2010 Aug 17 – Day 6 – Lewiston, MT to Billings, MT (Pictographs)

The drive between Lewiston and Billings takes about 3 1/2 hours.  We only made one stop; at Pictograph Caves State Park 5 miles south of Billings.

The 23-acre site contains three caves, Pictograph (the largest), Middle and Ghost.  There are pathways for access and interpretive signs for information.The first professional archaeological dig in Montana was begun at the caves in 1937.  Over 30,000 artifacts and 20,000 animal remains (bones, teeth, etc.) have been recovered. The pictographs are estimated to be between 200 and 2,100 years old.  The oldest one, of a turtle, has been carbon-dated at 2,100 years old.  The meaning of many of the drawings is up for debate, but they include people, animals and even rifles. Many of the pictographs are becoming quite faded and, of course, in more recent years idiots had to write on the cave walls marring the ancient images. With only one touristy thing that day it makes for a short blog, but any readers should take the time now to appreciate this as we arrived in Yellowstone National Park the next day and, trust me, the blogs covering our days in the park will be much longer.  Photos.  Photos. Photos.  I loved, loved, loved Yellowstone and definitely plan to return some day – soon, I hope.

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