Social Distancing with your Camera on Back Roads
Take your camera on a social distancing road trip.
We’ve been social distancing because it’s very rewarding out here in the west. Following gravel roads and two track trails we’ve got a sense of what transportation was like 150 years ago between the Black Hills and the Badlands.
(Tomorrow we introduce you to a mind-blowing land formation few people know about — social distancing is easy, and the reward is outstanding.)
This is authentic ranch country where families rely on themselves and don’t get wrapped up in social conflicts that mess up the rest of the country. It’s peaceful and pastoral — just the thing to take a break from stress. But my, they live in camera worthy territory!
Beach to Belle Fourche to Fort Laramie
We’ve been following a back road route from Beach, North Dakota to Camp Crook and Belle Fourche, South Dakota, then on to Fort Laramie. Our cameras have captured segments of the U.S. that we didn’t know existed. Parts of it were an original interstate system, that is cattle trail, stage coach and wagon train routes through the west.
Along the way we got to sample incredible vistas that make it easy to imagine how it once was 150 years ago.
This technique, following back roads, takes a little planning and preparation. Water, food and maps are essential, and of course, your camera.
Oh, and time of day. Once it gets dark, it’s time to either set up your tent or head back to civilization.
Of course there’s really not much civilization west of U.S. Highways 85 in the Dakotas, Wyoming or Montana.
Take a sense of imagination so you can picture what it must have been like to spend days out here moving from the Badlands to the Black Hills. Stop at a book store such as the Western Edge Bookstore in Medora to get the books that will tell you the history of the region so when you see it, you’ll know what you are seeing.
Or follow designated historic routes such as the one to Custer’s Snow Camp.
Take your camera, and you’ll have long-lasting prompts for the sights, smells and landscape you remember. In many cases, people will decide their initial trip into the interior of the true west is worth repeating. You will see even more the second and third time you make the trip.
As it turns out, Capitol Rock is really a big deal — or at least it used to be. Cowboys used it, and so did prehistoric animals. Head over to Ekalaka to the museum to see some of the finds from Capitol Rock. We’ll share the cowboy connection tomorrow.
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