Pompey’s Pillar – The Tick

Travel Journal – July 8, 2016
7th Ranch RV Park

7th Ranch RV Park

Just hanging around camp today, reading a bit and catching up on my chores. Jagger and I went for our morning walk and met a new neighbor, a guy working on his RV. After introducing myself I learn his name is Ken. He is traveling with his wife who I waved at from a distance, but didn’t have the pleasure of meeting.

During our conversation I learned they are from New York and tomorrow they are packing up for a visit to Yellowstone National Park. He asked a few questions about Yellowstone as Jagger and I have been there several times, but never camped in the park. After Yellowstone they are heading back east for home, with a short stop in Cody, Wyoming another town Jagger and I visited several years ago. Both are a must see if you are in those areas. We will be taking a different route south this year though, through Idaho, Utah and stopping at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for a few days.

Travel Journal – July 10, 2016

I’m not sure if I mentioned it yet, but our furthest destination East this year will be Pompey’s Pillar, which is in South Central Montana. I first heard of this natural formation while reading a few novels based on historical facts. Those are my favorite reads. Pomp is the nickname that William Clark gave Sacagawea’s son. When Clark came upon this natural formation along the

Pompey Pillar and Visitor Center

Pompey Pillar and Visitor Center

Yellowstone River in 1806, he wrote that he climbed to the top, and “had a most extensive view in every direction on the Northerly Side of the river”. During his stay there he named the pillar after Pomp,  “Pompys Tower”. The name was changed to the current spelling in 1814. Clark also carved his name and the date into one of the stones in the pillar. It is said that Clark’s inscription is the only remaining physical evidence along the route that was followed by the expedition.


Google and the 10 mile Gravel Road

Along The Way

Along The Way

Today was a cooler day for traveling, sunny early with thunderstorms predicted this afternoon. Jagger was excited about that. After loading up in the Workhorse. I did a final check on Google for our travel plans and pulled away. When I am not pulling the Coach, I still trust Google for traveling maps. Today I was again glad the Coach wasn’t behind me as the shortcut Google chose was a well maintained gravel and dirt road about 10 miles long named Fly Creek Road. After about 45 minutes we arrived at Pompey’s Pillar and we were greeted by a very friendly gate guard who welcomed us and pointed us the way to the Visitor Center and stated there was a tour leaving soon.

Since it was early, Jagger and I were pretty much the only visitors, I got a personal tour. Sorry Jagger, I had to leave him in the Workhorse until I finished the tour. The Visitor Center doesn’t allow dogs, however they do on trails and Jagger and I will walk down to the Yellowstone River later.

Visiting the Pillar

I don't think Clark had these

I don’t think Clark had these

The short walk to the pillar and rather extensive climb up the stairs was pretty invigorating. About half way up you arrive at Clark’s signature along with Native American petroglyph’s. I noticed a few others who carved their names in the pillar. I wonder how many knew that “THE” “William Clark” had also carved his name here. I took a number of photos at different angles, I just couldn’t get the same quality as the published pictures on the Internet.

Brief History From Friends of Pompey’s Pillar

1806 – Clark carves his name in the stone, and names the formation

1863 – First finding Clark’s treasure – James Stuart, a Montana pioneer

1873 – Lt Col George Custer and his troops camped here and were shot at by the Sioux

2016 – Visited by The Retired Vagabond 😉 – 210 years after Clark.

The history of this now famous place continues. Read more at: Friends of Pompey’s Pillar

After visiting the pillar, I returned to the visitor center. There I browsed the displays and of course picked up a few souvenirs. I snap a few pictures as I leave, then back out to get Jagger from our Workhorse.

Sights along the way

Sights along the way

We head directly for the trail to the Yellowstone river. I was a little surprised that parts of the trail were overgrown. I thought more visitors would go down to the river. As we progressed in the tall grass, Jagger was going nuts with the smells, but did good. The closer we got to the river, the more we experienced swarms of mosquitoes. This area is full of wildlife.

Then I hear thunder in the background and it started. Gradual rain fell then Jagger and I, even though prepared for rain, turned around and headed back to the Workhorse. When we got there it was raining pretty good. We loaded up and enjoyed our slow drive back home to our Coach. 

Back at the Coach

That evening I was in the bedroom and noticed a bug on the wall. Hmm, that’s unusual. I take a closer look, and snag it with a tissue, then head to the toilet. Once there I open the tissue to see what I captured, it jumps, and I mean jumps big! Unfortunately for the bug it lands in the toilet and I look closely as it struggles in the water. A TICK – YIKES. I’m a little paranoid about ticks. Even after brushing myself and Jagger off before entering the Workhorse, one came along for a ride.

I flushed and he was gone. This was the first tick I have seen in all of our travels. Pretty amazing, but I’m glad he is gone now. I then proceeded to vacuum, and wipe down everything. Of course doing this after I thoroughly brush Jagger. No way I’m going to bed until this is done.

Safe Travels…Gary
More Photos: Pompey’s Pillar

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