In the background is Devil's Tower, Wyoming
 
Touring the   
            Prairies and the
                                 Great Plains

                                         June 2nd - 24th  2008
This was the BIG TRIP! Fly to Winnipeg, drive westwards through part of the Canadian Prairies, south to visit friends in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and then loop north-eastwards to return home from Winnipeg.  Twenty-three days, 6100km, two Provinces and six States! We saw an amazing variety of scenery -- flatlands, mountains, deserts, canyons -- interesting towns with exotic names, and a lot of history. Following are the highlights -- words by Margaret, photos by Bob. 
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at Brandon (Man) is dedicated to all those in the Commonwealth who trained to fight WW II in the air.
Wolf Point, Montana. In 1805 the Lewis & Clark expedition passed through the area, becoming the first white group to explore northeast Montana.  This town, on the fringe of Indian reservation land, has a population of 4,000, and nineteen different churches listed in the town guide!
 Margaret soaks up the town history
Wherever possible, we've linked each location and/or picture to a web site describing it. Just look for the      !
After driving through cattle grazing grasslands and later the fringe of Badlands type country, we spent an afternoon at the Range Riders Museum in Miles City (MT), which depicts all aspects of a stockman's life.  Here there are some wonderful photographs of Old Timers and their ladies, as well as those of proud Indian chiefs.
Is Margaret hoping for a ride?
on the Crow Indian Reservation (MT) commemorates one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their ancestral way of life.  It was in the valley of the Little Bighorn River in June 1876 that 260 soldiers of the US army were wiped out by several thousand Lakota, Cheyenne and other tribal warriors. 
The few photos shown here just don't do justice to this very moving historic site.
For more details,  please take a side trip to 
WIkipedia!
Part of First Nations monument - Last Stand Hill in BG
View from Last Stand Hill looking towards Little Bighorn River
Headstones on the Hill - Custer's is darker one.
The Cowboy and the Lady! Belle Forche, South Dakota
Remember "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"?
where trails leading west converge to follow the Platte River.  This restored fort on the approaches to the Rocky Mountains looks much the same as it did when the post was the centre of activity, before being abandoned in 1890. In its hey-day, it was a haven for travellers, but also a valuable trading place for emigrants, trappers and Indians.
Suttlers Store
Laundress (!), fort buildings
Margaret proves "we was there"!
Register Cliff, Margaret, and our underpowered easy-on-the-gas Chevvie Cobalt.
Mister Willard adds his name to the history books!
Margaret by the Colorado River
Crystal Lake off Highway 92
Bob on Black Canyon rim -- it's a long way down!
Black Canyon
We enter Colorado's Mountain Ranges ...
... and drive the Million Dollar Highway, through Red Mountain Pass, into Southern Colorado

Margaret's description of the drive: "The side of road to the right of the passenger side of the car too often fell steeply to the valley below.  I sat on my hands trying to stay calm, but this 26 mile drive is probably the most scary I've experienced.  At the peak, we were at 10,000ft; the car did not care for the altitude, and frequent single lane owing to road works was hardly reassuring."  
We're about halfway through our travels, with lots of interesting places still to visit.
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We were driving towards the camera!