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.”
The town of Sheridan was formed around 1888 and then really became established when the Burlington & Missouri Railroad arrived in 1892, setting off a 20 year boom. In 1893, the historic Sheridan Inn was built to provide luxury accommodations for weary travelers arriving from the east. Along with the railroad, William F. “Wild Bill” Cody was one of the original owners of the hotel and reportedly recruited for his “Wild West” show from the front porch of the hotel.
We visited King’s Saddlery, a local institution that is an enjoyable place to visit even if you don’t own a horse. They have everything you could need to outfit yourself and your horse in addition to a western themed art gallery and an amazing western history museum. It’s quite easy to spend an hour or two wandering the aisles.
Next stop: Buffalo, WY