The Headstones Tell A Grim Tale

After a quick cup of coffee and even faster breakfast, I saddle up the Workhorse, easing him back until I hear that specific sound. “Clunk!” She’s hitched and we are ready to move forward with the ride Southeast to Garryowens, Montana. “Tighten your cinches, its gonna be a wild ride!” While traveling fast isn’t my favorite, it’s necessary at times. Anxious to get on the road, Jagger bucks into the back seat and Sydney claims her seat as “Navigator”. We then mosey off the grass of our last minute overnight camp, next to the trail in Livingston, Montana.

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7th Ranch RV Park

“I’m happy to report we are back on schedule!” I have many reservations already in place, stretching out for the next few months to explore the Midwest. We have about 200 miles of gravel to travel as we say goodbye to Livingston. Garryowens will be welcoming us this evening for some exploring at Little Bighorn Battlefield once again. Sydney is excited for this stop as it will be her first time stepping foot on the battleground. “I wonder if my tour guide friend is still there to tell his story.” If you remember Jagger and I came through here in 2016. I decided to stay at the same camp as there aren’t many camps around here with easy access to Interstate 90. Why fix it if it hasn’t broken!  I look forward to paying respect to those who came before us and refreshing the suspenseful story in my mind, even though it’s not a pleasant one for either side of this tragic event. My ancestors are represented on both sides of the conflict which makes it more personal for me.

Learning from my last visit to Little Bighorn Battlefield, while being a smaller monument in shear acres, it’s a favorite stop. You need to arrive early to enter the gate and find parking, especially if you have a larger rig like the Workhorse. Very few places are available for large RVs. If you arrive later in the morning, you may need to wait at the gate until someone leaves.

The next morning we got up early, determined to arrive at the Battlefield shortly after they opened the gates. As I turned around to close and lock the door of the coach I caught the look of disappointment Jagger sent my way. He knows that he will be staying at our camp for this adventure. It’s too warm to stay in the Workhorse today, the Monument has a no pet rule and he would be confined to the parking lot anyway. My smile returned when we had our choice of parking. We’ll need to get back to the Coach in time to check out and get back on the trail.

12-2016 0706 BigHornBattlefield (8)The Ranger gave an excellent accounting of the days leading to, during and after the battle. (If you visit here the talk is a must see.) After the ranger’s presentation, we stroll up the hill where Custer and many of his men died. As we passed viewing the scattered headstones, a solemn place for sure.

Looking out on the vast battlefield you can see headstones everywhere. Soldiers, Lakota-Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho were buried where they fell. Many horses were also lost in the battle that day and are buried in mounds.

First, we visit the monument to the Native American’s who lost their lives, and finally, the obelisk raised for the US 7th Calvary. As we make our way back down the hill, we stop and look out over the field across to the river far beyond. You can feel the eerie presence of those souls who were killed so tragically still today. A sad historical event indeed.

US Soilders Headstones

US Soldiers Headstones


Back at the Coach, I hitch up the Workhorse and we’re off once again. It was a short stay here. I had planned on a two-day visit, but this will get us further “in sync” with the reservations I made along the way, as I mentioned before. It seems this year there are even more traveling in RVs making reservations mandatory for most areas that are popular this time of year. Our next camp is Reuter Campground. It’s a National Forest campground in the Black Hills just outside of Sundance, Wyoming. I made reservations there for three nights to explore. It’s my first time in that area, and I want to see Devils Tower only a 40-minute ride away from Reuter Camp by Workhorse.

Until next time, Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger

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