Gut Rumbles

August 08, 2004

sights I didn't want to see

I have no idea where I am tonight. Itís somewhere in the middle of Nebraska, but I donít remember the name of the town. I was too tired to look at the sign when we drove in after thirteen hours on the road. This time, it was not Recondoís fault.

I noticed a lot of motorcycles on the road as soon as we hit Montana. Motels, restaurants and bars all had signs displayed saying ďWelcome Bikers!Ē I asked Recondo what all that was about.

ďOh, theyíre having some kind of Biker Week in Sturgis. I saw the signs on the way up here a week ago, but I thought it would be over by now.Ē It wasnít, and thatís why we had so much trouble finding a motel room that first night.

This morning, we left Billings at around 8:30 and headed for Mount Rushmore. We went by the Little Bighorn Battlefield, where Custer bit the Big One, on the way. The place resembled just another Montana cow pasture to me, but I WILL admit one thing: if Custer had NOT gotten his fool ass killed there, a lot of places would have different names today. I saw Custer Park, Custer Gulch, Custer Creek, Custer Avenue, Custer Fork and half a dozen other such places that I canít remember.

Recondo asked if I wanted to see Deadwood. Why not? It was on the way to Mount Rushmore and Iíve always liked the story of Wild Bill Hickcock. We went, and it was the biggest mistake weíve made on this trip. The place was CRAWLING WITH BIKERS. We spent a good 45 minutes just trying to get through two blocks of the town. I am not kidding when I say that I believe at least 100,000 bikers turned out for the Sturgis meet.

They were crawling all over Mount Rushmore, too. (I enjoyed seeing the sculpture, but it really wasnít as impressive as I expected it to be.) They were crawling all over The Badlands when we went there. (That is a really interesting place to see, even when it IS crawling with bikers. In her own way, Mother Nature is a better sculptor than the men who created Mount Rushmore. ) But by then, I knew the bike-fest boded ill for our chances to get a motel room tonight. I was correct.

We drove 200 miles on the back roads before we even started stopping and asking for a place to stay. Everything was booked. We drove ANOTHER 100 miles and everything was STILL booked. I didnít relish the thought of sleeping in the car, so we pressed on.

Finally, here in the middle of wherever I am in Nebraska, we found a place that had a cancellation a few hours earlier. We took the room without even asking if it was a single, a double or the Honeymoon Suite. By then, if the desk clerk had said that all she had was some hay in the manger, we would have jumped all over it.

Turns out that the room is pretty nice and thereís a liquor store right next door. And right now, I could use a drink.
I have no idea where I am tonight. Itís somewhere in the middle of Nebraska, but I donít remember the name of the town. I was too tired to look at the sign when we drove in after thirteen hours on the road. This time, it was not Recondoís fault.


What's the difference between a Harley and a vacuum cleaner?

The Harley's dirtbag is on top.

Biker women do have big teats though. That's almost worth the bugs in your teeth.

Posted by: horse with no-- on August 9, 2004 10:04 PM

really, A-man, that is something you should see someday- the rally at Sturgis.

Posted by: pril on August 10, 2004 12:31 PM

You really should learn something about George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

The battle was over in about 20 minutes, with about 220 US dead (and about 120 survivors).

Custer attacked a Souix (Really, they should be called the Dakotas. They hated the name Souix) encampment whose size he had not acertained. His mission was to find and harrass Souix who had strayed off the reservation. His major problem was bringing the Souix to battle, since they always could move faster than the US Army. He did not send scouts to directly observe the encampment (in fact, he released his Crow scouts from further obligation just prior to the battle) because his chief fear was the Souix would just run instead of fight.

He found himself attacking the biggest concentration of Souix ever to have occured (Thanks to Sitting Bull.) He was "defeated" by a vastly larger force of Sioux .

After the great "victory" the Souix fled (as in completely getting out of Dodge, most scampering back to the reservation and the rest fleeing to Canada.) and never again gave significant battle to the US Army. Essentially, the Dakota Indian wars were over with complete victory for the US Army. For the Souix, Wounded knee lay in the future.

When looked at from a miltiary standpoint, this was a great victory for the US Army. At the cost of only 220 dead (no wounded, since the Souix just killed all the injured and chopped up their bodies, a religious thing.) the Dakotas were subdued and either went to Canada or went back to the reservation. This was a big deal, since the Dakotas were the 500 pound gorilla of the Upper Midwestern plains Indians.

The US Army, although taking 2/3rds losses, drove the enemy from the field of battle and broke their will to resist further.

Nice job.

There are those who say, in retrospect, he should have waited for reinforcements, but, if the Souix had just departed and gone back to the reservation, without being attacked, the campaign would have been a failure. The whole idea was to make lethal contact, ie. kill and terrorize the Souix. It worked.

Posted by: joel on August 11, 2004 08:12 PM
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