In Western North Dakota, a stretch of highway between Gladstone and Regent contains the world’s largest collection of scrap metal sculptures. This giant grasshopper is just part of the display at this location. Just to the right of the large sculpture, you can see one of the much smaller sculptures at this site. Each stop has a large parking area, a place to enjoy the view, and just maybe have a picnic lunch or snack. The 32-mile (51 km) section of highway was the dream come to fruition of metal sculptor Gary Greff. Continue reading
Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
On our first trip to the park in western South Dakota, I was impressed at how much different this badlands looks from the badlands I have seen many times just a few miles across the North Dakota border. The Lakota Sioux named this area Mako Sica. Literally translated, “Bad Lands”.
Early settlers found the terrain challenging. In wet weather, the clay becomes slick in some places, sticky in others. The canyons and buttes makes any trips through the area circuitous, and the hot, dry summers leave whatever remaining water sources unsafe to drink.
About the photo: Captured with my Samsung S20U, the 12,000×9000 pixel original image was a much larger area of a section of jagged rocks. The advantage of so many pixels is that I easily cropped the image to focus on the two highest points with a remaining image of over 7100×4100 pixels. As usual, basic edits were accomplished in Adobe Lightroom with finishing touches applied in Luminar 4. The resolution was reduced further for publication here, but you can still get a closer look by clicking on the image to check out details, if your browser supports the function.
My wish for you this year is Merry Christmas and good riddance to 2020, er, ah, I mean Happy New Year 2021!!
About the photo: Captured in 2019, this photo features the holiday lighting in the park on Main Street at Verrado, a planned community near our neighborhood in Buckeye, Arizona. Captured with a Samsung S7, the image was downloaded into Lightroom for some final tweaks.
Deer Lodge, Montana.
On our way to visit the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site in Deer Lodge, we drove by the imposing gated facility at the south end of town. Just off I-90, the Old Montana Prison Complex contains five museums inside. Due to the pandemic, however, the facility is presently closed to the public as this is being written in November 2020. All I was able to do was capture some photographs of the walled exterior that was built by convicts in the late 1800s.
To be sure that the convicts knew how hard it would be to escape, they were made to build the 24-foot (7.3m) walls that were buried deep in the ground to prevent tunneling. When the museum is open, visitors can wander through the grounds, visit the cell blocks, and take advantage of the other museums in the facility. For a single fee, visitors can tour the Powell County Museum, the Frontier Montana Museum, Yesterdays Playthings, and the Montana Auto Museum. In 1979, work was completed on a new state prison complex about three miles (4.8 km) southwest of the town and all prisoners were moved there.
About the photo: The complex is a challenge to get an exterior shot from across the street. That sandstone wall is three blocks long. Capturing the entire east end of the facility required that I create a panoramic image. As you can see at the left end of the image, I wasn’t able to include the entire wall. I’d captured images from both my Nikon D500 and my Samsung S20U. I found the best images to stitch together came from the cellphone, only because I picked a better vantage point when I captured the cellpic images. I used Lightroom’s panorama stitching tool to create the image from two photos and then made the final tweaks in Luminar 4. Click on the image for a closer look (if your browser supports the function.)
Whidbey Island, Washington.
Between the mainland and Whidbey Island, there is a narrow strip of water that separates Puget Sound from Possession Sound. There is a ferry that travels that passage with terminals at Clinton and Mukilteo. On a cloudy morning, we found ourselves on that ferry. It was the first time I’ve ever been on a “drive-on” ferry. I found the entire process interesting. Continue reading
Glacier National Park, Montana.
Our visit to Glacier was marred by heavy haze and smoke due to the many wildfires in our western states. As they say, “Make do with what you have.” I will admit that the normally clear views of the mountains have an air of mystery about them in the photos that I have processed so far from our journey on the Going to the Sun Road. Continue reading
This is my third (and final) Cellpic Sunday from the rest area near Quincy. If the photo looks familiar, you may be remembering the image of the lake with the Interstate bridge from a few weeks ago. That image is one-third of three captured in a sequence that shows the entire lake view of Wanapum Lake as seen from that high vantage point. Continue reading
On our trip to the western states, we had great weather almost every day. Truthfully with Washington state’s reputation for dreary, rainy weather, we only saw a couple of wet days. It was on a wet Wednesday morning we spent some time in the state’s capital city. We chose to drive by the state capitol buildings to see the grounds. I was struck by the fountains in front of the state’s legislative building. Continue reading
Last week I shared an image from the scenic viewpoint at Mile Marker 139 on I-90 near Quincy. I hinted there is another attraction at the site. This is it, the Wild Horse Monument. If you like to hike, you’ll also find a trailhead here. It’s a short but relatively steep hike to the top where you can get an up-close look at those metal ponies. Continue reading
Near mile marker 139 on I-90 is a rest area and scenic view. Of course, I had to check it out on our #RoadTrip2020. That bridge in the distance carries traffic on I-90 over the Columbia River. The river is wide here as a nearby dam downstream has created Wanapum Lake. Continue reading