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dick wood | profile | all galleries >> 2013 June & July Rocky Mountain Camping Trip >> 5 Montana-Little Bighorn NM; C M Russell Museum; Lewis & Clark Trail; Glacier NP; Waterton IPP (Alberta) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

5 Montana-Little Bighorn NM; C M Russell Museum; Lewis & Clark Trail; Glacier NP; Waterton IPP (Alberta)

As most everyone knows, Montana is a very large state. This fact came to us as we were heading towards Glacier from Devils Tower. Not only is it a large state, but it is rich in history. Historical events and places we encountered were: Little Big Horn Battlefield NM; The Great Falls of the Missouri with its Lewis and Clark Interpertive Center and the Charles M Russell Museum.

Our route from Devils Tower to St. Mary CG in Glacier NP went through Sheridan, WY; Billings, MT; Great Falls, MT; Lewistown, MT and through the Blackfoot Indian Nation Reservation.

We arrived at the Little Bighorn Battlefield NM and went to the visitors center for the introductory video. Following the video was an interpretive talk by a ranger about the battle that occurred here on June 25 and 26, 1876. Just up the hill from the visitor center is a large white obelisk, at about the location where Col Custer died, incribed with the names of those who died fighting on the side of the US 7th Calvary.

Across the street is a memorial honoring the Indian Tribes who fougth in the Battle of Greasy Grass, which was the Indian name for the battle at the Little Big Horn. It contains the names of the tribes and the chiefs that participated in the battle. Also incribed in the memorial are some of the tribal members who died in the battle.

When we looked out over the grassy fields and tree lined stream courses, an unusual feeling came over us. A feeling of deep sadness and loneliness. We felt the same feeling when we visited some of the Civil War battlefields in VA, TN and WV.

Great Bend
The Charles M Russell (CMR) Museum was an outstanding find. I have never paid any attention to western (US) art before this trip.The museum houses many of CMR's original works and well as other western artists. CMR painted the scenes and events as he saw or imagined them. He was a prolific artist and sculptor, having completed between 3,000 and 4,000 works in his 30 +/- career.

Meriweather Lewis and William Clark commenced their epic journey up the Missouri River to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean on May 14th, 1804. They started from the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Wood River. The expedition was called the "Corps of Discovery".

The Lewis & Clark (L&C) National Historic Trail Interpretive Center is situated on an overlook above one of falls on the Missouri River that L&C encountered in the Great Falls area. The center describes L&C's expedition in good detail. It could also double as a museum for the Corps of Discovery. If your travels take you near Great Falls, MT, you should spend at least a couple of hours in the center. Nearby is the Giant Springs, one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. The water flow is measured at 338 million gallons per day at a constant temperature of 54F (12C). At one time, the stream (Roe River) formed from the discharge of the springs to the Missouri River was in the Guiness World Records as the shortest river in the world at 201 feet long.

The route from Great Falls to St Mary CG is in the high plains. In many cases it is nearly flat with waving grass and no trees.

Finally, and with great anticipation, we arrived at St Mary Campground, inside Glacier NP. The date is July 12th.

We did not see much wildlife in Glacier, but the mountains, lakes and forests are wondrous. Although we were in Glacier at it's peak, we were able to find places that were quiet. The flowers were beautiful and many of them I have never seen before, especially in the alpine and subalpine life zones. We traveled the length of the road to the sun, from St Mary on the east to Apgar on the west, on park shuttle, for free. In addition there were many "red coaches" going from point to point, each appeared to have a guide driving explaining the many features of the park.

Another highlight of Glacier was it's night skies. Totally awesome. Astrologers pointed out an aurora borealis on the northern horizon, the Milky W
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01 Entrance.jpg
01 Entrance.jpg
Battlefield 01.jpg
Battlefield 01.jpg
Custers Last Stand Monument.jpg
Custers Last Stand Monument.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 01 Battle of Greasy Grass.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 01 Battle of Greasy Grass.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 02 Cheyenne and Arapaho.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 02 Cheyenne and Arapaho.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 10 Arikara Scouts.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 10 Arikara Scouts.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 12 Crow Scouts.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 12 Crow Scouts.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 07 Lakota Sioux.jpg
Indian Tribes Memorial 07 Lakota Sioux.jpg
Russel Museum Outside Statues 06 Cowboy.jpg
Russel Museum Outside Statues 06 Cowboy.jpg
Russel Museum Outside Statues 01 Wolf.jpg
Russel Museum Outside Statues 01 Wolf.jpg
01 Entrance Louis and Clark.jpg
01 Entrance Louis and Clark.jpg
01 Entrance-St Marys.jpg
01 Entrance-St Marys.jpg
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