Pend Oreille Loop

Auto trip 9/12/2002 through 9/19/2002

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Path 18

One of the rest areas in Wisconsin was built on the site of a major forest fire. A dirt path led about a mile up a hill, eventually connecting with a long boardwalk overlooking a valley.

This is one of a series of photos I'm calling "Paths", starting with my favorite Stairway to heaven.

Badlands Buffalo

The Roosevelt National Park is home to several species of animals, including that western favorite, the buffalo.

There was something about this one, curled up in the later afternoon sun, that appealed to me.

No worries.

North Dakota Cabin

I was driving along the freeway in North Dakota when I spotted this old cabin in the middle of a field of green corn-like leaves. I took the closest freeway exit and was able to find a frontage road to get quite close to the cabin. I would have liked to look around, but the land surrounding the field was posted against trespassers.

What I particularly liked about this cabin was the farmer -- normally a very practical and unsentimental lot, left it in the midst of a cultivated field.

There's a story in this building. Was it left because the farmer's family used to live there? Or did the farmer leave it because, like me, he or she could see the beauty of the building -- enough to lose the land and add to the difficulty of managing the crops in the area.


This was another find I discovered along the side of the road in North Dakota. Modern metal and plastic fences might be more efficient, but lack the sheer appeal of an olden wooden fence, rusted wire supplemented by new.

When I was a child I worried about the cows rubbing up against the barbed wire fence, until I saw one using the wire as a scratching post.

Montana Hillside

Western Montana is Big Sky country alternating with some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the country. Unlike much of the Northwest, the ranges are stark -- bare fields, rocks, and a few determined trees.

Dark Path

Photo is of a path surrounding Wisconsin's Castle Rock.

This is my favorite photo from the trip. Not sure why.

Rest Area

North Dakota has an undeserved reputation for being an unattrative state. I found it to range from the ordinary (Fargo) to the extraordinary (the Badlands), and everything inbetween. Not the least of the interesting features is North Dakota's rest areas.

The rest areas in ND are each designed around a central theme, and beautifully constructed as well as equipped with computers to aid the travelers. Impressive.

The rest area in this photo was a replication of the gas stations that dotted the country in long ago, complete with two authentic old style gas pumps.

Castle Rock, Wisconsin

These rocky giants were originally islands, and I took the picture from what used to be the bottom of a lake. Over time, as the waters receded, the elements would wear down the islands until these rocks were all that remained.

Hills against Sky

Some of the hills in the Roosevelt National Park, with the layering consistent in the area particularly apparent with the hill in the foreground.

south Dakota Concrete Tee Pee

South Dakota's rest areas have huge, stylized concrete tee pees with each.

It's interesting how we tried to drive the native peoples from the lands a hundred years ago, but now play up the association with Native American tribes today for the tourists. Regardless, I loved the statues.

Improbable Tree

Trees will thrive anywhere if left alone -- even on top of a castle Rock.

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