LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Campaigning With Crook Redux

“Campaigning with Crook,” by Capt. Charles King, (excerpts), Harper and Brothers, 1890

“At 2 p.m. we bivouac again, and begin to growl at this will-o’-wisp business. The night, for August (1876), is bitter cold. Ice forms on the shallow pools … and the thermometer was zero at daybreak.

“The grandest country in the world for Indian and buffalo now … two years hence it will be the grandest place for cattle.

“We move into a dense grove of timber — lofty and corpulent old cottonwoods … a great quantity of Indian pictures and hieroglyphics on the trees. We were camping on a favorite ‘stomping ground’ of theirs, evidently, for the trees were barked in every direction from the ground, and covered with specimens of aboriginal art.

“We found ourselves on the crest of a magnificent range, from which we looked down into the beautiful valley of the Beaver to the east, and southward over mile after mile of sharp, conical buttes that were utterly unlike anything we had seen before. We had abundant water and grass, and here we rested two days, while our scouts felt their way towards the Little Missouri.

“Our march leads us southeastward up the valley of Davis’s Creek — a valley that grows grandly beautiful as we near its head.

“The tepees are nestled about in three shallow ravines or ‘cooleys,’ uniting in the centre of the metropolis. … On a point at the confluence of two smaller branches stands a large lodge of painted skins, the residence no doubt of some chief or influential citizen, for it is chock full of robes and furs and plunder of every description.”

Mid-July 2023, 350 miles round trip

  • Western Meadowlark.
  • Yellow-breasted Chat.
  • Field Sparrow.
  • American Goldfinch.
  • Vesper Sparrow.
  • Lark Sparrow.
  • Spotted Towhee.
  • Indigo Bunting.
  • Gray Catbird.
  • Mourning Dove.
  • Raven.
  • Least Flycatcher.
  • Turkey Vulture.
  • Rough-winged Swallow.
  • Bobolink.
  • Lazuli Bunting.
  • Pheasant.
  • American Robin.
  • Red-winged Blackbird.
  • Western Kingbird.
  • Northern Harrier.
  • Horned Lark.
  • Swainsons Hawk.
  • Killdeer.
  • Pale Evening Primrose.
  • Northern Beadstraw.
  • Prairie Coneflower.
  • Purple Coneflower.
  • Scoria Lily.
  • Harebells (not Lanceleaf bluebells as on a video).
  • Yarrow.
  • Dogban.
  • Rocky Mountain Juniper.
  • Prickly Juniper.
  • Creeping Juniper.
  • Pin Cheery.
  • Buffalo Berry.
  • Chokecherry.
  • Blanket Flower.
  • Milkweed.
  • Plains Cottonwood.
  • Green Ash.
  • Little bluestem.
  • Western wheatgrass.
  • Thread-leaf sedge.
  • Skunkbush sumac.
  • Potentilla.
  • Wild roses (two kinds).
  • Butte candles.
  • Buckbrush.
  • Buffalobur.
  • Ponderosa pine

Saw one vehicle from 4 p.m. Friday (UPS driving leaving a ranch on the East River Road) until 11 a.m. Saturday when I met two women biking on the Maah Daah Hey trail. Otherwise, no one else until I departed Sunday morning.

No snakes.

Coyotes singing at dusk.

Mistakes are all my own.

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