Sunday, 15 June 2014

A battle over land, which they won but lost again

Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana

Driving along the i90, I found a note I wrote last year to remind myself about the Battle of Little Bighorn if we were travelling through Montana. It was on our way and we got there just in time for the morning Ranger talk with his rendition of what happened. He was an ex-history teacher and was very enthusiastic about delivering a history lesson that would keep us all engaged for an hour. In a nutshell, gold was found in the Black Hills which was part of the Indian reservation set up with the Fort Laramie treaty. Gold seekers rushed to the area, contravening the treaty, so the army tried to buy it from the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho for $6m. The Indians understandably weren’t interested. They wanted to preserve their way of life, which wasn’t living on reservations. The money was taken off the table and they were told to leave anyway or be treated as hostiles. They resisted and a war ensued that ended with Col. Custer’s regiment being totally wiped out. Unfortunately for the Indians they lost their land some time later; it just postponed the inevitable. But at least the Indians won! The battle ground is as it was back then, just green rolling hills with a few tombstones where soldiers died, their bodies being moved to a central location or even another states. It was an enjoyable couple of hours and I’m really glad we stopped.

We have booked two weeks in a campground just outside Waterton National Park in Canada and need to be up there on the 20th June. The bears are out and a family of red fox have been seen in the area. So we are slowly making our way up through Gillette, Billings, Great Falls, Choteau and Browning. We have made a list of food for the Canadian customs and nearly drunk all our wine. The rules must have bee! made for air flight travellers in that all bottles need to be unopened. This clearly is not practical for RV travellers but I’m sure they aren’t going to make allowances for us. We still have 3 bottles of rum left over from last year, which uses up our tax-free allowance. I’m not sure why we bought so much, it must have been a good price!

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