Just next door to me - Billings, MT
Billings was founded by Fredrick Billings in the 19th century. Billings was a railroad stop that grew. The yard is not as big as it once was and other industries have grown up here. We are the largest city in Montana with about 100,000 people here. The area is still growing, despite the economic downturn in the rest of the country. We are the medical hub for the eastern end of the state. Because of the sparse population it is not unheard of to have to travel long distances to get to a hospital. It maybe over 50 miles between hospitals and they are small. If there is anything major, they will send the patient to Billings.
We also now have 2 refineries/coker plants as major employers, (Conoco & Exxon). Oil is in great abundance in the area, most of it we can't drill for because of laws blocking the drilling. There is also a sugar beet factory, it is a major crop in the surrounding land.
This monument stands in front of the what is considered to be the most haunted place in Billings, the old Parmly building. .
"From the Rims"
The airport is located on top of what we call the 'rims'. It is a bluff area that rises up in the middle of the city. If you are flying into or out of Billings - sometimes it is better not to watch. When coming in, you are coming in to the area at the top of the rims and sometimes it can be unnerving. Going out, the ground drops away FAST!
The rims give an unique feature to Billings. Many people spend time climbing and repelling here. (The nuts will do the repelling upside down.) The picture is taken from the top of the rims looking down upon the city. On a clear day you can see the Pryor Mountains in the South East and the Beartooth Range to the South West. You vision is at this point spanning better than 100 miles between the two ranges. We truly live up to our name, Big Sky Country. When you look up, there is sky that reaches from horizon to horizon. I will post a few other pictures from here to show the vastness of the sky.
This is the best area for the nightlife. Several of the best restaurants and dance clubs are in the historic sector.