2004 Journey Erik's Travels U.S.A.

The search for Pompeys Pillar

I first learned of Pompeys Pillar in August of 2000. I was driving to Grand Forks, North Dakota to return to University after spending the summer at home. It was my first time driving a long distance by myself and I wanted to check out the sites along the way. I was in Montana just East of Billings when I saw the brown historic monument sign that read “Pompeys Pillar.” I knew it was a historic site along the Lewis & Clark trail, but had no clue as to what it actually was. I decided to check it out so I took the exit and drove along a gravel road for a few minutes to reach an empty parking lot facing a hill. A small sign told me that Pompeys Pillar was on the other side of the hill, to be reached by a footpath. As I usually do along the long drive between Oregon and North Dakota I had a strong desire to get back to Grand Forks and decided to be lazy and not to walk over the hill so I turned around and left.

Pompeys Pillar did not cross my mind again until July of 2004 when I was driving home from a weeklong visit to the Grand Cities. After a day of cruising through the badlands I once again found myself looking at the sign for the Pompeys Pillar exit. It was late at night and I was planning on stopping soon so I figured I would pull into the parking lot, spend the night and check out the site in the morning before I resumed my journey home. I took the exit and in the dark did not see the sign pointing to travel down the gravel road. So I missed the turn but by the time I figured out I was on the wrong road I just decided to keep on driving as I was almost to Billings.

Six weeks later I found myself once more on the road home after spending another week visiting friends in Grand Forks and attending a fraternity brothers wedding. I decided to finally see Pompeys Pillar once and for all. Nothing would stop me this time! I arrived in the evening with plenty of daylight left and confidently took the Pompeys Pillar exit. I took the right road and drove down it a couple miles until I reached another sign that read Pompeys Pillar and pointed to a road that went south under the highway. I made the turn and immediately found myself in the very small town of Pompeys Pillar. I knew that was not what I wanted so I turned around and continued up the gravel road for a bit but never saw anything mentioning the historic site of Pompeys Pillar. So I once again turned around and got back on the highway heading west. Pompeys Pillar had eluded me once again.

Erik's Life Erik's Travels

The Summer’s Almost Gone…

The end of my summer as passed by quickly. After returning from my July Grand Forks trip I did some roofing for my dad for a few days and worked getting the wreath shop office set up and then headed out to Charleston, South Carolina for Pi Kappa Phi’s 100th Anniversary.

Over Labor Day Weekend I drove to the Gorge Ampitheater in Washington for three days of Dave Matthews Band shows. It was a spectacular time and I made my debut selling some hemp bracelets that I made.

Erik 2004

From the Gorge I headed back to Grand Forks once more to attend the wedding of my friend and fraternity brother Sean Thomas. Quite a few more of my friends were back in town for the wedding and I got to see Pete and Jack, which was great. After a relaxing week in GF, ND I made my final drive home to Oregon and since then I have been working selling Christmas wreaths and pondering where I want to travel next year.

Summer’s almost gone
We had some good times
But they’re gone
The winter’s comin’ on
Summer’s almost gone