A history lesson at Little Bighorn, biting bugs and an amazing pow-wow.
Crow Agency Travel Blog› entry 4 of 12 › view all entries
We got up, ate breakfast at the Purple Cow, and headed out to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. I had read when planning the trip that you could take a tour that was given by a Native American from the nearby Crow Reservation so that was my quest for the day. We got to the battlefield visitor center and what luck the tour was offered right there. The tour company is called Apsaalooke Tours and it is run by the Little Bighorn College. We signed up for the first tour of the day and we had just enough time to look thru the visitor center museum.
Some history on the Battle of Little Bighorn if you’re interested, (if not skip this cause it's long, when I learn something new I feel the need to pass the info along).
Reno’s detachment was the first to attack, they were grossly outnumbered and retreated to the bluffs.
There was speculation after the battle that Reno had completely lost his command and panicked and that Benteen had stayed to help Reno due to his reluctance to help Custer and there is still varying opinions on why Custer split them into 3 separate battalions.
In addition to the Apsaalooke Tours there are Ranger Talks offered numerous times a day and you can drive the 5 mile battlefield road that has markers all around to tell you where things happened. We decided to listen to a ranger talk after we finished the tour and then re-drive the battlefield to look at markers that we has missed on the tour. It’s very well laid out in my opinion and you can almost picture the Indian encampment by the river and the Calvary officers planning their strategy. All around the battlefield are stones where soldiers, Indians and Indian scouts fell on the battlefield.
Right up from the visitor’s center is Last Stand Hill, where Custer and his men fell, the area is fenced in but you can still see his marker in the grass. The bodies are not buried there but the stones mark where they fell on the battlefield. Across the street from there is the horse cemetery where they buried all the horse bones they found as well as a marker. Custer had ordered all the horses be shot so that they could use their bodies to take cover. A little further down is the new Indian Memorial that commemorates the Native American tribes that took place in the battle.
The only complaint that I had about Little Bighorn (which nothing can change) is that up by Reno-Benteen monument there were these little tiny bugs that attached themselves to you and bit like crazy!! Maybe I should have paid better attention to the recommendation to bring bug spray, lol.
After the battlefield we headed over to the Custer Battlefield Museum in Garryowen, another little museum with a ton of information, exhibits and a short movie. After we went to eat at the Custer Trading Post and I had my first ever Indian Taco! It’s all the normal taco fixings only it’s on Indian fry bread, amazing!! Our final stop for the night was at the Crow Fair in Crow Agency.
The Crow Fair is a huge pow-wow on the Crow Reservation, we didn’t realize that it was going on until the owner of our hotel told us about it. I used to go to pow-wow’s all the time when I was in college, but I had never been to one that was this big.