. . . that I can actually post to blog? It’s been a long time, very little access to internet out in the wild west. And little time when I do, so much to do, so much to see. Such an amazing world out here.
Let’s catch up a bit while I have a little time and internet: Left you in Black Hills, I believe. I started this once but can’t find it either as a draft or a post, so hopefully you haven’t seen it.
6/10 – From Black Hills we headed northwest through the northeast corner of Wyoming into Montana to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA). On the way stopped at Deadwood and Devil’s Tower. Deadwood, of wild west, gold rush fame, much larger, both then and now, than I expected, and more modernized. enlarge the pan pic below and see what I mean. Big tourist trap in my opinion.
Devil’s Tower much more impressive, Native American sacred space, and awesome natural wonder.
On to Bighorn Canyon, another amazing canyon created by a river in the mountains. Bighorn River, Bighorn Mountains, in Crow Indian Country in Montana and Wyoming. First went to the north section in Montana, at Fort Smith and the Yellowtain Dam. Beautiful small lake called Afterbay. Small, basic, free campground with great views, especially of the sunset.
6/11 – Spent only one night there and headed to Hardin to a great museum of local Indian and settler history, the to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (NM), site of Custer’s Last Stand. In spite of the fact that Custer and the US army and government lost this battle, more space and attention is given the soldiers who died than to the Indians success or to their dead. Monuments to soldiers covers more space but of course more headstones since they lost far more. However the Indian memorial is absolutely beautiful. Also part of the space has been turned into a national cemetery with memorials to soldiers and others who died in unrelated wars or events. Seems to take away from the intended purpose. It’s a beautiful site, with a long driving tour through the hills of various individual battles. A ranger gives very dramatic “talk”, he must be an actor in another life.
The metal sculpture is on a round stone wall with the inscribed memorial granite pieces all around. I hope you can enlarge and read them, very moving. So relevant, then and now and forever.
We continued on to Bighorn Canyon, a very long way to get to the other end of the canyon because there’s no connecting road within the NRA. If you’re following on a map, continuing down I-90 back into Wyoming and onto hwy 14 and crossing the Bighorn Mountains on 14A. What a crossing!!! Huge mountains, up and over! Amazing views. First sight of snow on the mountaintops.
The South section near Lovell has access to the canyon and a very good visitors center. The camp grounds on the canyon were pretty exposed, windy, so the ranger told me about a town campground in Lovell. Even if I didn’t stay there, I could get a shower, much needed. I checked it out, really nice, at a town park where there was little league games, nice camper section, and free!!! I’ve heard from fulltimers that there are town and county parks like this, but this is the first one I’ve run into. I stayed 2 nights, other campers were friendly, town volunteers were friendly, all in all really nice. Good hot shower, clean bathrooms.
6/12 – And the Canyon, OMG!!! Another amazing natural wonder. Apparently the river was raging through this canyon before they dammed it, and now is calm enough (controlled by dam) for boating, canoeing and kayaking. I saw a motorboat from the rim of the canyon, tiny, really put things in perspective. Can you see it? tiny white dot near center of 2nd pic. First one’s campsite on the canyon rim, glad I didn’t stay there. Wild horses, didn’t see, and Bighorns of course!! Did see, munching right off the road.
Rested and clean, went on the next day for the big one – Yellowstone!!
Real time – 6/26 – And that’s all I’m going to do for now. I know, another teaser! I’m in Canada now, Canadian Rockies!!! More fantastic HUGE beautiful mountains!!! I’ve done a lot of driving, too much. All along I’ve wished I had more time to stay in each place, plus just some down time and time to take care of business. Part of the problem is making plans months ahead for places you know little of what to expect, part is having to make reservations, I don’t like to make them, they tie you down. I only made a few at places I thought I’d be in trouble if I didn’t (like here), but they dictate how much time I have where I am before them, I can’t just decide to stay longer when I want. I constantly feel like I’ve got to go see and do whatever there is, all my waking hours, this will most likely be the only time I’m here (wherever “here” is). And all the driving days between. I’m very tired. If you decide to travel like this, give yourself more time, sure wish I had. I have no cell service in Canada so can’t text or call or hotspot (even if I had lots of data), but luckily the visitor center and a coffee shop both have free WiFi so I can catch up with some Internet, emails and blog when I have the time, like now.
Anyway, we’re still rolling, and still amazed at all the wonderful natural sights in this world, even if tired. Will catch up more when I can, in the meantime I’ve posted a few pix and vids on FB in real time, if you can catch them.
Rolling in Canada,
Lynn and Xena