Archive for July, 2007

Agate Fossil Beds and Scottsbluff National Monuments

The day continued at 2 National Landmarks in Western Nebraska.  First was the Agate Fossil Beds.  The fossils were found in the bluffs pictured here.  I took the short hike around the bluffs but to really see any fossils you have to check out the on site museum.

I did see a living creature in the bluffs.

The last stop of the day was Scottsbluff National Monument.  You can drive to the top of the bluffs overlooking the town of Scottsbluff, but I took the hiking trail to get the full experience.

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Along the Oregon Trail

I started out in Guernsey Wyoming and visited the remains of trail ruts created by the covered wagons traveling along the Oregon Trail in the 1840’s.

This is Register Cliff a graffiti wall of the day left by travelers during the days of the Oregon Trail.  Unfortunately there are contemporary additions on the register, which really takes away from the experience.

The next stop was Fort Laramie National Historic Site.  The troops stationed here provided security along the Oregon Trail and later served as a staging area for battles with the American Indians.

I was particularly fascinated with the ruins of a prision.  Those were 5 individual cells.  I hope none of the prisoners had claustrophobia.

The day continues in Nebraska………………

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Heart Mountain Relocation Center and Wyoming petroglph sites

I left Billings early in the morning and made my way into Wyoming.  My first stop was the Heart Mountain Relocation Center.

This is where thousands of United States Citizens of Japanese ancestry were interred during World War II following an executive order given by President Franklin Roosevelt.  There is not much remaining other than a few buildings which are not accessible.

Heart Mountain itself is in the background of the camp.  A very lousy picture of the summit.

My next stop was the Medicine Lodge Archaeological site.  Here can be found American Indian petroglyphs and pictographs.

I then made a quick visit to Hot Springs State Park.

I didn’t stay long because I really only stopped there to pick up a key to get access to the Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site.   I was impressed at how well both the Medicine Lodge and Legend Rock sites were preserved but especially at Legend Rock.

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Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

This is what is known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”  I arrived in midafternoon and was just in time to listen to a very informative lecture given by a park ranger.  The battlefield itself is quite unassuming if not for the markers.  It was here that Custer was badly outnumbered and lost against the combined Lakota and Cheyenne forces led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

The Lakota and Cheyenne although winning the battle, of course lost the war.  They are represented at the battlefield with this memorial.



With dusk approaching I drove back into Billings and explored the Rimrocks area which overlook the city.

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Hogden’s Cemetery Mound, Tiltonsville, Ohio

I’ve always found the American Indian Mounds located within “modern” cemeteries an interesting confluence of differing cultural practices.

It was raining, so I didn’t venture out for a good photo.

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