My western trip

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rufrdr
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Willow Spring North Carolina
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My western trip

#1 Post by rufrdr »

Seeing someone else's vacation pics can be a sleep-inducing experience but I thought some of these may be of interest to the forum members.

Last fall my wife, sister-in-law, and I flew to Rapid City South Dakota for a driving vacation for two weeks. We toured the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. When I say toured, that doesn't mean we saw everything in all four states but we saw a fair amount.

We visited Mt. Rushmore, Custer state park, Theodore Roosevelt NP, Badlands NP, Little Big Horn national battlefield, Deadwood SD, The Minuteman missile national monument, Old Ft. Meade SD, Cody Wy, Yellowstone NP, Billings MT, and other points of interest. I took a zillion pictures which I won't post all here, just some :)

There are several great firearms related places to visit, the Cody Museum of the West in Cody Wy being at the top of the list. If you really want to see everything in detail 8 hours wouldn't be excessive. Also in Cody is a small but very interesting museum of dug up firearms. No pictures allowed in it but it was worth stopping in to see it.
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Ouside the Cody museum
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Winchester revolvers
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'Coffee Grinder' Sharps carbine
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Yours truly holding a model 1816 Hall breech loading rifle
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At the Cody museum you can book a guided tour that ends in the reference section where you may fondle some representative firearms.

At Mt. Rushmore
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My sister-in-law (retired MSG USAF) and I along with several other vets in the audience retired the colors at the Mt. Rushmore amphitheater
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"Everybody dies...the thing is, to die well"

Jack Harper
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rufrdr
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Location: Willow Spring North Carolina
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Re: My western trip

#2 Post by rufrdr »

The Minuteman missile national monument in S.D. The missile and silo is still governed by the U.S./U.S.S.R. arms reduction treaty so the missile is visible for verification by overflight. Due to covid, the launch control facility was closed so we could only view the actual launch silo. Talking to some NP personnel who were on-site, they said that in a launch, the cover would be blown right off the tracks and through the chain link fence. The glass cover was added after the missile field was deactivated.

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The entrance to the silo - the NP guy said that the hatch takes about 10 minutes to open which is intended to be enough time for the security force from the launch center to arrive and deal with whomever was breaking in back when this was still active.

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True so far....
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"Everybody dies...the thing is, to die well"

Jack Harper
User avatar
rufrdr
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:38 am
Location: Willow Spring North Carolina
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Re: My western trip

#3 Post by rufrdr »

Last one for tonight...

Old Ft. Meade (in contrast to 'new Ft. Meade' which is in Maryland and still an active Army post) was a frontier cavalry post and WW2 training center until 1944 when it was converted to a VA hospital complex. The SD ARNG still uses some of the facilities for training and their OCS academy. The museum is in the old post HQs. The housing is a great example of pre-WW2 officer houses

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According to the sign, Ft. Meade SD is where the 'Star Spangled Banner' was first played in an official capacity

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MAJ Marcus Reno of the 7th cavalry and the Little Big Horn fetched up at Ft. Meade after the battle. He was apparently quite taken with the daughter of the regimental commander COL Samuel Sturgis
and was accused of peeping at Ms. Sturgis through the window of the Sturgis' quarters. COL Sturgis blamed Reno along with LTC George Custer for the death of his son, a LT with the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn so COL Sturgis was inclined to court martial Reno for the allegation. It was quite the scandal.

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LT Sturgis marker at the Little Big Horn battlefield

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A great little museum and a fascinating frontier Army post to tour. https://www.fortmeademuseum.org/history
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"Everybody dies...the thing is, to die well"

Jack Harper
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