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Me and Bert Take Another Road Trip

Me and Bert Take Another Road Trip

Me and Bert Take Another Road Trip

Last summer, my friends at Visit Billings made a video of a dog named Rick and his humans doing something called the Great American Road Trip. You might have seen it. It was a pretty big deal and it looked like a lot of fun. Well, I don’t have any humans of my own like Rick, but I do have my best friend Bert, and we both know where Director Jeff keeps the keys to the Zoo van.

So, yeah – you guessed it. Me and Bert “borrowed” the van (again) to experience the Great American Road Trip for ourselves. You would really think by now that Director Jeff would’ve learned to hide the keys somewhere else. Anyways, let me tell you that the Great American Road Trip is as awesome as Rick said it was.

A couple of stops along the Great American Road Trip are ones that me and Bert are already pretty familiar with. For example, ZooMontana is a stop, and that’s where we live! If you are in Billings, you should stop by as part of your own road trip and meet all the cool animals here like Fierca, Pabu and Simpson. I’ve introduced a lot of them on my Instagram page, so you can check that out to learn more about all my friends here at ZooMontana.

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To kick things off, me and Bert visited one of my favorite places along the Great American Road Trip. It is what the humans of Billings call the Rimrocks. These are sandstone formations that are nearly 70 million years old and that stand several hundred feet off the ground, wrapping around the city. There are few parks up there for hiking and mountain biking – Swords Park, Zimmerman Park and the Four Dances Recreation Area – and there are several great places to take gram-worthy selfies. Atop the Rimrocks you can get a sloth’s-eye view of Billings and the surrounding Montana landscape. On clear days you can even see peaks of the Rocky Mountains in the distance!

Next up was a visit to Pictograph Cave State Park where me and Bert got to explore three caves where there’s evidence that people from more than 2,000 years lived there. There’s 3/4-mile loop trail that descends 45 feet reach the caves – the Pictograph, Middle and Ghost Caves. So, if you’re a sloth used to taking long hikes like me, it’s quite an enjoyable adventure.

Bert pointed the Zoo van toward Pompey’s Pillar for our next stop along the Great American Road Trip. We were both a little bit tired from our previous hike at the caves, but we climbed the 202 stairs to the top of the National Monument, following in the footsteps of some guys named Lewis and Clark, who I’m told were very important to the American West. They sound a lot like me and Bert. The Clark fella even carved his name in one of the rocks.

We were getting concerned that Director Jeff would be close on our tails by now, so we made haste (as much as a sloth can anyways) and headed to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. This area memorializes the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry, and the Lakotas and Cheyennes who died on this land in Native Americans’ efforts to preserve their way of life. It was a very solemn experience and taught me and Bert a lot about the history of the region.

We were getting close to completing the Great American Road Trip, but still had a couple of places to see: Bighorn Canyon, Beartooth Highway and Yellowstone National Park. Yet we knew this couldn’t be done in a day.

 

After waking up and enjoying a big breakfast of leaves, we headed to Bighorn Canyon where me and Bert discovered forest, mountains, prairie, deep canyons, broad valleys, high desert, lake and wetlands. As you know I am a big fan of water sports, so I was pleased to see that this area also is home to Bighorn Lake, which is huge! It goes 71 miles through Wyoming and Montana. Humans like to go to Bighorn Canyon to do all sorts of things like boating, fishing and observing local wildlife. Some of the people there were a little confused to see me and Bert, especially since I’m a celebrity. I was not able to sign any autographs though, as we needed to get on the open road again.

We headed back to Billings where we all know another place along the Great American Road Trip is the Billings Brew Trail, where me and Bert spent some time together. This is Montana’s only walkable brew trail and home to six craft breweries, two distilleries and a cider house. You can – and should – read more about the time we visited the Billings Brew Trail to learn more. But this time we skipped the Brew Trail since that was probably the first place they’d look for us and instead enjoyed all the other adventures found in Downtown Billings.

The next day, the last leg of our adventure took us to the Beartooth Highway, which also connects to the final stop along our Great American Road Trip: Yellowstone National Park. The Beartooth Highway follows some of most extreme terrain in the world, but also some of the best views I’ve ever seen with more than 20 mountain peaks. Bert had to focus on the road so he missed the views on the way there, so I graciously volunteered to drive on the way home.

Humans say that the Beartooth Highway is the most beautiful entrance to Yellowstone National Park, and boy are they right! What me and Bert didn’t expect (but probably should have in hindsight) was that Director Jeff and the other ZooMontana humans were there to greet us at the gate. Much like our adventure along the Brew Trail, I pleaded my case to let us enjoy this one last stop, but to no avail. Yellowstone would have to wait for me and Bert. But at least we got to enjoy those views along the Beartooth Highway one more time together on the way back home (they didn’t let me or Bert drive).

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