Montana, the big sky country

Montana, the big sky country

We settled into our campground at 7th Ranch RV park about an hour south of Billings, Montana.  It is close to the small town of Garryowen, ok, when I say small, I mean a gas station, museum and post office.  Garryowen is where the battle of little big horn really started, where the Indian encampment of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse was attacked by the first elements of Custer’s Army.  The national Battlefield park is like 5 miles away and I will talk about that later.  The park is the nicest in the area  and 1/2 the cost of the two parks in Billings.  It sits on a hill and you can actually see the Little Big Horn battlefield that is nearby.  I highly recommend it, really nice folks and we used Amazon to restock by getting quite a few on line deliveries …

I took Cathy to the airport in Billing’s where she was flying back to NH to be with family and help celebrate her Dad’s life as he passed while she was traveling home.  I will be watching the girls, and getting some maintenance work done on the coach.  First up was cleaning off all the bugs we smashed while driving from Grand Teton’s.  I ordered new HDMI splitters for the coach, Tiffin has new ones that run a-lot cooler and were replacing the old ones within two years of purchase for free, so I called them actually on my two year anniversary and got two of them shipped to me.  In addition the toilet was acting up again, I suspected the linkage was having a problem.  After talking with Tiffin, they just decided to send me a new one.  I’ll swap it out, then see about using the old one for parts if I ever need them down the line.  I have to admit, Tiffin has a great service and pats department will to try and fix your issues and if not, they will send you the parts needed to fix the problem.

While here at the RV park, I must say the sunsets are just wonderful, the afternoons can be clear one minute and a few minutes later, you see rain clouds roll in, and it makes for dramatic sunsets.  Here are just a few nights worth, each night is different, but the one things is you have to fight off the bugs in the early evening, the first time in over a year we have to deal with bugs….

One of the draws to the area is the Little Bighorn Battlefield where Custer’s ego got the best of him.  The battlefield where the last stand took place is actually pretty small as the last stand area was where 41 of the Custer’s men and he died.  Custer took about 600 Men and separated from the main Army forces as ordered and headed to little big horn area, spotting a large encampment with up to two thousand Indian warriors.  Custer divided his troops into three sets, he took about 225 to the north, the rest we sent south, on group which came into contact first and was forced to retreat, while Custer continued North.  The retreating forces met up with the third group, and after loosing 40 men, they dig in on a hilltop near the RV park, this area is called the Reno-Benteen Battlefield which is about three miles from where the last stand took place.  Here is where 350 men held out for 36 hours until reinforcements arrived.  As to Custer, as he moved north, coming under attack as they moved north.  In the end over 160 soldiers were killed along the several miles in small clumps until the final 41 men made their last stand.  The troops that dug in made an attempt to locate Custer, but it was too late as the warriors turned from the last stand hill and headed south to meet them.  I learned a lot about the battle and more about the times, the way of life the Indians were trying to protect and the rapid expansion the Government was dealing with and the unstoppable forces once word was out that Gold was found in the Black Hills.

In the tree’s were the Indian encampments and down this ravine is where the first forces engaged each other across the little big horn river…

Last Stand Hill where the remains were moved to in 1881, years after the 1876 battle. Three days after the fight, the remains were buried where they fell, allowing the park service to place markers across the battlefield in 1890
Looking past the fence you can see white markers down the hill side
You can see the trail of white markers where troops fell as they were making their way north. The road winds along the hillside today with important markers tell the story
Part of the Indian memorial discussing the trips fighting with Custer and those against him, this was the last big battle or the plains, with Sitting Bull taking the remaining tribes north into Canada for a time.

The rolling hills look like they did hundreds of years ago and it is easy to imagine the the history that was made in those fateful days and into our history books.  There are some private museums I want to hit along with getting a few more things taken care of, one which is the Jeep’s air conditioning needs work, it is not staying on and blows cool air for just a few seconds…Billings has a Jeep dealership so off I go to spend more money…On the bright side our Townhouse in National Harbor, MD is finally on the market, and we hope for a quick sale in a few weeks….

The other thing I will be doing is taking a few scenic drives in the area, so stay tuned…



2 thoughts on “Montana, the big sky country

  1. I got attacked by about a thousand mosquitoes last night… As soon as we crossed the border into Colorado, Bam! Bugs… Dammit. Oh well, we are ready for some green after a long time in the desert, so I guess this is the price we pay.

    Awesome sunset photos. That area looks beautiful and it sounds like there’s some interesting stuff to do and see.

    Good luck on the house sale. At least you’ve gotten through the really tough part and it’s on the market. Hopefully it will sell quickly.

  2. Thanks, we hit Colorado in August before heading to California in September. Have fun in Oregon, you will love it. Also the girls say hi.

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