Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 8: Little Bighorn, Billings!, and Gardiner Montana

Finally, I can blog about Montana (and everything after!)!
P and I had spent the night in a town called Sheridan on the WY/ MT border that was one of our least pleasant hotel experiences. We ate microwaved dinners from Safeway and stayed in a Hotel 6 that was a-top this wonderful hill, too bad the entire building smelled of stale cigarettes. We had such great luck on a low budget along the way, it was inevitable there would be one sad little town along the route. Sorry Sheridan and the workers at your Hotel 6, but you win.

But, apart from scenic Sheridan... there were mountains, and for this east coast girl there was the strong thunder-rumble of excitement growing in my heart from being in a place so far from everything I was familiar with. P said the next morning that we should cut back-tracking to Salt Lake City out of the agenda and focus on the beauty of those mountains, so we planned to cross over into Montana, then west through Billings and spend the day on a leisurely southern Montana tour.

The first spontaneous stop off of the highway was Little Bighorn. I saw it on the map and thought "How can we drive by Little Bighorn?" so we followed signs and spent our morning investigating.

Despite days of sun exposure behind us, Little Bighorn and it's many monuments are out on a higher elevation with very few trees but for the cemetery. We were burnt and dehydrated but so impressed with the area, the art, the representation of both US troops and Native American warriors (lead by Sitting Bull, remember this history lesson?) at the monuments. The trails tracking Custer's battle went far into the park, we spent about 45 min. there and didn't see all of it. There will be many more pictures when I begin posting on the Swatchy blog, too. We both felt moved by the place, that we learned a great deal more than we ever remembered reading about, and will go for a longer exploration in the future. If you are driving I-90 through Montana, it is a remarkable place.

Some photos from the highway as we made our way to Billings show what a sweet day we had in store for us weather (and landscape)-wise.


mushroommeadows said...

awesome pictures!

microwave dinners are the best, by the way! :)

laurie said...

(it really was tasty!)