Buffalo, WY

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In Buffalo, we parked at the Buffalo KOA.

Buffalo, WY

Are you familiar with the “Longmire” TV show (6 seasons available on Netflix) or with the “Walt Longmire Mysteries” book series by Craig Johnson?  We very recently began watching the first season of the Longmire show but didn’t know much about it before we started looking for a place to stay in Buffalo, WY.  We found out that during the time we had planned to visit Buffalo they were holding an event called “Longmire Days”.  It turns out that Craig Johnson is from just outside Buffalo and his writing is based on Buffalo and Johnson County, which he has renamed Durant, WY, and Absaroka County in the books.  The dedicated fan base has responded and turns up in large numbers for this 3 day event featuring appearances by Craig Johnson and many of the actors from the TV series. Continue reading

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Sheridan, WY

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From Billings, we headed southeast and crossed into Wyoming after having been in Montana since July 15th.  In Sheridan we parked at Peter D’s RV Park.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is located in Montana, just about halfway along the drive between Billings and Sheridan so we chose to make a day trip from Sheridan to visit there.  On June 25, 1876, approximately 260 of the 600 troops commanded by Gen. George Armstrong Custer were killed in a brief battle with a much larger force of Lakota-Cheyenne Indians commanded by Lakota Chief Sitting Bull.  Some 100 of the Indian fighters are thought to have died but it’s difficult to know since those who fell were removed from the battlefield.  The battle was bloody and brutal.  As you walk the grounds, read the placards and view the markers showing where soldiers died you can only try to imagine what it must have been like with arrows and gunfire raining down in all directions.  At the end of a very engaging Ranger talk about the battle, he said, “The ghosts here will speak to you.” Continue reading

Billings, MT

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In Billings we parked at the Billings Village RV Park.

Billings Visitor Center

Like many towns in this part of the country, Billings came into existence because of the railroad.  Named after Northern Pacific Railroad president Frederick H. Billings, the city was founded in 1882.  The railroad formed the city as a western railhead for its further westward expansion.  At first the new town had only three buildings but within a few months it had grown to over 2,000.  This spurred Billings’ nickname of the Magic City because, like magic, it seemed to appear overnight.

Billings is the most populous city in the state of Montana and the only one with population exceeding 100,000.  It has become an economic power for the region that encompasses eastern Montana, northern Wyoming and western North and South Dakota.  The Bakken oil development in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, the largest oil discovery in U.S. history, has been a force in the continued growth of Billings.

Next stop:  Sheridan, WY

Bozeman, MT

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For a visit to Bozeman we parked at the Bear Canyon Campground a few miles east of town.  Bozeman has a rich history dating to the early 1960’s when the discovery of gold brought thousands of miners into the territory.  One of them, John Bozeman decided to lead immigrants to the gold fields via a series of old Indian trails, which soon became know as the Bozeman Trail.  Those who chose to forgo the mines settled in what became known as the town of Bozeman to establish farms and ranches.

When we visited Yellowstone National Park back in 2015 we explored almost all of the park but did not make it to the northernmost part, Mammoth Hot Springs.  From Bozeman it is a drive of about 1 1/2 hours to the town of Gallatin, MT, which is just outside the northern entrance to YNP. Continue reading

Helena, MT

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To visit Helena, we parked at the Alhambra RV Park in Clancy, MT.

Montana State Capitol

Helena, the capital city of Montana, was founded in 1864 as a gold camp during the Montana gold rush.  The area known as “Last Chance Gulch” produced one of the richest finds in the United States.  By 1888, about 50 millionaires lived in Helena, more per capita than any other city in the world.  You can see the evidence of this early wealth in the very fine homes in the Victorian neighborhoods of the city.  The Montana State Capitol building was constructed between 1896 and 1902 using Montana sandstone and granite.  We took a nice trolley/train tour of the city. Continue reading