Monday, May 23, 2011

The lighter side of Little Big Horn and other Montana delights

You wouldn't think there'd be anything funny at Little Big Horn, but check out these names on the memorial wall... Plenty Lice? Chased By owls?

Little Big Horn is in southern Montana and it's location of the famous Indian battle. I always liked hearing about this battle as a kid because the Indians won for a change, and Custer, that pompous twit, got his just desserts. Unfortunately, this would be the last hurrah for the native peoples and the American west. Coming in from the west, the landscape is rolling hills and scraggly prairie. Wide, wide spaces with nothing on them except the occasional abandoned shack and grazing horses and cows. The sky really is big here in this state, just like they say. It's a roadside attraction in and of itself. People really say "howdy" here, too. I love that, when cliches earnestly come true before your eyes. One odd thing about Montana is the number of billboards addressing the meth abuse problem. I didn't even know they had a meth abuse problem, but apparently its so big they have to put up grotesquely graphic billboards (I should have a shot a picture of one, but never did). We passed a "facility" on the highway (a brand new concrete cinder block prison, actually) with a spray painted sign outside calling it the "Meth Motel". Gallows humor for sure. "Club Meth" would have been a little more clever, but I'm not going to quibble with the locals. We get to Little Big Horn and its a somber field with nondescript rolling hills, not the big canyons they had in the movies. Lots of markers where battling union soldiers and Indians met their untimely demise. One thing I wasn't expecting, though, was some unintentional levity in the form of some of the Indian names memorialized in stone: "Guts", "Chased By Owls" and my personal favorite "Plenty Lice". This really isn't the place for humor but I can't help it... funny is funny.


roadsidewonders said...

I was here ... but, unfortunately, too young to remember it. I need a big trip out west soon!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Go west, young gal, go west!