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Old 02-04-2013, 02:27 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,116 posts, read 985,888 times
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We plan on LOTS of off-the-freeway time, as we are not interested in hearing, seeing, or smelling it from where we live. And the most interesting parts of any place are usually the furthest from the freeway, too. We intend to spend the first night in Rapid City, SD, and see Mt. Rushmore the following morning, then drive to Sheridan, WY. We will check that area out as necessary, then move north to Billings, stopping at the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn along the way(I love that period of history in particular). Then it's on to the Beartooth Highway, the Chief Joseph Byway, and the Bozeman area. From there, we go to Butte, with side trips to Dillon and other surrounding towns. Then up to Missoula to check out small towns and rural areas in Sanders county and other towns south of Missoula. From there, we go to Couer d'Alene, ID, and check out the areas around there, maybe down to Grangeville, and then up to Sandpoint. From Sandpoint, we'll travel up the Clark Fork River Valley to the Flathead Valley, and up through Polson and on to Kalispell. We would love to do the drive across GNP on Hwy 2, hit Great Falls, then the Little Belts and down to Helena. Might have to figure out a different plan there, depends on the weather. On the trip back east, we plan to cruise the area north of Billings, near Roundup, and then cross SE Montana on 212, making our way back to Souix Falls, where we turn south to home. Plan might shift a bit here and there due to weather or an area of particular interest requiring more time. LOT of driving, and we plan to be out of the car and walking at least once a day. Probably need a week of sleep when we get back home!
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:56 PM
 
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Grab the little road (I think it's 314) that runs North at Sheridan goes up through Kirby, MT and runs into US 212 just East of Big Horn battlefield. The Rosebud battlefield site is on that road & to me more interesting than Custer one. Plus the country drive around Kirby is pure Montana.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Grab the little road (I think it's 314) that runs North at Sheridan goes up through Kirby, MT and runs into US 212 just East of Big Horn battlefield. The Rosebud battlefield site is on that road & to me more interesting than Custer one. Plus the country drive around Kirby is pure Montana.
It is highway 338 out of Sheridan and then turns to 314 at the Montana State Line.

The easiest way to get on that is to travel through Sheridan and about 5 miles North of town you'll come to the Port of Entry. Take the exit and at the stop sign, turn right and go down the hill. That road will dead end at 338 and you can either turn right and go back into Sheridan, or turn left and head for Montana. When you get up by Busby, once again the road will dead end and you have to go left or right. Turn left and that will take you over to Crow Agency and the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Enjoy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:13 PM
 
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I think the dates you picked will be really good. Around here Memorial Day feels like opening the chute at the rodeo -- boom! Everything takes off.

Will you be traveling north of Yellowstone NP, up through the Paradise Valley to Livingston? If so, I highly recommend a stop at Chico Hot Springs. The rooms will probably be booked up way in advance but even a few hours in the natural hot springs will make you feel like new.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:54 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Yup. Neither of us are really into hot tubs, though, so I don't know if we'll try the hot springs or not. I am way too hot-blooded for them, I love a hot shower, but only long enough to get clean! We sleep with the bedroom window open most of the winter. I will tell her, though, you never know. I suspect we had better make the reservations EARLY if she wants to do it.

We will likely take that route north from Sheridan, it would be neat to catch both battlefields if we can. I notice it traverses the Cheyenne reservation. How is traveling through there? I ask, because some reservations I have been on have been less than friendly to obviously anglo folks like myself. I wouldn't anticipate any problems, but it never hurts to make sure when traveling in unfamiliar territory.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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You won't have any problems with the Crow, or Cheyenne Indian Reservations. I would recommend that you fuel up in Sheridan and then you'll be good at least to Billings. Anyplace in between can be a little more costly for fuel.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:19 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Thanks. It is good to have people in the area to bounce things off of. Would love to meet some of you when we come out there if it works out. Buy y'all a cup of coffee or a beer or have lunch, who knows?
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:32 PM
 
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I just tuned in to this thread, and was about to recommend late May. You've chosen a good time. One warning: Have a Plan B for your trip over the Beartooth highway. It's often, but not always, open by Memorial Day.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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Here is the link for the Rosebud battlefield state park.
Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Montana has a nice collection of state parks. You might want to check out some.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by countryboy73 View Post
We plan on LOTS of off-the-freeway time, as we are not interested in hearing, seeing, or smelling it from where we live. And the most interesting parts of any place are usually the furthest from the freeway, too. We intend to spend the first night in Rapid City, SD, and see Mt. Rushmore the following morning, then drive to Sheridan, WY. We will check that area out as necessary, then move north to Billings, stopping at the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn along the way(I love that period of history in particular). Then it's on to the Beartooth Highway, the Chief Joseph Byway, and the Bozeman area. From there, we go to Butte, with side trips to Dillon and other surrounding towns. Then up to Missoula to check out small towns and rural areas in Sanders county and other towns south of Missoula. From there, we go to Couer d'Alene, ID, and check out the areas around there, maybe down to Grangeville, and then up to Sandpoint. From Sandpoint, we'll travel up the Clark Fork River Valley to the Flathead Valley, and up through Polson and on to Kalispell. We would love to do the drive across GNP on Hwy 2, hit Great Falls, then the Little Belts and down to Helena. Might have to figure out a different plan there, depends on the weather. On the trip back east, we plan to cruise the area north of Billings, near Roundup, and then cross SE Montana on 212, making our way back to Souix Falls, where we turn south to home. Plan might shift a bit here and there due to weather or an area of particular interest requiring more time. LOT of driving, and we plan to be out of the car and walking at least once a day. Probably need a week of sleep when we get back home!
What a great itinerary! But it can be even better! While you check out Sheridan, be sure to go south on 193 and check out the battlefields/Indian War sites between Sheridan and Buffalo (Wagon Box Fight, Ft. Phil Kearny, the Fetterman battlefield). You'll also enjoy the little town of Story. And may I suggest that instead of going 90 from Missoula to Coeur d'Alene (mostly trees all the way to the Lookout Pass and Wallace, and then more trees), you go south on 93 and check out the Bitterroot Valley, and then turn west on Highway 12 and travel along the Lochsa through Kamiah and Orofino to Lewiston, ID. Then, as you go up 95 you'll pass Grangeville on your way to CdA, and you won't have to double back. It adds an extra day, but it's worth it. And you'll be able to catch another battlefield at White Bird! Come back to the Idaho forum and we'll talk more about the details of the Idaho leg of your trip!

By the way, thanks for the Rosebud tip, guys. We'll do that next time we're in the area! The Little Big Horn Battlefield is one of the most emotional experiences I've had on our history road trips. We were there at the end of June, and the weather, light and vegetation were (probably) exactly like June 25, 1876...the "greasy grass" waving in the wind...
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