Home is where we park it... travel blog

Turkey running wild on the way in the park and gobble, gobbling...

Hey, who are you looking at?

This Bull snake got caught in the mesh that was laid down...

The ridge

View of the valley below the caves

Pictograph Cave

This is what was once on the wall of the cave...best guess

Ghost Cave...notice the unusual rock formation in the sandstone

The cave in the distance

Another picture of the cave wall

Write up at the cave wall....left side

and the right side

Lots of swallow nests

Lunch

Great dead tree

Pretty little flower home to happy bugs

J.K. Ralston's Studio

All about Mr. Ralston

Curious wild painted horse

Western Heritage Center (Parmly Library)

Statue of Frederick Billings

Awesome relief done in a hardwood

This was having on the wall in the bathroom...LOL

This is an old photo of what the library looked like in...


Today's adventure was visiting the Pictograph Caves State Park and old downtown Billings. This city is much larger than we thought and is set in a large gorge of the Yellowstone River Valley. If fact, as we approached the city from the west we were driving on a high bluff and had a spectacular view of Billings spread out below. Billings was named after Frederck Billings the former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The Pictograph Caves State Park is a day use only park. Not very big. The pictographs themselves are very faded to the point of almost being non-existent. The park service has added some marking to indicate what was once on the walls of the cave. There is a nice handout describing the life and times of the indians that once inhabited and made the pictographs. There is also a dotted line indicating the level of how much has been excavated. The information about the pictographs is very interesting. What is really fascinating is the geology of the area. The caves are sandstone. The part of the Yellow River Vallley was once a shallow sea. When you look at the rimrock there are boulder like protrusions that dot one line along the entire ridge. They are located about 1/3 of the way up the ridge. These boulders must be 5 to 10 feet in diameter. Very curious. It was a pretty nice day, a little warm and humid. Possible thundershowers are forecast for later. We had a nice, short hike and some lunch under the trees.

Old downtown Billings has many period buildings. A lot of them are empty. There is a great building that was once the Parmly Billings Library which is now the Western Heritage Center. We visited this center hoping to find more information about the geology of the area. We were told that going Yellowstone, WY would provide more geological information and museums. That is scheduled for a few years from now.

The studio of J.K. Ralston is another western artist. It sits right next to the museum. He used this studio for 40 years. He has some nice pieces, but I still prefer the works of Charles Russell.



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