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Billings, Montana…

Posted by on September 20, 2014

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

We’re spending about a week in Billings. Even though we’re now anxious to make our way to Texas, there are things I’ve been postponing and I simply must spend some time and get them done. I need to finish our tax returns and deal with some paperwork to get insurance reimbursement for motorhome repairs we had done way back in Portland. I want to get the RV washed and I need to polish and wax the jeep. I want to add some features to this website. Just routine things, but they don’t get done when your either sightseeing or driving all the time. When all these projects are done, we’ll take a couple days to look around…this appears to be a very interesting town. Then, by next week at this time, we’ll be in Wyoming. Dick Cheney has invited me to have lunch with him in Casper. We’re hoping Don Rumsfeld will be able to join us. George Dubya can’t make it.


It will be a long drive to our winter home in Texas.

BILLINGS, MONTANA IS BOOMING. It is the largest city in the state of Montana. It’s located in the south – central portion of the state and has a population of around 109,000 folks who don’t mind cold winters. Billings is and has been a fast-growing, robust city and it managed to avoid the economic downturn and housing bust that affected most of the nation between 2008 and 2012. It’s a booming city. It was founded in 1882 as a railroad town and was named for Frederick Billings, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. With one of the largest trade areas in the United States, Billings is the trade and distribution center for most of Montana, Wyoming and the western portions of North and South Dakota.


William Clark’s name carved in Pompey’s Pillar.

LEWIS AND CLARK.  This is particularly interesting. In 1806, William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the Billings area. On July 25 of that year he arrived at what is now known as Pompey’s Pillar and wrote in his journal…”at 4 pm arrived at a remarkable rock. this rock I ascended and from its top had a most extensive view in every direction.” Clark carved his name and the date into the rock, leaving the only remaining physical evidence of the expedition that is visible along the Lewis and Clark Expedition route. He named the place Pompey’s Tower after the son of his Shoshone Indian guide and interpreter. In 1965, Pompey’s Pillar was designated as a national historic landmark and it was named a national monument in 2001.

BOOTHILL CEMETERY. Billings was initially a rough town of dance halls, saloons and not a single church. A Sheriff was needed and a famous mountain man, John “Liver-Eating” Johnson took the job. Many disagreements were settled with a gun in the coarse Wild West town. Soon a graveyard was needed and Boothill Cemetery was created. It was called Boothill because most of the people in it were said to have died while still wearing their boots. Boothill Cemetery today sits within the City limits of Billings.


Fishing on the Yellowstone River.

GEOGRAPHY. The Yellowstone River runs through the city and six mountain ranges can be viewed around the area. The Bighorn Mountains have over 200 lakes and two peaks that rise to over 13,000 feet. The Pryor Mountains directly south of Billings rise to a height of almost 9,000 feet and they are home to the Wild Horse Range. The Beartooth Mountains are just northeast of Yellowstone National Park. The Crazy Mountains, the Big Snowy Mountains and the Bull Mountains complete the picture. Some of the most rugged and dramatic scenery in the entire state is right here.


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