Made it to Mandan/Bismarck ND without any problems. We stopped at Kroll's Diner for lunch and it was something else. It had all the 50's stools, tables and counter. Very interesting for sure. Had good hamburgers too. We went to Ft Abraham Lincoln State Park campground (which had nothing to do with Lincoln) but had a fort there that Custer was dispatched from to go to Little Big Horn. They had rebuilt his 2nd home there and barracks. His first home burned. They could get the blueprints of this home and along with other information was able to do it per his specifications at the time. The ranger there took us thru the house and once we entered, it all became in the 1870s and no questions could relate to this time. She was good. Outside they had marked areas where original buildings were at that time but built elsewhere. In the barricks they had one side that was set to show all those that were killed at Little Big Horn. Had lockers opened with info on the lid telling about the person, when he enlisted, where and with who, if married, what type of pension that person would receive, most of the time $8 was it and sometimes it was for a short while and other times it didn't say how long. Only saw about two or three cots that stated the person was over 5'6", most were that or shorter. One I saw was 6' and the other was 5'8". Not big people. Guess it made less target for the indians - but don't think it really helped.
The Powwow was something else. They had a grand entry Thursday night that took about an hour. It was something else to watch them. Some came in slow and just little dancing and then others came in like they were ready to go to war. They made several trips around the area, each time going in a bit and toward the end of the entry some of those that entered first were really breathing hard - some were very young, under 5, and some were much older, in the over 50 group and some looked way over 50. All ages were there. And the colors - most very bright, lots of color and so much bead work. Just wondered if they made their dress or had someone else do it. Didn't look commercial that's for sure. WE had a group of drummers right in front of us. One was a vetran, probably VietNam and he had an Irioqui (sp) costume, wasn't near as bright and colorful but was very nice looking. He didn't really look like the other Indians, he looked more white. So not sure if the tribe he was from had that coloring or if he was a "half-breed". I had thought that when they were drumming and chanting, the chanting was a recording, sounded that way. But when our group was performing, they were drumming and chanting. The other guys all looked Indian, most of all the "red man". He was one of the dancers. This was a contest and they were all going to be judged on the dancing, most authenic and all that. We didn't stay til the end Thursday night, cold and windy but what we saw was beautiful. They had a dance for all those 5 and under to start out - the little ones were something else. When they finished they had them line up to award the price and each one got $3 so no one came in last. It was so cute to see them - some really got in to the dancing and others were too small to even have an idea of what to do. So moms and dads were out there with them. It was worth it. They were to have a free bufalo meal on Sunday but we left Friday morning to go on to Minneapolis. And you can see they had Kettle Korn - and had to try it. Wasn't bad at all, lots of sweet and LOTS of salt. Didn't have the "secret ingrediet" we had but it was good. He was using stainless steel, poured it into another "bowl" which he then dumped on to a table that was stainless and had holes so the old maids and broken pieces would drop thru. Enjoyed my bag for sure. He said this was their 3rd show this year and I would think the season would be almost over. Problem is they have to drive forever to get any where there is a town. The way we came thru it was lots and lots of open spaces. He was from S Dakota and the girl he was working with was from here. Not sure if it was daughter or what, he didn't say. Made me miss it. Didn't see them tasting it like someone from our group did. Hmmmm wonder who that was?