The McKenzie's Official world tour site
Thursday, October 22, 2009
All the way to Michigan........
SO- we made it out of MONTANA!! Nothing personal but we would not want to out-stay our welcome!
We first travelled through to Billings and camped at Trailer Village and then went off to see the “Little Bighorn Battlefield”. After studying this event for my GCSE’s, the battle and events of that time all make a little more sense to me now that we have visited the site. Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was only 34 years old when he commanded a regiment of 1,200 men on the 1876 expedition to the Black Hills of South Dakota. The expedition lasted 60 days, 48 of those spent marching an average of 18 miles per day. Twelve days were spent resting and a total of 880 miles was covered in the 60 days. Custer decided to split his regiment into groups and was unprepared for the great number and fighting power of the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians that his group of approximately 220, were to meet their deaths at the hands of......when the guns fell silent and the smoke and dust of the battle had lifted, no U.S Cavalry soldier had survived......this event is very significant in history, as although the Indians won this battle, they subsequently lost the war against the military’s efforts to end their independent and nomadic way of life.
The Devil’s Tower in Wyoming was a very unusual National Monument. Today, the massive columns are popular with climbers. Approximately 5,000 climbers visit in a year and there are over 220 routes that have been used in climbing the tower! The Junior Ranger programme was carried out to the best of abilities – in the snow!
The Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota was another hit for the budding Junior Rangers and we are sure that we saw a cougar footprint in the snowy trail around the grounds.
In Custer, South Dakota, we camped at the French Creek Camp and we would like to thank Rock and Diane for being able to help us out once again. Phil has been unable to purchase any new footware in our time away – as he needs to have a heel raise. Rock and his Shoe Repair shop(Cobblers) were able to help Phil to get some dry boots, in all this snow!
Mount Rushmore, was to us another place that we had heard of – but it meant so much more to see it ‘for real’. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was given the task of designing and overseeing the creation of the President’s sculptures on Mount Rushmore. The memorial commemorates four significant presidents who worked towards the foundation, preservation, and continental expansion of the United States. First, was the very first U.S President, George Washington, who was commander of the Revolutionary Army. Second was Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, third President and the mastermind of the Louisiana Purchase. Thirdly, Theodore Roosevelt, who promoted construction of the Panama Canal and as 26th President also ignited progressive causes such as conservation and economic reform. Finally, we saw the face of America’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, whose leadership restored the Union and ended slavery on U.S soil. The sculptures were worked upon for 6 and a -half years. However, due to financial constraints and the seasonal nature of the work, the whole project was not completed for a total of 14 years – 1927-1941.It is now recognised as a National Memorial......
Onwards we travelled – staying a night along the Cheyenne River, through more of South Dakota. At Sioux Falls, we stayed at the Red Barn RV Park and we all enjoyed meeting Rascal the Raccoon!
As we trekked further through Minnesota and into Wisconsin (we are on a mission!) we stopped off at La Crosse, and the Pettibone Resort along the Mississippi River.
So we got into Michigan, through Wisconsin, Minnesota, some more of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and finally Michigan – we made it to meet back with Phil’s brother Steve and Penny – all set just right for a Saturday night!! And all the rest, as they say, is history! Five States in a day – no worries!!
We shall have to return to see more of those States that we whizzed through – as our time is running short this time and we are sure they also have lots to offer!
Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:59:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) USA