This morning we departed Billings with a typically early start, which means about 10:45 am. Not that it was our fault again. Sure, we had to pack and eat and get a new battery and, oh, while we’re here would you mind if we change our oil and use your waste-oil disposal tank, but also everyone keeps asking us questions about the cars.
We met Steve, the owner of the Best Western hotel we stayed at and who refused to let us leave without complementary cinnamon rolls fresh-baked from Stella’s restaurant. We chatted with the exceptionally polite Troy and Eric at Edam’s Tire Automotive, where we bought our battery and changed our oil. And, of course, there were plenty of other passersby who were interested in the cars.
But when we finally got the cars fired up and on the way to Broadus, MT, we had nothing but beautiful blue skies in the Big Sky Country to occupy our time. The leisurely climb out of Billings was very pretty, with a commanding view over the city once we were at the top before settling back down into the valleys and plains to the east.
Along the way, just outside of Crow Agency, we passed by the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, also known as Custer’s Last Stand or, for the Lakota and other Plains Indians, the Battle of Greasy Grass. On June 25-26, 1876, during the Great Sioux War, 263 7th Calvary soldiers, under the command of LtCol George Custer and Major Marcus Reno, lost their lives to the combined forces of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes which, under the vision of Sitting Bull, were being commanded by, among others, Crazy Horse. The Lakota and Cheyenne tribes are estimated to have had 40-100 casualties.
It’s a very well laid out memorial and should be visited if you ever find yourself in the area.
After departing the battlefield we made a beeline for Broadus down route 212. It’s a wide-open Road with a lot of traffic on the Montana scale, but it has very interesting scenery, alternating between hills and plains. Broadus itself is a very little, very sleepy town with wide streets and only a handful of establishments open for business in the evening, but the Big Sky Bar seemed to be the place to go for dinner.
We’ll depart here in the morning headed back to friendly Wyoming, this time for a tour of Bear Lodge Butte (also known as Devils Tower) before heading on to South Dakota and the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, located in Deadwood. We figured we’ve gambled enough on this trip, so we’ll simply be staying a the Hampton Inn there, but with a name like Tin Lizzie we just had to check it out.