Dining in Crow Country
This past September, Don and I had a different kind of lunch experience on a Crow Reservation.
A Memorial Visit First
In the morning we visited Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument. There was a lot to ponder as we wandered over the beautiful landscape and learned about those who died during "Custer's Last Stand" in 1876. It hasn't been all that long since they began inviting us to learn about both sides of the Little Big Horn Story. The Indian Memorial, was added in 2003.
A Tourist Lunch?
Across the road we saw a touristy looking attraction with flags and teepees and patriotic banners. This seemed like an odd choice for lunch, but there were few options in this area, which is part of the Crow Nation.
Inside The Trading Post
We walked past a couple of white teepees, towards the entrance of the cafe and gift shop. We were seated by a blond waitress, although rest of the staff appeared to be Native American. From our table there was a lot to look at from beaded vests and cradles to artwork, depicting scenes of the bloody battle... that had happened just across the street.
It was a little odd to be handed a menu with more reminders of the horrific battles. There were photo images and write ups to keep us from forgetting what we had just learned. There was also a reminder of the Trading Post's 30th anniversary. I wonder what this place was like 30 years ago, when the focus was all on "Custer and his brave men".
A Lively Atmosphere
The other half seemed to be locals from the Crow reservation. There were Native American families eating nearby and quite a crowd of young kids in green and yellow sports jerseys, taking over the back room. We were surrounded by voices and laughter and clinking dishes on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I allowed myself to enjoy a little honey with my fry bread!
It had been interesting to eat lunch while observing the locals and tourists all enjoying the same food and atmosphere. The cafe got a little quieter when much of the crowd in uniform excited outside towards a school bus. Back in the corner, one table was still occupied. A blond woman shared a table with a man who was most likely Native American. It made me wonder how much these worlds mixed 30 or 50 years ago.
Through the Gift Shop
Before heading out, I wandered through the impressive gift shop in search of the restroom. A young boy darted past me and slipped. His grandmother reprimanded him, in what I assume was the Crow language. I so wish he would have bumped into me, so we could have laughed and had a brief conversation. I so regretted having no real "people encounter" at this cafe.
Back on the Road
We drove out of the parking lot, past the colorful teepees and I had to laugh at myself. I guess I haven't changed that much since I was a little kid, when I so wished I could grow my hair long and wear two braids. For as long as I can remember, I've been in awe of this world that I'm not really a part of.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.