Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Montana was much better than I expected. Last time I drove through here was almost exactly seven years ago, and it felt way too long. It's still long, but I enjoyed it a lot more this time. I think the fact that I'm doing the driving helps. Also, seven years ago we drove from Washington to Illinois so that the landscape became flatter (and more boring) as we went, while this time it's the opposite. Of course, I also had a friend who kept telling me how horrible Montana was so that may have clouded my judgment.

Little Big Horn

For the most part, I just drove straight through, but I made a stop at the Battle of Little Big Horn. I'm not actually sure why since I have always thought of General Custer as a pompous, self-involved idiot that got his men killed in his reckless pursuit of honor and glory. I always thought he deserved what he got, and felt sorry for his wife who devoted the rest of her life to his memory (although his memory was probably less demanding than the man himself). I think perceptions of Custer are changing, or at least he is no longer seen as quite as important in the battle. After all, the battle field has been renamed from Custer's Last Stand to Little Big Horn so I think that's a positive sign. It shifts the focus more on all the parts of the battle rather than some overly flamboyant general's death. The gift shop had quite a few books about the battle, and the different people involved, although a majority were devoted to Custer (or his horses). I couldn't find the biography I read many years ago but it might be dated by now (also, I think Stephen Ambrose's reputation may have suffered a bit among real historians as a result of some lazy use of sources). I read it back in high school, so I am not sure if it was really that good.

The Memorial at Little Big Horn

Big Sky Country

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