I can’t believe I skipped one of our “unplanned but then planned” side trips. We originally endeavored to drive basically straight east from West Yellowstone, traversing Yellowstone National Park and exiting through the East Gate, proceeding down Highway 14 through Cody Wyoming and into Ranchester. But we discovered on our trip to Canyon Center (the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone), that the road through to the East Gate was closed in places because it wasn’t yet plowed, and we had no idea how long it would be until that changed. So, we “re-routed” and backtracked north to Interstate 90.

Wendy’s doctor had heartily suggested that we visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, previously known as Custer’s Last Stand. Our new route brought that into play, and it was a perfect stop for lunch.

But first! In response to the massive appeal by subscribers for help locating the mystery climbers of Devil’s Tower, a clue:

About an hour later, the top climber had gained upward about 100 feet. Not my cup of tea!

Now, back to the battlefield. This National Park Service monument has its own off ramp from Interstate 90, so there isn’t much of a detour from our BTE. It isn’t a big site, either in size or in infrastructure. There was parking for maybe 75 cars and about 6 or 7 RVs, and the gift shop would be crowded with more than 40 people. But the relatively small size of the site belies the large impact it can have on you.

In June of 1877 George Custer and 276 other members of the 7th Cavalry Regiment were wiped out by several thousand tribal warriors when they foolishly attacked a large native encampment without waiting for reinforcements to arrive. The treeless landscape is bleak, and when we were there, it was cold and windy.

Not a tree in sight, and nowhere to run.

Standing atop the hill that Custer and his men died on, the vastness of the space and image of what it might have looked like with 2 to 3 thousand attacking warriors coming at you, it is easy to imagine the fear and dread those men felt in their final moments. It is a powerful moment, and we’re happy to have taken advantage of it. If you are ever in the neighborhood, it’s a highly recommended stop.

And here’s a bonus Tippy.

About W&W Mudd

Re-retired again, Wendy and Warren publish as they adventure into the far reaches of their New World.
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  1. Robert Fernandez says:

    Dear Warren and Wendy: Thanks for keeping me in your loop; I enjoy “accompanying” you on your adventures. I have been to The Custer Battlefield a couple of times (I use the old terms because I am not “woke”). As you have said, it is a place that inspires powerful emotions and I have enjoyed the visits. There are several books that are interesting and provide different perspectives. Over the years I procured and read several; among them are: Custer Battlefield ( an official National Park Handbook); Reno-Benteen Entrenchment Trail (another National park document); I Fought With Custer-the story of Sergeant Windolph, Last Survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn; Digging Into Custer’s Last Stand by Sandy Barnard. Keep on enjoying your travels By the way, seeing one of the photos of you guys in this blog, Wendy looks the same as she did when she was working at Half Moon Bay High School, just with gray hair. She hasn’t changed at all. Congratulations! Bob Fernandez

    Sent from my iPhone


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