Road Trip continued – Beartooth Highway – Hardin, Montana – Little Big Horn, Montana, Dunn County, North Dakota and Bismarck, North Dakota

Day 5 – Thursday August 28 -  Canyon, Yellowstone National Park to Hardin, Montana – Today 246 miles – total 1266 miles

Thursday we left Yellowstone. We stopped for breakfast at the lodge at Tower – Roosevelt. Our view out he front window included the mountains and the meadows. It was one of my favorite places we ate in Yellowstone. From Yellowstone we drove from Cooke City, Montana to Red Lodge Montana over the Bear Tooth, Highway which climbs to 10,900 feet from the exit of Yellowstone at 7365 feet. It is a stunning highway that switchbacks up and up and then down and down.


We spent Thursday night in a Bed and Breakfast in Hardin , Montana

Day 6 – Friday, August 29 -  Hardin, Montana  to Bismarck, North Dakota- Today 477 miles – total 1743 miles

Friday morning before leaving Hardin we visited the Big Horn County Historical Museum. It included twenty historic structures including a one room school house, an old barn, an old log cabin and an old church. All of the building were furnished and fascinating to explore.

Next stop was the Little Bighorn Battlefield which is only 15 miles from Hardin. I visited the battlefield once when I was a kid and I had always wanted to go back. It was a fascinating and moving as I remembered it. The ranger who told us the story of the battle and the Indians and soldiers who were there was wonderful.

From Little Bighorn we drove into North Dakota and stopped in Dickinson where my great grandparents Erb are buried. We also went north in to Dunn County to try to find the remains of their homestead. My Erb Great grandparents moved form Iowa to Dunn county north east of Manning in 1910. My Robinson Great grandparents moved form Wisconsin to north west of manning in 1912. We didn't find the exact location of either homestead but we got a real feel for the country where they homesteaded. I can't even imagine trying to build a farm from scratch there. It is remote, very cold in winter, very hot in summer and rain is unpredictable and undependable.


From Dunn County we headed to Bismarck. I lived in Bismarck from when I was a baby until we moved to Australia when I was 13. I haven't been back since 1986 just before my Grandparents died.

Day 7 – Saturday, August 30 -  Bismarck, North Dakota- Today 0 miles – total 1743 miles

This morning Duke and I attended the memorial service for my childhood best friend's Father. It is just a coincidence that we are here for the service. He was a very special man. I am so glad we were able to attend.

This afternoon I gave Duke the Marion Robinson tour of Bismarck. We saw everything from my childhood home to my Grandfather's plaque in the North Dakota  Department of Transportation Hall of Honor to  the state capital.


It has been so much fun to see how Bismarck has changed and to see my old friends and to remember what it was like when I lived here. Tomorrow we are heading north to Canada.

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

One thought on “Road Trip continued – Beartooth Highway – Hardin, Montana – Little Big Horn, Montana, Dunn County, North Dakota and Bismarck, North Dakota”

  1. I wrote a book about my father you might be interested in.
    Dad was born 1904 in Monon, Indiana. He lived with his grandma near Knox on a small sand farm for two years (ages 5 to 7), until she died. Russell was then shuffled between relatives – often strangers -to work for his room and board. At age eleven (1915) dad was put on a train from Indiana to Poplar, Montana. By seventeen, he was a full-fledged ranch and farmhand. He could do any part of the roundups, even castration. Dad harvested fields encompassing Poplar, Montana, throughout Kansas and into Canada.
    Thank you,
    Russell J. Milne, Jr.
    This is a biography of my abundant experiences, beginning when I was orphaned at the age of five in Indiana, 1909.
    I was shifted for several years among relatives, and, once, at around eight years old, was given to strangers who wanted me for chores. When I neared eleven years of age, one of my uncles put me on a train, alone, going far west—toward another uncle living in Montana.
    At twelve, I struck out on my own, working numerous farms and ranches, laboring hard from sunup until sundown. Jobs were scarce during the winters. So I rode the grub line, many times going hungry, cold and always no place to call home. If I was fortunate to find work, I labored in freezing conditions—some days twenty below.
    By seventeen, I was a full-fledged ranch and farmhand. I could do any part of the roundups, even castration. I harvested fields encompassing Poplar, Montana, throughout Kansas and into Canada. I burrowed deep down in copper mines at Butte, Montana, while underage; and within a year, advanced to blasting. I rode many rails and kinds of trains when roaming; wherever the locomotive stopped, I hopped off and did chores, in or near town.
    Usually I stayed two or three weeks before catching another freight. I traveled back to Indiana at age eighteen and worked various places: Illinois Steel Mill, Pullman Co., Gary Railways, Elgin-Joliet and Eastern Railroad, Standard Oil, Sheriff’s Department, Indiana Harbor Sheet and Tub Mill, Anaconda Refining Co., and Builders of Boxcars.
    When the depression elevated, I was out of employment like thousands of others. I couldn’t find any jobs and I didn’t want handouts. So I started vending eggs and additional farm products. I was thriving until the banks closed, wiping away my small funds. Again I embarked on my own, picking up discarded bottles and peddling these at speak-easies. After saving a few greenbacks, I bought perch from the great fish markets of Chicago, scaled and washed the merchandise before selling it to taverns and stores. I began gaining and grew ambitious for something else; thus, I jumped into hauling coal, which quickly led me toward black dirt excavating.
    Eventually, I broke loose from pennies to dollars, acquired lots of equipment, and became known around the area as “The Black Dirt King”. I also purchased three farms, fixing one up as a showplace. Several years later, failing health forced me to sell everything and retire.
    Since I liked traveling and seeing different cities, I entered the Greyhound School and emerged a driver—I loved every minute. Upon marrying for the second time, I resigned, obtained forty acres, and set up a farm.
    After two or three years of doing nothing, I developed restlessness and launched back into business—not as large as before, but still adequate. Subsequently, physical problems pressured me into quitting again, selling out, and moving my family to Daytona Beach, Florida. I purchased a new apartment building, which my wife and I operated. The Holly Hill Police Department hired me as a patrolman.
    During my Florida occupation I ran for constable, and, following the election for sheriff, was a real estate broker. I was also Chief of Police in South Daytona twice, and once at Altamonte Springs; a switchman for Florida Coast Railroad (briefly); top salesman with mobile home sales; and a security guard at a large motel. Now I’m biding my fleeting moments, selling at flea markets.
    I have traveled considerably across this country, from place-to-place, curious of each-and-every type of work. I want to try as much as possible before time runs out.
    Russell J. Milne, Sr.
    Orphan Boy by R. J. Milne, Jr. available online at, Barnes & and


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