Saturday, June 5, 2010

On to Montana

Devil's Tower in Wyoming isn't far from the Montana border so setting foot in that state so we could cross it off our list wasn't difficult. As long as we were in the southeast corner of MT, we decided to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. After being at Wounded Knee, SD earlier, I can't say I had much sympathy for Custer. (Yes, I know Custer died here 14 years before the Wounded Knee massacre. It's the entire big picture of what was done to the Native People I'm thinking of.)
On the way to the Little Bighorn, we crossed through the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. We were cruising down the road in one direction as a family of llamas was headed in the opposite direction. The brown spot on the rump of that baby hardly shows, but it was so cute. We had just left Ashland, MT where we had stopped at the St. Labre Mission & Indian schools. I remembered how Mom had once sent them some money in response to an unsolicited "gift" and how she had been on their "please donate" list ever after.

As it turned out, the campus buildings and museum were very interesting. Before leaving, we took in the gift shop. I'm always attracted to silver jewelry. My eyes immediately went to this bracelet with the large topaz - my birthstone. I knew there was no way I could afford it, but asked to see it anyway. I about fell over when I saw the price written underneath the band - $55! Not only was the price right, it fit perfectly without any adjusting. Certainly my lucky day!

Yellowstone Park was on the next day's agenda so we drove to Red Lodge, MT for the night. What a neat town that is! So many places to choose from for dinner; including the yummiest pie from Red Lodge Pizza Company.
One caveat about getting from Red Lodge, MT to Yellowstone - you have to go up and over Bear Tooth Pass. The picture of Bud was taken atop the pass before starting down the other side. The reason he looks so pleased is because he had planned the whole route ahead of time. He loves mountain passes. I hate them. He loves all the switchbacks and sharp turns going up the mountains. I hate them. It didn't help that before we left on the trip, I'd had a horrible dream that we went off a cliff on the way west.
Luckily going down the other side of the almost 11,000 foot pass was much gentler - lots of alpine lakes and meadows full of wild flowers. Lovely.
I still remember the joke I learned in grade school: "Point to your head and say the abbreviation for Montana."

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