Day 5: Great Falls to Rapid City

I think I mentioned already that Great Falls is a pretty neat city. However, I was over Billings, MT in about five minutes. Right after I bought an iced almond vanilla coffee, I was done. I don’t want to go into much detail, because I’d rather not remember Billings, but there was a lady with a Denny’s tattoo on her arm. As in, the logo for Denny’s.  

Today was filled with adventure, starting with a visit to the Little Bighorn Battlefield (still Montana), followed by a stop at Devils Tower in Wyoming, and ending with a waterslide at our hotel in Rapid City, SD. 

If you do not know the history of the Battle of Little Bighorn, you can read about it here. This is better than Wikipedia, but it’s still biased. As an amateur historian, I know that one can never be completely objective, but phrases such as, “Lt. Col. George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors” left me feeling queasy. The park glorified Custer and the U.S. Army, despite the fact that this was one of the few major Native American victories. Why couldn’t the phrase state something like, “This was the area where the Lakota and Cheyenne defeated Custer, because they were fed up with the U.S. government’s shenanigans” ??  I’m getting waaay off topic, but my point is there are always multiple perspectives to any story, and changing the lens through which one views it can completely change the story.  History isn’t stagnant! It changes! (I think I forgot to mention that I was a history major…). Also, I highly recommend reading The Journey of Crazy Horse, by Joseph M. Marshall III. It’s CRAZY good. Ok, enough of my soapbox. 

So anyway, we then traveled down south a bit, to Devils Tower (or, Mato Tipila). This was neat.  Basically, it’s a 1200′ tall igneous intrusion in the Black Hills. But, it was and still is, a sacred area to the Native American Plains tribes such as the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Kiowa. (PS, if you ever visit, and you bring young ones, DO NOT LET THEM WANDER FROM THE MARKED PATHS!!!! This is a sacred place to some people, and there are clearly labeled signs that ask visitors to stay on the marked paths. SO WHY DID I SEE LITTLE TODDLERS AND TIARAS DOING WHATEVER THEY PLEASE ALL OVER THE PLACE?!? Seriously, people, that’s just rude.)

This is enough ranting and raving for one day. PICTURE TIME. Sorry for the “car ad” pictures. Alex took those. 

Take 56. It looks like my hat.

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