Monday, November 14, 2016
Bury My Heart...
Another cold morning and after breakfast and coffee....I decided to check my mileage to Home before leaving...
Dang its a 3 1/2 hard days drive for me to home from here! And that's like pedal to metal...And I had at least 2 other stops planned! Better get busy
I didn't take any photos in the Reservation town of Pine Ridge, but it sure did look like a thriving town to me! They were in the middle of re doing the main street so that was bit rough but it's a necessary thing! Some signs of low income but I've seen that all along this trip. So I came down this way to visit the Site of Wounded Knee. I won't go far into the history as you either already know it or you can find it online....but it all started when they started to practice a new religious idea, the "Ghost Dance", in that they believed they would become bullet proof, So I just wanted to see what was there and the answer is not much...
I mean how hard would it be for our National Parks System to offer to make some kind of decent memorial for Big Foot and the 300 Sioux who died here? Canada publicly acknowledged the WRONG they did to the Native people there...when will the USA do the same? So on the site I saw this...just a simple board with a text describing the events of the Massacre.
And in the background you can see booths set up where tourists like me are normally asked to buy trinkets...A few locals were there bumming a dollar or asking for smokes, and trying to push their crafts... I listened to them and politely told them I have no budget for trinkets. Which was the honest to goodness truth!! And I was left alone after that.
You may not be aware that there was another uprising here in 1973 when the AIM (American Indian Movement) took control of Wounded Knee and there was an occupation of about 70 days! I had a conversation with this lady who was asking for money for a short history of the area, I gave her a dollar...she told me she did not agree with AIM, she felt they had not helped the plight of the Reservations. AIM demanded that the Fed Govt review and make right all the promises they had made in the Treaties they made with Native Tribes. Anyway...nothing ever became of the promise to review the treaties! ALL BS as usual. I do NOT support armed take overs of any kind...
Up on this hill (that's the woman who told me some of the history) is the Cemetery with a marker with some names of the massacred. AIM burned the original church and a store next door, where arts and crafts were sold...it was never rebuilt, the church was but its pretty rickety now..
A list of some of the dead...
This is another store building on the site that is not open...the lady told me the guy moved back to Germany and he has no plans to reopen the store he sold trinkets and memorabilia of the Massacre. And that's all there is on this site!
So I continued north a bit on BIA Hwy 27, up to Sharps Corner and on to the Southern most entrance to Badlands NP, which is on Sioux land,
the White River VC is there and tho I had no time to explore the area...I did go inside meet the native ranger and get my passport stamp...
More things to come back to see! Mom and I toured the Bad Lands back in 1998 but we didnt cover every inch of the park. We sure hit the highlights tho.
I wanted to have my lunch break in the picnic area but as you can see by these flags there was a strong wind a'blowin so Casey and I had lunch in the van with our side doors open the wind was at our drivers side flank...so we enjoyed the sounds and sights out of the wind! IT is beautiful in this area...and I sure wanted to go exploring---> hard to turn back!!! This is where I have this conversation with myself..."life is not always fair" etc...etc...etc.
I backtracked to Hwy 18 as it continues East then took 83 South..
and entered Nebraska,
old telephone/telegraph pole
I spent the evening in Valentine, NE in their Municipal park. $5. It was small but suitable, it had only a few sites I had electric, there's hot showers in a not so pretty bath house but it worked! A small stream flows by the park and there is some hiking trails. I took no photos there and Casey got a foot full of sand spurs! Ouch!
Up next more sights of NE and my ride back to SC. I'm trying to get caught up so I'm posting as fast as I can!
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.