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Billings, MT's largest city

sunny 87 °F

Good Day!

It was about 0930 when I left the campground for my journey to Billings, MT. About a 4 hr. drive from Gillette, I observed a change in the landscape, once again. The grasslands of WY changed into rolling prairie land with large farms (ranches) growing crops, thousands of acres of them. I can see why they refer to Montana as 'Big Sky' country for the land seems to go on forever in all directions. Mind you, I am just in the southern part of the State. The Rockies can be seen in the distance to the west.

Billings is the largest city in the State of Montana with a pop. of about 170K. The swift-moving Yellowstone River, fed by the glaciers in the northern part of the State, runs through the city. Approaching the city from the High Plains to the south one descends into a 'bowl' surrounded on 2 sides by 1,250' cliffs, called 'Rimrocks' to the north & east. I presume that over many millenia the Yellowstone River eroded the land creating these cliffs. The city is quite industrialized, to my surprise. I observed at least 2 oil refineries & multiple grain storage silos located along the railroad tracks. Named for Frederick H. Billings, former president of Northern Pacific Railroad, it was founded as a railroad town in 1882. Today, the railroad is active in shipping petroleum & agricultural products, such as sugar beets, grain, and livestock (cattle & sheep). The mountains around the city are rich in coal, oil, & natural gas all of which contribute to the economy here.

The Elks Lodge of Billings is my port tonight. I googled 'Billings Restaurants' to find a local establisment for dinner. 'Crazy Mary's Fish & Chips' came up and with glowing blogs, so I plugged the address into my GPS and it took me to a dive along the railroad tracks. The reviews said to arrive early for it gets busy and Mary is a one person show. It was a treat to go there. I sat at the counter, chatted with her, and learned that she is a self-made woman- no man in her life and no need for one! The joint only has seating for about 25 people. Local color for sure. My fish was very fresh, something she takes pride in, the quality of her meals. Glad I went there for dinner. I'll take a Zantac before I retire for the night!

Posted by dixter 17:43 Archived in USA Tagged in a few hours billings

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