Stairsteps in the Rims? Billings Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight
I've lived in Billings for nearly 20 years and it wasn't until recently that I learned there is a large staircase carved into the Rimrocks. There are allegedly FIVE sets of stairs, but the nicest example is hidden in plain sight, just below the airport. My mind was blown when I found out about the staircase, thanks to a random meeting on Facebook.
A Billings photographer is finding cool things hidden in plain sight.
When I stumbled across Larry "Pinkie" Edwards' staircase photo on Facebook a few months ago, my mind was blown. I asked him for clues on where to find the staircase (it's located just north/northwest of the MSU-B baseball field). Once you see it, it's easy to find, but I'll admit I drove up and down N 27th more than a few times before I spotted the stairs.
Larry encourages people to put down their phones and open their eyes.
The semi-retired CPA and his partner relocated to Billings about three years ago. Edwards said family, scenery, the outdoors and four seasons of weather were some of the reasons they chose to come to the Magic City. After promptly ditching his CA license plates, Larry resumed his passion for photography that began in college. He's been capturing cool images of things in and around Billings this summer while pondering the idea of producing a photo book.
So, who carved the big staircase into the Rims?
Edwards's research about the staircase provided some details about the steps. They were apparently commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and built by the Hefner Stone Quarry as a way for the public to easily access the top of the rims in 1910. Prior to 1910, the nearest access from downtown was to go around by Alkali Creek, a five-mile journey from old town Billings.
There is beauty to be found across Billings.
Some Montanans may not consider Billings very "pretty" (compared to our mountainous neighbors to the west), but there really is a lot of beauty to be found in our town. From various street art and large-scale murals around the downtown area, to hidden treasures on the Rims, opening your eyes will reveal interesting things all around the Magic City.
Listen to my interview with Larry Edwards below for clues on where to find some of the "Hidden in Plain Sight" things around Billings. You can see more of his photography on his Facebook page.
Update: Shortly after this story was originally published, Larry Edwards died unexpectedly. He is missed by many.