Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

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March 26, 2013

2013 WANDER-ABOUT: DAY 6


OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... we awoke in fargo to howling winds from the north blowing snow across the frozen landscape ... after a quick breakfast in the motel, we were off to our first stop, a vist to the fargo visitor center to see the actual wood chipper from the movie "fargo" ... what a great thrill ...

... a short reflection:  i hadn't been to north dakota since i was in the military forty years ago ... (my, how time seems to fly) ... while the population of the state hasn't increased much, the transformation brought about by modern technology is profound ... in 1975 north and south dakota seemed the end of civilization, isolated from mainstream american culture ... now, with big box stores dotting the landscape, the roads lined with every know chain eatery, and huge sections of what used to be farm field now covered by thousands of cookie-cutter split-levels, driving through the city was no different than any other similarly sized town on the east coast ... adrien had cell coverage everywhere we drove, and i could only think that a cowpoke out in the middle-of-nowhere prairie could probably watch soap operas while tending his herd of cows ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... this is the world's largest buffalo ... there was a nice museum, where we learned everything there was to know about the american bison, and also got to actually touch a multitude of quite dead furry and feathery critters ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... between visiting the museum, exploring the empty tourist town, and driving into town to find a place to eat, we made three trips out to the field where the famous "albino buffalo" was grazing ... this was our best view of the light colored shaggy beast ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... i thought to hop the fence to get a better picture, but adrien reminded me of this warning sign ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... leaving the flatlands behind us, halfway across the state we took a break at the turn-off for the "enchanted highway" ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... this is the first of many such works of art lining the state highway south to rawlings ... apparently the artist, seeing the how modern trade and commerce were bypassing his town, decided to do something to encourage people to turn off the interstate and enjoy a slow drive along the "enchanted highway" ... considering the subject matter, for adrien this was an out-of-character experience ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... at the overlook to the teddy roosevelt national park adrien warned, "we shouldn't go in, dad, we'll get arrested" ... my response, of course, was, "there isn't a 'no trespassing' sign ... if they wanted us to keep out they would have put one of those up" ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... walking in adrien exclaimed, "look, dad, buffalo tracks" ... she followed the tracks until she came across some ... well, let's just say the she found some evidence that while the little rest area was closed certain large furry creatures were finding it a nice place to graze ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 & E-PL3 PROJECT
... not quite sure the reasoning behind this, but apparently upon first visit to a famous our really cool place it's important to do "a jump" ... i tried, adrien won ...

OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... see as we'd stopped to admire the "world's largest buffalo," we thought it only fair to take a little side trip to see the "world's largest cow" ... alas, it was closed for the season ... since the gate was open, and, again, there were no "keep out" signs, my thought was to give it a try, but adrien convinced me that despite her triple-a connections getting stuck in the mud on the side of a hill in western north dakota was probably not such a good idea ... 

 OLYMPUS E-P1 PROJECT
... the end of day found us constantly exclaiming, "oh, look" ... it wasn't long before they became a normal part of the scenery, which, i suppose, is one of the first parts of the process of becoming a westerner ...

... we ended our day in montana, having driven the full width of the state of north dakota ... in the lee of the mountains the wind was calmer and there was less snow on the ground ... hub-bub activity of the oil boom also began to show, and, a little trip bonus, gas prices have started to dip below $3.50/gallon .... three cheers for that, since we're doing a good job of burnin' up the stuff ...