This is our last adventure on our Anniversary adventure last week. On our way home we stopped at Big Hole Battlefield and went into the visitors center, which is run by the National Park Service. It's a beautiful facility with a viewing area just outside the front door.
The story behind this sight is a sad story in American history.
This is the actual Nez Perce encampment that the soldiers attacked during the battle at the Big Hole. These poles represent where the Indians had made camp thinking they were safe from the military when they were attached while asleep. This is a very emotional area as the present day Indians say they can still hear the screams and cries of the women and children during that terrible evening.
The Pass we came over to reach our home is named after Chief Joseph who fought in the Battle at The Big Hole. He traveled this way as the remainder of the tribe headed to Canada. When the Nez Perce finally surrendered, it was more from exhaustion trying to elude forces under Gen. Oliver O. Howard that from defeat. Their desperation is echoed in the words Chief Joseph reportedly spoke to Colonel Miles:
"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed...It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death...My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."
As we came over the top of the pass we could see that our beautiful valley was still filled with smoke. As of this writing, (Friday, 8/24) the skies are a bit more clear but we still have the fire burning on Rambo Mountain just south of us. We hope the day will come soon when we have nothing but clear skies and no more forest fires in our wonderful state.