Sunday, August 22, 2010

Billings Montana

We had a short drive here yesterday from Big Timber. Just before coming into Billings we saw large plumes of smoke off in the distance. As we got closer to the smoke we could see trees burning. We assumed that it was another forest fire. We never realized before this summer how common those occurrences are. After seeing that one forest fire yesterday we noticed that many of the hills surrounding Billings have on them charred trees.
A striking natural feature of Billings are the rimrocks which rise 400 feet above the Yellowstone Valley. They run the length of the city and beyond. The picture below shows those rocks towering above the city in the background. Shortly after we parked our rig we drove up to them.
An interpretive sign at the park where we stopped on the rims explained that millions of years ago this area once looked like the coast of Texas. Over the years the Yellowstone River started cutting into the rims as it migrated back and forth across the valley. The process is still continuing today. We did some hiking around the sandstone rocks, but as the afternoon temperatures were nearing 100 degrees we decided it would be wiser to find some cool museum to stroll around in. Below is a picture of some of those rock formations.

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