A shortcut that worked out, a pillar, some caves a mansion and HOBBY LOBBY!
Billings Travel Blog› entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
We got up today packed the car up and left the Western Motel, it truly was a nice place to stay. Had breakfast at the Purple Cow again, they have really, really good breakfast and not that I think I am a coffee connoisseur but the best coffee I have had in a long time. I had decided to take another "Suzi shortcut" but this one seemed to turn out ok.....at least the road stayed paved the whole time and didn’t turn to dirt, lol. The plan was to hit up Pompey’s Pillar first. We got there no problem and toured the visitor center. The visitor center there is really cool, it seems to be relatively new and it is very hands on, not only with information about the Lewis and Clark expedition but also about local plants and animals. There were a lot of areas geared towards monsters but I enjoyed myself all the same.
Pompey’s Pillar is a sandstone butte that sits back from the Yellowstone River. It is important because on the side of it is William Clark's, (of the Lewis and Clark expedition) signature in the sandstone. He carved his name in the rock on July 25, 1806 and is the only physical evidence that exists of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark had named the butte Pompey’s Tower originally after Sacagawea’s son whom he had nicknamed Pomp, the name was later changed to Pompey’s Pillar. You can see Clark’s signature on the way to the top of the pillar, it is behind plexiglass though so no one can touch or ruin it. There are steps that take you to the top the pillar and there are nice view of the surrounding area and the Yellowstone River.
At the bottom of the pillar there is a trail that leads down to the river and around so you can get different angles of it. The river was such a pretty color, I’m not used to that. The river that runs thru the bottom of my town is a grayish brown color, and yet people still swim in it, lol. Anyway, after we left Pompey’s Pillar we headed over to Pictograph Cave State Park. The park is the home to 3 caves Pictograph, Middle and Ghost, two of the three have evidence of being lived in thousands of years ago. Middle cave was closed when we were there but you can walk up to the entrance of both Pictograph and Ghost. The Montana State Park system is pretty cool, if you have a Montana license plate you get in free, if not it’s a nominal fee that vary’s between $ 2.
The park is only 6 miles south of Billings so it was an easy drive to get there, easy of course until you take the wrong turn and end up on a dead end street. We finally did find the way we were supposed to go (the pathetic thing is Billings isn’t a difficult city to drive in) and managed to make it to Moss Mansion just in time for the last tour of the day.
Moss Mansion was the home of Preston B. Moss and his family, it was finished in 1903 and is a wonderful huge home. Outside of the home is a beautiful garden that you can walk around in. The mansion was only about 3-4 blocks from our hotel and that was our next stop. We checked in then decided to go out and drive around looking for a place to eat. While driving around I found a car wash, I had been a bit obsessed with Grey Feather’s brown appearance ever since the first "Suzi’s shortcut" so I was so excited when I found the wash. That is until after the wash and Grey Feather dried, he was only Grey on the top part of the car and the bottom part of the car was still brown. So if you ever find yourself in Billings with an obsession to clean your car DON’T pay $ 5.