Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vacation, Day 3 - Little Big Horn

Day 3 was almost day 2 of vacation. When we disembarked from Amtrak, Grandma informed me that my Dad had told her we had to leave directly from Williston as a big snow storm was on the way. It was a little drizzly, but it didn't seem that cold. Of course, that doesn't mean there's no snow in the mountains of Colorado. In the past, that might have been a problem, particularly as my Dad was in Denmark and out of reach, but with my trusty blackberry I could kick up and peruse the reports. Boulder, 74 degrees. Denver, 76 degrees. Colorado Springs, 74 degrees. "Grandma, there's no snow south of here, it's supposed to be genuinely nice." She replied, "It's going to snow." I said, "No it's not. It's nice, even the seven day forecast is good." She replied, "In Yellowstone! Snow!" "But Grandma, we're not going through Yellowstone." She still wasn't completely convinced until I informed her that regardless of the weather we were not leaving, we were going to our hotel for a good night of rest.

The next day we had a nice breakfast at the Sidney Elks. Then we visited my great uncle, Fred who I guess was in Operation Market Garden. I'd never heard that before, so that was interesting. Grandma didn't say Market Garden, but she did note he'd been in the Netherlands in WWII and Fred had seen a lot of combat, so that's probably where he was. I didn't get a picture of Fred, but I did get a picture of Glendisaurus, the Glendive Triceratops in his home town. This is me giving Glendisaurus a belly kiss.

Proof that he, or she, is really a Glendisaurus and not some other Argentinian flavor of dinosaur. I wish this sign had said why they felt compelled to create a triceratops on the edge of town.

Our touristy stop for the day, on our way to Wyoming, was Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. The last time I had been there it was still Custer National Battlefield. It's nice to see George's pa renamed the place in '91. Interesting fact, all the grave markers are placed where the bodies were initially found after the battle, so they're all over the place and you can see the ebb and flow of the battle across the hills and how soldiers were isolated into pockets by looking for clumps of graves. This one with the black face is where they found Custer.

Later, they put in some markers for where Native American bodies were found as well, as best they could determine from the evidence and where the Native Americans left markers.

None of Custer's troops are actually buried under their markers. They're all buried in a mass grave on the hill under this big marker. Behind the marker, where you can't see it, is the grave for the horses that died. They were used as a wall during the fight to stop the bullets. Eryn was very concerned about all the dead horses.

This one seemed most interesting of the many graves, given the next picture commemorates the children and women who died as well.

Part of the Native American memorial on the site. I believe one of the names on the memorial is "Stabs". And here you can see "Kills Him" and "Plenty Lice." Eryn found the names fascinating. I don't think kids see the attraction in being named "Plenty Lice" or the potential irony of being named "Kills Him".

The Native American memorial. The funding they'd been after for such a long time to build it showed up under GW in 2003 under an interior appropriates bill. It's very pretty - you can see it better if you click through.

The whole thing, end to end.

It was a bit chilly out for snakes, but this sign amused me. As long as you're not on the trail, you should be safe?

You can see the rest of the Little Big Horn Battlefield set here.


Anonymous said...

You look like you are a little south of the Glendisaurus's belly. Are you sure that's what your kissing

LissyJo said...

Um...I would agree.

Scooter said...

What's the point of inappropriately touching giant animals if there's not a hint of scandal?