Sunday, September 6, 2020

Backroads To Billings (at least part of the way)

 Billings, MT   High 84  Low 61

We left Canyon Ferry and headed out on Highway 12. Leaving Townsend you enter the Helena National Forest. It's a beautiful, curvy road through the Lodgepole Pines.

When you exit the forest, the plains are in front of you as far as the eye can see. They are a beautiful golden color this time of year.

After turning south on Highway 89, you'll find the little town of Ringling.The town was founded by John Ringling, one of the brothers of the Ringling Brothers' Circus, as part of his plan to build a railroad connection between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. For some reason, only a twenty three mile stretch was built between Ringling and White Sulphur. When the railroad did not extend any further, Ringling lost most of its population. This is what is still standing. If we had had time, I would have loved to drive down that main street.

Do any of you remember the Jimmy Buffet song back in 1974 on his "Living and Dying in 3/4 Time" Album - Ringling, Ringling? This is the town he was singing about. So I've been playing it on YouTube while I do this post. Check it out.


One building still standing is out by the highway. .St. John Catholic Church which was built in 1914 and sits on a hill overlooking the town. No longer used as a church, a grant was issued to help restore it.

A little further down Highway 89, just before you get to Wilsall, you will find Thunder Jack. He was sculpted by
Gary Kirby to commemorate the mountain men of Montana. The first grade class of 2006-07 got to name him and thanks to them we have Thunder Jack.

The sun was not in the right position to get a very good picture when we stopped. Notice all the smoke covering the mountains in mine. The second picture was taken by James Cowlin and is much better than mine.

From Wilsall we dropped down to I-90 and headed on to Billings. We stopped to get fuel in Big Timber and thought about Janna and The Cowboy up in the mountains.

We are currently at the Moose Lodge in Billings. Not sure how long we'll be here. Get to visit with the kids some more.


  1. Seeing interesting sites along the way to visit kids is a good way to have fun.

  2. What an interesting place!!! I like the name Thunder Jack....the kids did a great job!!

  3. Along with all that beautiful scenery you have that beautiful Big Sky to admire.
    Nice pictures.
    Be safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Wasn't it smokey today! Glad you had a safe and uneventful trip today.

  5. Thunder Jack is bigger than life size.

  6. Nice drive to your new destination. Love to snow covered mountains in the back ground. Thanks for sharing

  7. Thunder Jack looks just like me in my motorcycle outfit. I like flapping in the breeze. ;c)


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.