Saturday, June 22, 2013
Pilgrimage to the Greasy Grass
Friday night, with the Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, we had the amazing opportunity to get off the trails and walk cross-country with Dr. Douglas Scott, one of the principal archaeologists who worked the field beginning in 1984 and on and off again until about 2011. We traversed much of Greasy Grass Ridge, followed Calhoun Coulee for a good distance, and then climbed down into Deep Ravine. Back at the hotel, Anne found three ticks on her person, but I lucked out in that department. In the photo above, Scott is discussing the remains discovered at marker 128—named "Trooper Mike" because he was in section M of the archeological grid. His was the most complete skeleton found on this part of the field, and he died a very violent death.
Two days before I had just finished reading Scott's newest book, a more reader-friendly summary of previous dig reports (published by the University of Oklahoma Press and funded by the Friends), so this expedition was especially fascinating.
The weather during this year's visit was dramatically different than it was in June of 2012. Then it was broiling hot, and the landscape brown (similar to what I imagine it was in June of 1876). This weekend, temperatures were pleasant, even a little cold, with occasional showers and lush green the world over.
Whatever the weather, the Little Bighorn is one of the most beautiful, haunting, and somber battlegrounds in America. I'll post a 2013 photo gallery shortly.