest stops we were looking at the map and realized we would be drive right by Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument so we decided we had to make a stop.  Not quite 60 miles down the road we made our first stop of the day.  We began our experience at the Visitor’s Center where we watched a 25 minute video on the history of the Battle at Little Bighorn.   The video was quite interesting and when it was over we walked through the small exhibit area and then got our Passport book stamped.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Clothing worn my Gen. Custer

Clothing worn my Gen. Custer

 

From the Visitor’s Center we walked to the Indian Memorial that honors those that died during the battle.  A winding path took us past the Indian Memorial to a memorial for the Cavalry horses that lost their lives during the battle as well.  From here we continued the walk up the hill to the site of ‘Custer’s Last Stand’  A monument was erected to honor the fallen soldiers and their remains were placed beneath it when it was built in 1881, 5 years after the great battle.  The soldiers had originally been buried where they fell 3 days after the battle.  When their remains were moved a small monument was placed where the original grave had been.

Walking toward Custer's Last Stand

Walking toward Custer’s Last Stand

Part of the Indian Memorial

Part of the Indian Memorial

Another shot of the Indian Memorial, which list all the Indians lost in the battle

Another shot of the Indian Memorial, which lists all the Indians lost in the battle

A close up of one of the panels listing each Indian and from what tribe they belonged.

A close up of one of the panels listing each Indian and from what tribe they belonged.

A picture of the coach from the Indian Memorial

A picture of the coach from the Indian Memorial

Michael is standing in front of the mass grave of the 39 Cavalry horses that died during the battle.

Michael is standing in front of the mass grave of the 39 Cavalry horses that died during the battle.

The remains of about 220 soldiers, scouts and civilians are buried around the base of this monument.

The remains of about 220 soldiers, scouts and civilians are buried around the base of this monument.  Each soldier that died in the battle has his name listed on the monument.

Each of these monuments was erected where a soldier fell during the battle.

Each of these monuments was erected where a soldier fell during the battle.

The Custer National Cemetery is also on the grounds and we took a walk through it as well.  When we arrived at the park there was a group of students from Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy placing flags on each of the graves for Memorial Day.  As we walked through the cemetery there was a small group of kids gathered near one of the graves and a young girl, Sonnea, told us that it was the grave of her great great great great grandfather, Goes Ahead, who was a Custer Scout.  Goes Ahead’s wife, Pretty Shield, is buried with him.  How cool is that??

Students placing flags on the graves.

Students placing flags on the graves.

A wonderful tribute for the Memorial Day weekend

A wonderful tribute for the Memorial Day weekend

What a sight

What a sight

Sonnea walked around with us showing us different graves of interest.  One of the teachers came by to let us know that the kids were going to do their daily ‘chant’ which is a way for them to honor their mothers and show respect for others.  He had to do a little interpretation for us as Sonnea was telling us that her ‘Colla’ (no clue on the spelling) was 76 but we didn’t know what a ‘Colla’ was and she couldn’t figure out how to tell us….it’s a grandma!  He also told us that the majority of the kids were Crow but they also had Cherokee, Sioux, Cheyenne and other students.  Pretty Eagle school is located on the Crow Reservation as is the Little Bighorn Battlefield.

Sonnea at Goes Ahead's gravesite.

Sonnea at Goes Ahead’s gravesite.

Curly - another scout

Curly – another scout

The kids doing 'the chant'

The kids doing ‘the chant’

Saying goodbye to our new friend

Saying goodbye to our new friend

Stopped for lunch at the first rest area in Wyoming, exit 23.  Beautiful, sunny day, with temp of 71 so we chose to eat our salads on the patio.  This was a really nice rest area with covered tables, grills & work tables at each area.  We still had quite a drive ahead of us so we only stopped for just under an hour.

Wyoming!

Wyoming!

Nicely shaded picnic area

Nicely shaded picnic area

'Kitchen' area

‘Kitchen’ area

When we left the rest area I was in the driver’s seat.  I maneuvered through 2 turns (my first turns!) before getting back on to I90 and as soon as entered I90 I encountered construction (came across it twice more)!  I also pulled into and out of a gas station and didn’t take out any pumps (Daniel!).  I drove for 116 miles today and felt much more comfortable.

Preparing to make my 2nd turn...

Preparing to make my 2nd turn…

Eek!!  Construction!

Eek!! Construction!

My first time pulling into get gas!

My first time pulling in to get gas!

Yikes!  More construction!

Yikes! More construction!

Michael decided that Wyoming is lumpy…

Lumps...

Lumps…

...,more lumps

…,more lumps

I got yelled at for taking this picture…but it was so worth it!

A great view to have in your rear view window

A great view to have in your rear view window

Michael took over about 40 miles from our destination.  We pulled into site 24 at Keyhole State Park in the Tatanka campground about 5:30.  Backed into our site and leveled the coach.  For some reason after the coach leveled the coach shifted and the stabilizer jack on the driver’s side came off the leveler block and bent.  Michael retracted the stabilizers and will have to work on the bent one before we leave here on the 29th.

Site 24 - Tatanka Campground - Keyhole State Park

Site 24 – Tatanka Campground – Keyhole State Park

Within view from our campsite

Within view of our campsite

Bent stabilizer jack

Bent stabilizer jack

We arrived about 5:30 and the campers have continued to arrive ever since.  I’m sure it will be a very busy weekend.  We’re looking forward to ‘camping’ in a ‘campground’….campfires, s’mores, dining & relaxing outside….ahhh.

 

Devil's Tower & 28 Years Of Marriage!
Moving Day: Butte, MT To Billings, MT

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