Little Bighorn, Montana Territory
~ June 18 - 22, 2014 ~
A Historic & Scenic Montana Horseback Ride and Tour into the Old West
During our four-day historic Montana horseback ride and tour, we'll focus in and around the Little Bighorn, Montana area as we shadow Custer's, Reno's and Weir's hoof prints as we ride to glory. We'll ride to Weir Point and also trace Reno's Retreat, from his skirmish line to Reno Hill. And, for three days we'll participate in an adrenaline-rush re-enactment of Custer's Last Stand in front of a live audience - at Medicine Tail Coulee, along the Little Bighorn River, where Custer attempted to flank the massive Indian village and was repulsed to Last Stand Hill.
~ This Ride is Suitable for All Riding Levels - from the Novice to the Advanced ~
$2,096 per person
Initial Deposit: $500 per person, non-refundable deposit required Final Payment: 90 Days prior to ride
Horses (trained to gunfire and matched to your riding ability)
All tack - but Western only ... interested in renting a McClellan? Try www.carricoleather.com
Three meals a day, Thursday through Sunday
Trooper dress is mandatory (see Dress Code) ... rentals may be available
Note: trooper dress in NOT mandatory if you do not ride in the re-enactment!!
Reservations Required!! No later than mid- to late March prior to this June event!
Should you cancel within 90 days prior to ride .... all monies non-refundable
Should Great American Adventures cancel this ride: all monies 100% refundable
** See Terms & Conditions / ** Also See: Travel Insurance - this is strongly recommended
Transportation to and from Hardin, Montana.
Motels (see Motels) / rental cars (if needed) - suggest making room reservations as early as possible - Hardin motels fill up fast during this event. Most motels start taking reservations around January 1st.
Requisite uniforms and holsters (see Dress Code for suggestions and merchants) - I am attempting to provide rental uniforms. Contact me if you are interested in renting a uniform.
Contact Shawn Elder at East-West Global Tours (480-648-4735) to arrange your complete transportation package, including roundtrip air, rental vehicle / shuttle/motorcoach and motel accommodations. Flight arrivals can be coordinated in order to facilitate group transfers to share the expense of transportation. Daily tour packages for non-riding spouses can also be arranged.
~ Itinerary ~
Wednesday, June 18
Arrive Hardin, Montana during the day
6:00 pm – Meet & Greet Dinner in Hardin - restaurant to be determined ... it's usually the "Far West Restaurant"
Thursday, June 19
8:00 am Wednesday – Chuckwagon breakfast, situated along the Little Bighorn River.
Cavalry Training during the day. In the afternoon - evening, we'll ride to Weir Point.
6:00 pm - Chuckwagon dinner
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: June 20, 21 & 22
8:00 am – Chuckwagon breakfast each morning
Preparation for "Battle of the Little Bighorn" in front of a live audience
Additional riding around the Little Bighorn River before and after the production as desired
Free time as needed to visit museums, shops (Billings has some very cool shopping - about an hour drive away)
6:00 pm - Dinner will be served at the chuckwagon each evening
There will be time to experience Reno's Retreat ... with a historian
Thursday, June 19
Cavalry training is most important to the reenactment that we will experience Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We must know the commands and look sharp for the audience, which numbers in the hundreds. Prior to our three-day involvement with this event you will be taught, on horseback, those cavalry commands most used during the reenactment. For the history-buff and horse rider, this is a delight to learn and perform cavalry commands given during the Custer era.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, June 20, 21 & 22
Our group relives one of the most celebrated, controversial, and debated military events in America: the Battle of the Little Bighorn, located at Medicine Tail Coulee, and held in front of a live audience. We'll join other re-enactors that have traveled from around the globe to participate in this exhilarating, adrenaline-rush mock battle. The Indians usually outnumber us 2-to-1.
During Our Ride
To complete our knowledge of events, we'll ride Reno's Retreat, accompanied by an historian, and, if possible (but no guarantee) another historian may join us - his schedule permitting - a blood relative of White Swan and Curly, two of Custer's Crow scouts. He's been with us in the past - fascinating!!
We'll also ride to Weir Point, where Captain Thomas Weir, having heard the sounds of the guns while at Reno Hill, and assuming Custer was engaged, mounted and led his troopers to this prominent point - probably the last men to witness the debacle at Last Stand Hill.
Please Note: Men and women are invited on this and all my historic rides
Also Note: I'm recruiting for Cavalry only. Indians are provided by the Crow Reservation
Little Bighorn Battle - The History Behind the Ride
June 24, 1876
High up in the Wolf Mountains, in a squat double-peaked ridge called the Crow's Nest, the 7th Cavalry's Crow and Arikara scouts could clearly see the village and large herd of some 20,000 ponies, "like worms crawling on the grass," fifteen miles away. They wanted a "Light Eyes" to confirm the sighting. Twenty-seven year old Lt. Charles Varnum, Chief of Scouts, rode to the "Nest," while Custer's column continued their march into the night, "dark as pitch." Around 2:00 AM, the column was halted, both men and horses totally exhausted.
June 25, 1876
The Lakota called this day Moon of the Ripe June berries. Unbeknownst to the large encampment of Sioux, Cheyenne and Sans Arc, they had been found the night before! It was approximately 8:00 AM when word was passed by Varnum that the 7th Cavalry's Crow scouts had spotted a large village in the Little Bighorn valley. Custer decided to see for himself and rode out with Bloody Knife, who told a friend, "We'll find enough Sioux to keep us fighting two or three days." Custer replied, "I guess we'll get through them in one day." Custer joined Varnum's party. Varnum admitted he, himself, had not seen the village, but the Crow's were adamant. Custer gazed through the lieutenant's spyglass, but due to the morning haze and campfire smoke, could not see anything. Mitch Bouyer, "the best guide in the country," told Custer, "If you don't find more Indians in that valley than you ever saw together, you can hang me." Custer, frustrated, believed his scouts and Bouyer - the largest concentration of Indians he had ever confronted awaited him.
The Crow scouts also believed the village knew of the 7th Cavalry's presence. It was feared the alarm would soon be sounded throughout the encampment and the Indians would scatter. Custer's plan to rest his men throughout the day and attack on the 26th was thwarted! The 7th had to advance at once. Custer ordered the attack. The heat and dust, coupled with the lack of water, contributed to the suffering of both men and horses,
but on they pressed -- on to glory