Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tourist-in-Our-Town Trippin' Two

Let's face it: as nice and new as your house might be, a change of scenery is always good. We finally reached the point where we physically needed to do something fun, yet inexpensive, and new, so we decided to go back to Pompey's Pillar, a National Monument we tried to see the year before but was closed (although, as we learned during this visit, if the park is closed, you can still hike in).

Most recently being in the news for an angsty-adolescent's graffiti, the monument is most famous for being the only physical evidence of William Clark's journey. According to the guy who took our money, Clark climbed the "pillar" to get a better view of the Yellowstone River in order to map it, and named it Pompey after Sacagawea's son. So, since Clark climbed the pillar, as did we.

Excited that she actually gets to climb the giant rock behind her. (She has reached the age of wanting to dress herself, so the pj's were her idea. As many of my friends and family pointed out, at least she's wearing pants.)

We all have to take pictures in front of the monument, like it's a long-lost family member.

 That's right - eight months pregnant and I hiked up this bitch! I'm determined to get rid of the old-man butt I've had since the early months of Zoey's pregnancy.

 William Clark's signature, about halfway up the pillar.

 It's surrounded by various other signatures from over the centuries.

Stopping for a rest, something she didn't want to do but Mommy found necessary. P.S. Taking an energetic child to a place with miles of stairs is pure genius. She even encountered another girl about a year or two younger than her who was also named Zoey. It was refreshing to encounter someone who had a human named Zoey instead of someone who beamed at us while they proudly declared that their dog was named Zoey.

 View from the top.

 We hiked - and by "hike" I mean took the stairs - back down and walked around the rest of the park. At one point was this giant slab of rock with the signatures on it, up close and personal. We're not sure of the purpose of it, if it's a replica, or where it came from.

 The very high, very swift-moving Yellowstone River.

Hopefully the water wasn't like that when they had to travel in these treacherous-looking canoes, which were top of the line in their day, I'm sure.

Although our approach to summer hasn't been nearly as rapid as in previous years, we've had our fair share of extremely warm days. On one such day, I decided I needed to get the children - fur and non- good and exercised. The problem is, Billings doesn't have a lot of options for dogs (off-leash, specifically), especially for swimming. So I took advantage of a weekday and took us all to Conney Dam (weekends are notorious for being boat-to-boat crowded).

 There goes Louis!

 Durbin always manages to look humiliated no matter what he's doing.

 The non-fur child had to get in on the mud action as well.


 That's Louis way out there. Mr. Likes To Ignore That He's a Senior Citizen was sore and crabby a good two days after this adventure. (Quite honestly, so was I.)

 Keeping this one away from water is about as easy as keeping Louis away from water.

 Playing in the dirt is a close equal. She asked me to take a picture of her "building my sand castle."

 Very proud of the *very* small shell she found.

 We lucked out and I was right - the park was empty because we went in the middle of the week so I didn't have to worry about who Durbin was off humping. And it turned out to be a perfect day in terms of the weather.

The explorer and her beast companions.

We're lucky to live in an area where we have access to "changes of scenery" that aren't very far away. We have plans to do more far and wide traveling but not until the McBun has joined us. So until then, we'll continue to enjoy being tourists in our own town.