Just typed in “how Ten Sleep got its name” into my search engine and pow! the photo that I meant to take today was there on flickr. Seeing as how it’s copyrighted, I didn’t repost it here, but the sign, now showing its age, continues the tale of how Ten Sleep was halfway between two large Indian camps… and as the Indian measured distance in “sleeps”, or a day’s travel, ten sleeps was equi-distant to both camps.
I never believed it.
I figured Indians camped where ever, when ever, they felt like it, it’s not like they had schedules or anything. One year’s grass/hunting/gathering may be different from the year before and strategies/tribal boundaries change.
Then there’s the story from the museum where the old lady tells how they waited for their braves to return from a battle. They camped in the valley for ten sleeps.
That one sounds plausible.
The one story I heard in
Buffalo, Durant, during Longmire Days, was based on the battle of Crowheart Butte. I’ve talked about this before… it was where, in 1866, the Shoshone Chief Washakie killed the Crow Chief Big Robber on top of the butte, and then cut out his heart and paraded it on his lance. (some stories say he ate it)
The Crow were so mortified that they had lost, that they rode for 10 days to escape the area and “bad medicine” and ended up in, yup, Ten Sleep.
Never heard that one before! But the guy who told it to me, was Quite Insistent that his friend, a Crow, told him that was the Truth.
Whatever the Truth may be… the name usually makes an impression in people’s minds! Strangers always remember Ten Sleep!
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