August 13, 2012

Taking the high road.

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(Enlarge.)

The view from the Big Horn Scenic Byway in Wyoming, where we were the other day.

(You can talk about whatever you want in the comments.)

45 comments:

Michael K said...

The view looks a little like the view from Custer Battlefield. When I was there in 1965, there battlefield was little changed from the time after the bodies were buried. I think there is much more construction now. Too bad. Standing there you could almost see the Indians coming up the hill.

sydney said...

Very nice. Reminds me of a painting

wyo sis said...

It almost looks like a painting. I think there are few spots in the world more beautiful than the high Rocky Mountains, but, of course, I'm prejudiced.

wyo sis said...

Jinx you owe me a Coke.

chickelit said...

The High Road by the Feelies

edutcher said...

We'll wrap up the Indian wars and go home.

Michael K said...

The view looks a little like the view from Custer Battlefield. When I was there in 1965, there battlefield was little changed from the time after the bodies were buried.

About 10 years later, there was a big grass fire there that revealed a lot of hitherto undiscovered artifacts and changed a lot of thinking about the battle.

abby said...

When our kids were young we would go camping in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana every summer. After a while they complained that other kids got to go to Disney World and they had to go- "Out West". We roamed all over the area and saw so many things and had a great time. Now that they are older, our kids are now taking their kids "Out West", and they are still having a great time. It's beautiful area, I felt at home the every time we were there.

AllieOop said...

I think Wisconsin forests and lakes are far more beautiful, this scene is striking, but a bit harsh, barren. But I'm partial to my beloved Wisconsin.

Michael K said...

Naturally, it is no longer Custer Battlefield.

http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

There is even an Indian memorial. I guess they didn't win after all.

Lyle said...

Is this road white knuckle, nerve wracking?

David R. Graham said...

Glad you're taking the by-ways. Only way to see the country is to stay off the interstates, use the old US Highway system or state and county roads. That offers these lovely, interesting pictures. The West is a state-of-being. Many find her barren, frightening, inhospitable. rough. Good thing they do. The genius of the nation runs westward. The east is fetid, sated, smug, the west still largely clean, hungry, adventurous. Now the American West is west of Hawaii. The nation always has faced westward, gaining daylight each step of the way.

David R. Graham said...

"Is this road white knuckle, nerve wracking?"

Want a road of that description? US 550, Montrose to Durango. You'll never forget it.

JAL said...

Is that an old foundation in the mid foreground?

It's the openness and the sky out west.

Mindblowing.

edutcher said...

David R. Graham said...

Now the American West is west of Hawaii. The nation always has faced westward, gaining daylight each step of the way.

Actually, Douglas MacArthur saw that 100 years ago.

ndspinelli said...

Allie, You are the archetypal provincial Cheesehead. Ya' Hey Dere!!

David R. Graham said...

When I was at the Little Big Horn Battlefield I was impressed with Custer's and his subordinates' judicious order of battle, specifically taking advantage of elevation and lines of sight. The US 7th Cavalry Regiment (Garryowen) is celebrated.

wyo sis said...

I always think heaven will look like the high Rocky Mountains. If it doesn't it won't be quite heaven. I've lived briefly where there are no mountains, and I get a little stir crazy. Like those settlers in Giants in the Earth.

David R. Graham said...

"Actually, Douglas MacArthur saw that 100 years ago."

Yes, I was trying to express him without quoting him. He spoke the truth on that and so much else. One of our sons bears his name.

Michael K said...

"I was impressed with Custer's and his subordinates' judicious order of battle"

The battlefield, when I was there, was marked with headstones where each body was found and the officers' names. There was a common grave in the center. You could see how Custer stationed the small detachments. The battle was pretty easy to visualize.

edutcher said...

Custer (or whomever was in command, there's some question whether he had been wounded in the initial assault on the village) was waiting for Benteen to show up to press a new attack and had formed a defensive perimeter.

jimbino said...

Enjoy your trip. I'm still eager to see your report on the many Hispanic, Native and African Amerikan tourist you've encountered in the rich lands of the West, the patrimony of all Amerikans.

chickelit said...

jimbino grumped:
Enjoy your trip. I'm still eager to see your report on the many Hispanic, Native and African Amerikan tourist you've encountered in the rich lands of the West, the patrimony of all Amerikans.

You forgot Asians and Pacific Islanders. What have you got against them?

I'm starting to see what Palladian might have been getting at the other day. "Jimbino" had a nasty experience at a Nat'l Park.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I love the 'big sky' country. I've lived in cities full of sky scrapers. Sprawling mega suburbs. I've lived in the piney wood hills. Nothing beats the miles and miles of view that I love now.

From my back deck winter sunrise.

View from the general neighborhood another view

from a small hill

I can see for miles and miles and miles.

No fences well...maybe some . Ok. So maybe I'm not just your traditional western country girl....a little jazz never hurt anyone.../wink

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, darn. From the hill

Better link

Hispanic, Native and African Amerikan tourist you've encountered in the rich lands of the West, the patrimony of all Amerikans.

Hey Jimbimo aka Asshole. We have a very large resident (they live here!) population of Hispanics and the several tribes of Native Americans who not only have several Rancherias in our area....they own the local casino. I must admit we don't have more than a handful of African Americans, two of whom work for the National Forestry Service.

We all get along just fine and are active together in School Booster clubs, Chamber and other community activities. I suggest you get out of your cocoon and see the world. You might learn something.

bgates said...

Naturally, it is no longer Custer Battlefield.

You think that's something, here's some text describing the battle from that same NPS site:

The village was largely intact and from accounts had been surprised by the approaching cavalry contingents. Fortunately the warrior fighting force was able to concentrate overwhelming numbers against a now divided Regiment and defeat it in detail.

Synova said...

Well, darn.

I gave an example yesterday of all the very many Hispanics that I see at our National Forest here. I refrained from mentioning the use of BLM lands, since I don't know the ethnicity of those most likely to hunt there and ought not imply the enthnicity of those who dump bodies there. (Anyway, I don't think it's right to lump Mexican cartel problems with American Hispanic persons. Not the same thing.)

However, the picnic areas, even the remote ones are teaming with family oriented Hispanics. Probably even more than other ethnicities. The Peak area seems to be mostly old people and "tourists" because locals go up there and then they've seen it, and besides which it's nerve wracking with little kids and Hispanics always have a troupe of little kids. Very family oriented people.

Thus. Picnics. Not at the top of a cliff.

I haven't been a whole lot of parks in New Mexico. Tent Rocks, I'm told is sacred and very cool, and I think it's appropriate to have the Park Service maintain the park there so that it's always preserved, even though it's only a tiny minority of Native Americans who think it's a sacred place.

Synova said...

"The village was largely intact and from accounts had been surprised by the approaching cavalry contingents. Fortunately the warrior fighting force was able to concentrate overwhelming numbers against a now divided Regiment and defeat it in detail."

Heh. ;-)

The reason Custer lost, was that the Indians won.

(And I think it's entirely appropriate to frame it that way.)

Synova said...

"Want a road of that description? US 550, Montrose to Durango. You'll never forget it."

*Shudder*

edutcher said...

bgates said...

Naturally, it is no longer Custer Battlefield.

You think that's something, here's some text describing the battle from that same NPS site:

The village was largely intact and from accounts had been surprised by the approaching cavalry contingents. Fortunately the warrior fighting force was able to concentrate overwhelming numbers against a now divided Regiment and defeat it in detail.


The 7th arrived at the valley around noon, but still had to find the village and began scouting; this is when they came across a party of reservation jumpers who, having agreed to go back after seeing the ferocity of the Battle of the Rosebud (biggest fight of the Indian wars) the previous week.

Assuming they had been spotted and the Indians would report the cavalry's presence to Sitting Bull (they didn't), Custer made plans for a hasty attack on this experience that, knowing troops were in the area, the Indians would scatter.

He sent Major Reno and 3 troops as a diversionary force while he would hit the main village, sending a message to Captain Benteen to bring his 3 troops up ASAP (Benteen didn't) to support him. The Sioux were able to check Reno's squadron (50% casualties) and then concentrate on the other wing of the 7th.

Some of that text bgates quoted was probably written by Robert Utley, staff historian at the Custer Battlefield and a lifelong Custer aficianado. His book "Cavalier In Buckskin" initiated a whole new view of Custer and the battle that has changed perceptions of what actually happened.

chickelit said...

@DBQ: Is that Mt. Shasta?

@Synova: I went hiking once in Bandelier NM many years ago. There were plenty of Anasazi relics and remains so they must have liked the park in the past. :)

chickelit said...

Wow, edutcher--you do have an affinity for blond(e)s, huh?

Synova said...

chickelit, I drove the loop around Bandelier. I'd driven a friend to Los Alamos and she wasn't dressed for hiking, unfortunately. The drive was pretty, though.

edutcher said...

chickelit said...

Wow, edutcher--you do have an affinity for blond(e)s, huh?

?????

No, I like brunettes (Latinas and Italian girls are quite comely) and, of course, redheads.

If chick is talking about Custer, he was more chestnut than blond and I got interested in him largely because I was intrigued how someone who was so proficient in the Civil War could be denounced as such a fool a few years later.

(keep in mind, Little Big Horn handed the Grant Administration, which had been accused of being soft on Indians, with a first-class political mess and it needed a scapegoat; of course, Custer could not defend himself, so he was it)

Also remember Custer's reinforcements were supposed to be a day behind, but got to the valley a day later than they were supposed to (ie, on the 27th, instead of the 26th).

bgates said...

I think it's entirely appropriate to frame it that way

Would you describe the death of American men in uniform as "fortunate" in any other circumstances, or just this once?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@DBQ: Is that Mt. Shasta?

Yes. Beautiful isn't it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If chick is talking about Custer, he was more chestnut than blond and I got interested in him largely because I was intrigued how someone who was so proficient in the Civil War could be denounced as such a fool a few years later.

It is all about assumptions. If you assume that everyone is thinking and acting within the same framework as you, you will be surprised and foiled. The Indian Wars, were not fought with the same 'rules and regulations' as were commonly agreed upon by enemies who came from the same culture. North, South in the Civil War ....they may have been on opposite sides but they still had a common cultural way of looking at things.

You can be a master at chess, but when your opponent is playing another game, that doesn't matter. He was denounced as a fool because the others who could only imagine chess, need to blame someone, not themselves, for their own lack of vision.

Blinders as to what your enemy really is and refusal to think how they might think....the road to disaster.

I'm hopeful that this is a description of the Liberals. They think that everyone is just like them and they just can't understand "What's The Matter With Kansas".

Blinders.

David R. Graham said...

@DBQ First I thought "Rainier." Then check of foreground vegetation said "Shasta." From Yreka?

Synova said...

bgates... I was walking with my children and we saw a empty shell of a baby turtle. Oh, sad for the turtle, the kids got all solemn, but happy for the seagull, they cheered up.

Are you asking me to chose sides in the 19th Century attempts to exterminate Native Americans? I support (retroactively, as it were) our Western expansion, but that doesn't require I support the way a lot of it was handled.

Why NOT frame events in a battle as fortunate from the point of view of the Indians? It actually redeems Custer a bit, you know, to explain that he didn't lose because he was a fool, he lost because they won.

The descendants of those Indians (arguably warriors "in uniform") are American citizens too you know.

Synova said...

I'm going to stick with the "in uniform" part, and I think it is significant. Part of the warrior ethos is to respect one's honorable opponent.

bgates said...

Are you asking me to chose sides in the 19th Century attempts to exterminate Native Americans?

I don't have children, but if I did, I'd tell them that the way we find a question is to look for the question mark and read the sentence in front of it.

Why NOT frame events in a battle as fortunate from the point of view of the Indians?

In order to avoid
making a value judgement,
or the appearance of partiality,
or cheering the death of American servicemen.

Why not "frame events" like so -

On March 6, 1970, members of the Weather Underground were making preparations for the bombing of a Non-Commissioned Officers’ (NCO) dance at the Fort Dix U.S. Army base. Unfortunately, the nail bomb detonated early, killing three American citizens rather than its intended targets, members of the American military.

Is it the uniforms?

Kathy said...

Ann - Thanks for the awesome picture. You are a visual artist....keep them coming!

Carnifex said...

My wife and I drove into Durango years ago, if it is the same road, yeah it's a white knuckler, but I enjoyed the hell outta it.

DBQ

Love your pics. Get away from the hustle of city life to where it's so quiet your ears imagine sounds.

Here you can get to places like that only you're not pinned beneath that huge expanse of sky, reminding you just how little you are, and how little you mean to the world.

Big Sky country, and the Badlands...nice place to visit, but I'll call my hills and hollows home.

Synova said...


"Is it the uniforms?"

Yes.

Obviously, from your chosen example, you don't have the first clue of the difference between the Iraqi military and the Al Qaeda "insurgency" either.

Carnifex said...

Foolish Custer. Didn't he read The Art Of War by Sun Tzu?

Rusty said...

Synova said...
"The village was largely intact and from accounts had been surprised by the approaching cavalry contingents. Fortunately the warrior fighting force was able to concentrate overwhelming numbers against a now divided Regiment and defeat it in detail."

Heh. ;-)

The reason Custer lost, was that the Indians won.

(And I think it's entirely appropriate to frame it that way.)


Custer made three significant mistakes.

He divided his forces.
He ignored up to date intelligence. His scout told him there were more indians at the Little Bighorn River than he had troops to fight them and many of them were braves.
He was undergunned. He left his heavy artillery behind and all his troops had were single shot Springfield rifles and their side arms.The indians had Spencer, Henry, and Winchester repeating rifles, plus the Springfield rifles the captured at the Wagon Box battle a couple of months before.
Arrogance killed Custer.