Day 15 – 9/14 Billings Rimrocks and Pictograph Cave Park

We are in Billings, Montana!  We are staying here until Thursday, and are staying at Billings RV Village Park.  This is not a traditional campground, it is more like an RV Park in the sense that it is basically a large parking lot with spots for RVs and Tow vehicles next to it, and connections for water, electric and sewer, and also sewer and water for winter time.  No picnic tables, no fire places.  But it is clean, well located near the highway, near gas station, etc.  This will work well to get to know the area, and as a hop spot to Yellowstone.  Usual morning, I’m up at 5am (6am at home), no-one else is, and I mean I don’t think anyone else in the area is hahahaha. I’m getting some work done before everyone wakes up, making and having some coffee, etc.  I’m going to try to go for a run today, weather here was nice when we arrived yesterday, and the forecast for the week is 70s during the day and 40-50s at night.

I think Monday’s are more loaded days of school work for the girls.  Bia was done around the usual time, which is between 11 and 12.  She was able to wake up early again and join her class live most of the morning, so that cuts down on what needs to be done later.  Bella on the other hand had a ton of stuff to do, now that the teacher organized all the work in one spot.  She was not too happy when I got all her books out and showed her what she needed to do.  She was done around 3, but I think she’ll get caught up soon.  Carol worked on editing video most of the morning, then went to Walmart nearby to get some groceries and things for dinner later, and for our drive tomorrow as we’ll drive back to Little Bighorn Canyon area.  I got posts done in the morning, had a work call and did some other work, went for a run and helped Bella with her work. 

After lunch, when Carol was shopping, I went outside to open the grey water tank (tank that holds water from sinks and shower), and saw a puddle under the trailer, right behind the wheels on the slide out side, and it was dripping.  Upon further inspection, it looked like my fresh water tank was full and water was coming out of the overflow, not good.  I mean, nothing gets broken, but this is not supposed to happen.  Your fresh water tank should not fill up from the city water connection, and should only fill up when you manually do so. 

After some online research, I found out that there is a one way flow valve, likely in the pump, that probably got stuck in the open position, so water from the “system” which is pressurized, was flowing back through the water pump (which is used only when you don’t have city water, and to pump water from the fresh water tank into the trailer “system”) into the fresh water tank.  I watched a few videos on what to try to fix it.  Close the city water, turn the pump on, run hot water for 10-15 mins, run cold water, run all the faucets, etc.  Do so until the fresh water tank is empty.  I did that, took the plug out, opened the city water back, and… it was still dripping.  That didn’t work.  I decided to put the plug back and leave it all connected back as it was.  One post said one thing you can try is to have the city water connection going, let water run for a while until you’re sure no air is in the system, turn the pump on, leave it on for some time (10 mins maybe), then open a faucet so both the city water and the pump are “on” at the same time, and then shut off the pump.  I did that, and it feels like maybe that worked, but I am going to look into putting a one way back flow preventer valve in the line, just have to read a bit more and decide if it’s best to put it before or after the pump.  I think it’s after, so that if we hit the pump button inside, the pump will still draw water from the tank, and will “hit pressure” right away and will be good, rather than it not pulling  water and getting damaged.  So, I think we are ok for now, but I will work on a better fix soon. 

We all got ready to go, and left to check out Rimrocks and Cryptograph Cave Park.  It was very hot when we left, 95F here in Billings, and no clouds, but it was very “smoggy”.  I could not tell what was making the smog, pollution?  Dust?  Smoke from fires? (turned out that’s what it was).  But, you can see in the pictures how there’s a dense something on the horizon. 

We found the Rimrocks area, which is not marked at all, and I just read you should go towards the airport and there it is.  There is a bike path and walking path there, that’s likely a cool path to do, but it was way too hot, so we drove as far into the park as we could, which was the parking spot at Yellowstone Kelly’s grave. 

Bia and Carol were not feeling the walk around vibe, so they kind of stayed put near the truck.  Bella and I took a walk, went down the hill on a path, and found the regular path, walked towards Skeleton Cliff (first picture above), checked it out, chatted about the rocks and the view, and started walking back. It was a nice walk and talk. 

Bella was talking about how she’s going to miss all the holidays at home, and her birthday, etc.  Her birthday and Xmas seem to be the big items for her, she’s very concerned she won’t get all the gifts, and congratulations from friends,  and won’t have a drive through birthday party, etc.  I tried to tell her we’ll figure it out, and those holidays will be special anyway, but we will find a way to make them even more special.  Let’s see where this goes. 

We started walking towards Carol and Bia, climbed some rocks as our short cut and we were back.  We left that park and went towards Pictograph Park.  The drive was nice, with not much traffic.  Billings is quite industrial, and yet in the middle of this valley with cliffs surrounding it.  So our drive went from being on top of the cliff, down the cliff, into Billing’s usual traffic, and back into nature. 

Pictograph park was close, it took us 15 minutes or so to get there.  It’s a small park, and you can do it in about 30-45 minutes.  The area is very pretty, with rocks and hills.  The caves are not as big as we thought, and the pictographs are fading away, so you have to look hard to find it.  The girls did spot them, so that was cool. 

Only one cave had them, and the other 2 caves had other things, like the Ghost Cave where the wind usually blows making it sound like people whispering. 

We got quite a few pictures there and had a good time.  It was $8 for us to use the park for the day, so not too bad.  We decided we’d call it a day and go back and make some good dinner. 

Carol had bought steaks, chicken, corn, etc and we had the grill going, made a good amount of good food, sat outside and ate, talked, it was nice. 

It was one of the nicest dinners we had as the food was great and we were able to be outside together almost the entire time. 

Bella made a “teepee” with some stuff she had on hand, hahaha…

Oh, there are some bees here that came zoom around us around 6-7 pm, so the girls are getting used to just leaving them bee (ha), and not freaking out.  The bees came around and they just stayed put, or started walking away slowly, without freaking out.  After dinner we got things cleaned up, everyone got ready for the night, girls were reading, etc.  Day was not full of new adventures but it was a nice day nonetheless.

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