Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We stayed a few days in Billings, MT, at the Moose Lodge which has a huge property and some electrical hookups.  Since it was hot, we were happy to plug in.

In the area are a couple of historic sites.  First we checked out Pictograph Cave.  In 1937, archeologists retrieved 30,000 artifacts from the cave floor.

But the name comes from the pictures found on the cave wall, the oldest of which is over 2000 years old.  Humm, let's see . . .

Well, I do see some red marks and if I zoom in and increase the contrast, there is something there.
 Use your imagination.  It seems the images are obscured by a veil of calcium, but during periods of high moisture, water percolates through the rock and reveals about 30 pictographs.

We also stopped at Four Dances Recreation Area and hiked a short distance to an overlook of the Yellowstone River.

About 28 miles downstream is Pompey's Pillar.  When the Lewis and Clark Expedition returned east, they split up to explore more waterways.  William Clark's group took the Yellowstone River past this sandstone butte and named it for Sacagawea's son whom he had nicknamed Pomp.

On July 25, 1806, Captain Clark carved his name on the butte and due to preservation by the subsequent land owner, his name is still visible today.
Well, it's clearer in person.

Others have followed his example.

The visitor center is surprisingly elaborate with exhibits and a movie, but my favorite thing was a simple binder.  Seventh graders had been asked what they thought the Pillar would look like in 100 years.  There were a wide range of answers from a pile of rubble to something about space ships, but this was my favorite answer.


  1. The Yellowstone is way low for July. But we've gotten some rain the last couple of days so that should help. I loved those remarks. I understand what she meant about wanting the escalator.

  2. Barely can see anything on that rock...time is washing it away I guess...an escalator sounds pretty good to my knees..lol

  3. The kid's prediction is hysterical - I guess he/she does not like to climb steps and does like to eat!

  4. Loved your photos as usual. A middle school student who can't spell and wants a "food court" at a monument - so sad. Says a lot about the decline of our country.

  5. I think those red objects are deer. And to think all we did in Billings was eat at Perkins and get a sensor!

  6. That kid probably has it right ... we do seem to like to "improve" things :-(