As mentioned last week, here is the Scenery Post of the Week. Today I share with you the Bighorn Medicine Wheel. The Bighorns are 60-70 miles east of where we live. There are a few ways to get up into the mountains, and guess which way we went? My least favorite way.
Oh yes. That is the road. It’s not horrible going up, but going down is absolutely awful. No, that’s not true. Going up sucks too.
I’ve wanted to see the Medicine Wheel for years. Literal years. Finally, the timing was right.
The medicine wheel in the Bighorns sits at 9,642 feet. No one knows who made it. This part of the Bighorns is traditional Crow territory, and their oral history says that the wheel was there when they arrived. It is aligned with the stars and with the solstices. From its alignment it’s estimated to have been constructed around the year 1200, give or take a few hundred years.
The view from up there is spectacular. On this day a huge amount of smoke hung in the air from Montana wildfires, so we couldn’t see as far as on a clear day. Still. Awesome. From the parking area it’s a 3-mile round-trip hike, uphill both ways. Do I need to mention how thin the air is? I was huffing and puffing like the fat kid in gym class by the time we got to the wheel.
Prayer offerings are still left at the wheel. The wheel has 28 spokes and is about 80 feet across.
There are more wheels. Another lies north of this one, but I believe it’s on private property. There are more wheels in Montana and a lot more in Alberta, Canada.
And it was so cool. I absolutely love stuff like this, and it was worth the 3-miler to get there.
Oh, and on the way out, I saw this fossil in the road. How this got to the top of a mountain, I don’t know.
And there you have it. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel. Worth the trip.
See you later!