We headed up to Bowman, ND this afternoon taking Highway 85 north through Belle Fourche. A few miles out of Belle and the ruggedness of the land starts to unfold. Trees begin to disappear, replaced by clumps of sagebrush, golden prairie grass and majestic buttes. At first glance, it seemed so desolate and lifeless. The sun beating down with no shade in site. But as you drive along, you start to see life everywhere. Mule deer, groups of antelope, prairie dogs, turkey vultures fighting over a carcass off in the distance and hawks skimming the ground looking for mice. I look forward to coming back to explore some of the buttes and cave hills – AND take some photos!

Untamed Harding County

South Dakota Magazine writer John Andrews wrote a great article that is definitely worth reading. http://www.southdakotamagazine.com/harding-county

Bizarre battle between the Crow and Sioux Indians in the summer of 1822

Crow Buttes, located in Harding County, was the scene of a bizarre battle between the Crow and Sioux Indians in the summer of 1822. Sioux men ravaged a Crow camp, destroying it and raping the squaws. Warfare ensued, Crow warriors left their women and children and old folks at Sand Creek north of the Buttes, fleeing for a better vantage point on top of the Crow Buttes, with Sioux fighters chasing them. The Crows had no water with them and being sultry weather no rain fell. The Sioux encircled the Crow Buttes and waited patiently until the trapped Crows died from thirst. Subsequently, the nearby canyon of skulls, to the northwest, was filled with skeletons of Sioux who had died like flies after contracting a fever from the Crows.

According to The First Scout website, there were two battles that took place at Crow Buttes between the Lakota and Crow Indians. The second battle took place over thirty years later, with a very similar outcome for the Crow Indians.