8/9/19 8/11/19 Billings KOA, Billings MT; Little Bighorn and Pompey's Pillar National Monuments

Campground: “The World's First KOA.” Typical KOA with most sites pull thru with concrete pads and grass between sites. $10 fee for early arrival strictly enforced per reviews (even 45 minutes). Along banks of the Yellowstone River.

Little Bighorn National Monument.

One of my favorite historical sites in the country. A great (mandatory), Native American guided tram tour starts at the eastern end of the park. The park road rides a ridge along which Custer and his men fought their way, and from which the valley where the Sioux camps were can be seen. The tour travels westward along the ridge making frequent stops as the guide stops to points out locations and details of the battle.




The striking sight and memory was the grave markers – placed where the soldiers and some of the Indians fell (most of the later were carried away). In several places Union markers were seen in groups of two, because they fought back to back at the end.



The final spot is a fenced area littered with the dead including Custer and his brothers. Custer's grave is obviously in the center or this cluster showing how his men had surrounded him at the end.






The park is also a beautiful place with wild horses frequently seen.




There is a fantastic memorial to the Native American warriors who came together at this time. It is regarded as the largest gathering of warriors ever estimated at around 2,000 and included Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes. It was the last gathering of such a large united band.




Pompey's Pillar National Monument.

Just east of Billings MT on the banks of the Yellowstone River, Pompeys Pillar is a rock outcrop 120 feet high. This stone is best known for the inscription left behind by William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The site also has markings from thousands of years of human occupation along the banks of the Yellowstone River. There is a great and beautiful visitors center. While we were there a park ranger was at the site of Clark's graffiti explaining the site. A worthwhile visit.



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