My summer trip
Well after lots of deliberation we've settled (just about) on our itinerary. Thanks to those who posted earlier in the year when this was still all forming. It is looking like this at the moment.
Day 1 Arrive Salt Lake City late in the day. Pick up the van and stay overnight.
Day 2 Drive up to Idaho Falls 215 miles and 3.5 hours driving. See the zoo, play in the pool with the kids.
Day 3 Drive to West Yellowstone taking the long route through Swan Valley and Driggs up the western edge of the Tetons. 168 miles and around 3 hours 50 mins driving.
Day 4 Drive through the northern part of Yellowstone and out on the Bear Tooth highway to Billings. 220 miles and 5.5 hours driving.
Day 5 See Little Big Horn Battlefield and maybe Pompeys Pillar. Stay Billings again.
Day 6 Drive to Great Falls. 255 miles and 4 hrs 45 mins.
Day 7 Stay in Great Falls. Lewis and clark stuff. Waterpark for the kids (and Dad !)
Day 8 Drive to St Marys on the edge of Glacier. See the Plains Indian Museum in Browning en route. 176 miles and 3 hours driving.
Day 9 Drive the going to the sun road through Glacier to Kalispell 120 miles and 2.5 hours driving. Take all day with many stops and brief hikes.
Day 10 Drive to Salmon Idaho stopping off in Missoula over lunch. 267 miles and 5 hours 20 mins driving.
Day 11 Drive to Sun Valley / Ketchum. 170 miles and 4 hours driving.
Day 12 Stay in Ketchum - maybe do Craters of the Moon (see tomorrow)
Day 13 Drive via Craters of the moon down to Salt Lake City. 300 miles and 5.5 hours driving.
Day 14 See some of Salt Lake city
Day 15 Fly home.
Its not too late for somebody who knows better to suggest an improvement or two - any ideas ?
The Greasy Grass
Looks like a great trip to me -- I don't have improvements to suggest, but I'd like to add some advice about the Little Bighorn Battlefield visit! Greasy Grass is what the Sioux called that place -- they won -- they should have naming rights! ;)
It's easy to breeze through the park and be gone with just a "survey." If you really want to learn a bit about what happened there and why that fight still holds such fascination for military historians, be sure to take the inside-the-park drive all the way down to the Reno-Benteen defense site. Stop and climb up on Weir Peak for the view.
Some folks don't realize there were 7th Cavalry survivors -- try to figure out why the men under Reno & Benteen were able to hold off the "attackers" while Custer could not. You can SEE this while you are there, if you are observant.
Also, drive the gravel road on the south side of the battlefield that runs along Reno Creek and east toward the Crow's Nest and beyond to Rosebud Creek. This follows the route that Custer, his subordinates and troops followed that morning as they approached the Little Bighorn's valley. It's a very picturesque drive, and you can see what the soldiers saw. You can visualize how and why Custer made the decisions that led to his defeat -- and why he really didn't see it coming!
It is easy to call Custer an impetuous and arrogant fool, even "pschopathic (as many do)." That's nonsense (IMO). And yes, I do know how many Indians Custer was facing that day. Custer was a seasoned veteran and one of the very best Indian fighters the Army had in that period, very much respected by his commanders. He acted that day based on his experience over 10 years and the Army tactics books of the time (although he DID make a couple of errors).
Right up until the end, almost, he was most likely still expecting to WIN. The problem was that on that particular day, the rules had changed -- and he didn't know it until it was too late (if even then). See if you can figure out what had changed. I wish I could be there to show you around.
Greasy Grass it is then
I agree with your point about naming rights !
You've made a visit to the battlefield seem even more interesting than I thought it would be. Are there any particular books I should try to get hold of to read and prepapre my self better ?