26 June 1997

Day 13 - Custer Battlefield, MT to Parkman, WY

Distance travelled: 52.3 miles
Winds: Slight head
Grades: Up
Weather: Forenoon fair; Afterrnoon rain
Condition of roads: Bad
Delays: Bicycles – 0/Tires – 0/Lunch – 3h 30m/Other – 20m
Actual travel time: 10h 25m
Rate per hour: 5 mph
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

Places & times mentioned: Custer battlefield, MT [5 AM]; Little Horn river; Wyola [lunch- 12:30 – 4:30]; Parkman, WY [7 PM]

“The signal to advance was given the next morning at 5 o’clock . The first obstacle met with was the Little Horn river which is not bridged except by the railroad. We were compelled to either ford or go out of our way and walk on the bridge; the latter plan was adopted and we were soon on our way in earnest. Good roads and no wind was our lot and good time was made until the Little Horn river again presented itself. This time we had to ford. The men took off their leggings and rolled up their trousers and waded in with machines on their shoulders. After a little delay we were again on our way. The roads were getting poorer and many washed out places were met with and more hills. The Little Horn was crossed five times more , twice by fording and the weather was getting extremely hot.
The corps plodded along until noon when we reached Wyola , where we had lunch and a four hours rest.
We pulled out at 4:30, the weather as nice as possible, but before we were half a mile from the station a big storm blew up, lightning flashed on all sides, the cattle grazing near were stampeded and rain commenced to fall. A gallant run was made towards Parkman, Wyo. We were wet to the skin when the rain stopped. When we crossed the state line which is marked with a barbwire fence, the sun was shining and the rain had soaked in leaving a good road. We were glad to get out of Montana, where rain was our continual annoyance, and especially glad to get out of the Crow Indian reservation over which we had traveled since leaving Billings.
The corps pulled into Parkman at 7 o’clock and made camp for the night. On account of rain a dry shelter was looked for and resulted in our sleeping in a barn.”
-E.H. Boos, Daily Missoulian From Fort to Fort, July 17, 1897

[This article was also published in the St. Louis Daily Globe Democrat, July 18, 1897. The head line for that paper was THE MILITARY BICYCLISTS.----- They Find a Hard Road to Travel in Wyoming.]

“Our road across the crow reservation was a hard one, and we are glad we are over it and out of the state of Montana as well. We have not had a whole day of good weather on our trip, rain is always sure to mar the day’s run. You can reach me with letters and wire for a few days to Edgemont, S.D. and then at Crawford, Nebraska.
The flowers in this part of the country are much prettier and more varied than are to be seen at home. Red, pink and white wild roses are to be seen on all sides. A flower much like the Montana Arnica flower, having pink leaves, are to be seen in abundance. They are pretty and have a nice odor.
The enclosed bill of fare will give you an idea of what we filled up on. Moss had three pieces of pie. Will have to get at my article now, so good bye,
Your son and brother, E. H. Boos, Official reporter 25th, U.S. Infantry Bicycle Corps”
- Daily Missoulian June 29, 1897

“The ride from the Custer Battlefield to Sheridan, Wyo., about 90 miles, was one of the hardest of the whole trip. The great part of the time the roads were very rough and hilly, and we had to ford the Little Big Horn a number of times.”
- Lt. Moss Report to the Adjutant General (pg. 5)

“On June 26, bright and early, we started up the valley of the Little Big Horn. The traveling was very hard—the roads were rough and hilly, and we had to ford the river several times. As we road along we could plainly see in the far distance a line of blue outlined against the azure of the southern sky—the Black Hill Mountains [sic –those are the Big Horns!] About 7 o’clock in the evening we crossed the State line and entered Wyoming, shortly afterward going into camp for the night.
So far the country traversed had presented scenes of beauty, interest and grandeur. As we rode from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley, from river to river, passing by the wayside relics of bygone days, we could but feel a pang of regret at the advance of civilization—the old stage coaches have crumbled into ruins, the mountain teamsters and the buffaloes have disappeared: the Indians are passing away—the “wild and woolly West” is no more!
- Lt. Moss, Los Angeles Times The Army A-Wheel, Nov. 7, 1897

1 comment:

Pat H said...

Doesn the 1997 date of posting comport to the 1897 date of the trip exactly?