It started about 14 months ago. A group of Little Big Horn battle
decided it was time to do it right. The cast of
were as follows -- Michael "Fullsail" Olson, Michael "Max"
Wagner, Phillip "PJ" Solla, Frank "Bubbabod" Bodden, and
Scott "Treasuredude" Nelson. We came from all across
country for one purpose -- to study the Battle of the Little
Oh, yeah, and to drink beer. Fullsail had beer
for the occasion. Now that's planning ahead.
Home base was
the Super 8
Through PJ Solla it was arranged to have a tour of the 7th
march to the Little Big Horn and the battlefield itself with
Richard and Dennis Fox. We were treated to a most
at the Fox Ranch on Monday evening. The tour
encompassed 2 full
days. We started Tuesday morning in Busby
site of the 7th's
last camp. Here we checked out the grave of Two Moons.
we followed Davis Creek to the Crow's Nest. As it had
night before, there was a question as to whether we would be
actually get up to the Crow's Nest. The Fox brothers
handled it with ease. Standing at the Crow's Nest was
We came to the divide and saw the marker placed there to
mark the spot
where Custer and his troops crossed into the valley of the
Horn River. It was also at this spot that we ate
Sandwiches never tasted so good. We followed
We stopped at the Morass and at the site of the Lone
From a ridge across I-90 we were able to get a
panoramic view of
the battlefield as well as the placement of Reno's attack
line. We were able to get a clear view of where the
village stood on June 25, 1876. A stop at Medicine
provided a closeup view of the Little Big Horn River which
full due to recent rains and heavy snowfall in the Bighorn
Tuesday's leg of the tour ended with a wrap up at the
Battlefield Trading Post
Wednesday was battlefield day. We met at the
lot and drove down to the Reno-Benteen Defense Site. A
walk around grounds and then onto Weir Point. Lunch
was served at
the parking lot under a shade tree. Back to the
Weir Point - Medicine Tail Coulee - MT Ford - Deep
Calhoun Hill - Keogh - Last Stand Hill - Deep Ravine.
You get the
picture... it was a full and fascinating day. Even
were quite a few tourists, there was not a more lonely sight
staring up at Last Stand Hill from Deep Ravine. Again
"debriefed" at Custer
Battlefield Trading Post
over pieces of pie.
Each night "important" topics were discussed over cold beers
of Fullsail. We didn't solve any of the battle's
mysteries but we
had a lot of fun.
Thursday we slept in a bit. Then we headed back to the
battlefield. An experiment on Weir Point. Fred
climbed to the top while Michael and Max stood at Calhoun.
were armed with walkie-talkies and binoculars. A
thumbtacked to a broom handle was waved. Waving the
were able to be seen by the boys at Calhoun. We moved
other peak at Weir and they moved down to Last Stand Hill.
the guidon could be spotted. This was one of the trip
for me. I joined the CBPC in 2001 but this was the
first time I
had been on Weir Point.
After Weir, we hiked the Keogh sector and got some great
shots of the
markers in that area. Checked out the marker to Lame
and then to the Indian Memorial. We wandered through
cemetery. It was then time for one last stop at the
Off to Wyoming. We were in three separate cars
at this time
-- Frank and PJ, Michael and Max, and Fred and I. We
in Sheridan for a couple cold ones. Then
Buffalo. Trudy at the Bighorn
treated us well. The
buffalo steaks at the Occidental
were incredible (Frank had pork
chops???). Most of us headed back to the hotel.
decided to hang behind and enjoy some live bluegrass music.
Friday started with breakfast at the Occidental where we ate
This was followed by a visit to the Jim Gatchell Museum
have been to the museum twice before but I never get bored.
much to see. Adolf Metzger's smashed bugle from the
Fight is worth it all by itself. We had a nice talk
educator Bob Edwards. From here we drove north to Ft.
. As it happened, Bozeman Trail Days was
We stopped in the museum/bookstore and checked things
A few of us joined the Fort Phil
Kearny/Bozeman Trail Assn
After walking the around the fort, we headed out to
the site of
the Wagon Box Fight. Then it was time for lunch at the
getting outta the sun for a while, we headed to the
site. We started at the monument and walked the field.
was great having Frank along here. He knows a lot
fights as well as Bozeman
After supper in Buffalo, we went back to the Occidental and
playing poker under the stuffed heads of elk, deer, and
It was great.
On Saturday we went to breakfast at Grandma's Restaurant in
Then back to Fort Phil Kearny for some more living
Again, we saw Bob Edwards of the Gatchell Museum.
sampled hard tack (yuck!) and washed it down with
high point was the firing of a mountain Howitzer.
It was here that I bid farewell to my Custer buddies.
back north to Billings and the MBC
headed south towards the Black Hills. When I got to
stopped at the Black Hills National Cemetery and visited the
Charles Windolph. I hit Arby's in Rapid City and got
back on the
road. I arrived back in Pierre at around 7:30pm --
happy. The boys had one more night of beer on the
Sunday, they all boarded planes home. The trip
lifetime was over.
Thanks to all the guys that made this trip memorable -- Max,
Michael, Fred, and Frank. Also thank you to Richard
Fox for a great tour. Because of them I have a much
understanding of the land and the trail the 7th took to the
battlefield. This gained knowledge will come in handy
time I'm reading a book or spreading out a map on the table.
While at the Crow's Nest we re-enacted a H.L. Scott photo
L to R -- unidentified Indian bureau employee, White Man
General H.L. Scott, Colonel Tim McCoy