High plains drifter

I spent the day exploring the Oglala National Grasslands via winding gravel roads and taking a (long) side trip to the impossibly tiny town of Jay Em, Wyoming. It was a very productive and largely uneventful day with clear skies and warmer temperatures.

Tomorrow - Southern South Dakota and home.


When it rains like this, it feels as if we're the only ones in the world

Today was an extraordinarily weird day - rain, clouds, wind, mud, cold, tumbleweed. I began the day at Toadstool Geologic Park as rain fell intermittently and it was so cold that I wished I had brought gloves with me on this trip.

On the ‘gravel’ road near Toadstool, I drove through several very muddy spots were deceptively treacherous. Shortly thereafter, my car developed nasty vibration at highway speeds once I returned to the pavement. Fearing the worse, I detoured back to Chadron and stopped at a tire repair shop downtown. The very nice woman behind the counter told me not to worry - thick mud had likely stuck to the wheels and taken them out of balance. She directed me to a self-service car wash where I liberally sprayed high-pressure water at the inside of the wheels.

It worked. The vibration went away, no expensive repair required.

After my carwash visit, a literal ‘herd’ of dozens of tumbleweed rushed across the highway due to the high winds, hitting cars but amounting to little more than a peculiar annoyance.

The Red Shirt Overlook on the southern edge of Badlands National Park isn’t near much of anything but it is a really fantastic view. The only problem was that the wind was blowing so hard that I had trouble standing up and felt a bit worried about getting anywhere close to the edge of the abyss.

More 16:9 images for your viewing pleasure…


Post title: Haruki Murakami - Norwegian Wood

Back to where the trees grow tall and ain't a sound for miles around

I’m revisiting the far-northwest corner of Nebraska’s panhandle to finalize a project I began way back in the summer of 2013. The project, entitled Oglala, is an exploration of the area in and around the Oglala National Grasslands. I fell in love with the grasslands way back in 2007 during my initial travels of the state and continue to find myself drawn to this wide open, almost-desolate place.

Today marked the first time I’ve ever experimented with a 16:9 aspect ratio. And once I tried it a few times, I found myself wanting to use it more and more. I’m quite surprised by how much I kept coming back to the wider format. Western Nebraska just makes sense in such a cinematic way.

Tomorrow, I will be making a detour into South Dakota and the southern edge of Badlands National Park.


Post title: William Elliott Whitmore - Gravel Road