The Pumpkin State

October 6, 2018: Not what I was expecting when I rolled into Texas, but I’m not complaining. I wish more states offered free produce.

Advertisements

Great Dreams from Heaven

A wonderful spot for standing still and listening to the wind. The title above comes from an old tune recorded by, among others, guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Speaking of, here’s a Vimeo link to a video that I recorded a short distance from this spot while driving northward, if you’d care to see more of this marvelous terrain. (Video duration: 2:43)

Little Missouri National Grassland, North Dakota

Cumulus

After several days of empty, blue sky, it’s nice to see the arrival of a few puffy, white clouds. They add a little something to your landscape photos.

Niobrara County, Wyoming

Old Steel

Tired steel. I’m older than the hunk of steel on the left, and I’m tired as well. This trip’s tally of 5,797 miles has been exceeded on three prior occasions, but it seems that this year’s journey took a heavier toll on the Pontiac, and on me; too many long days of driving from Hotel A to Hotel B. I need to formulate a different approach for 2019…spend more days in a central location and branch out on shorter excursions from there. We’ll see what happens.

Dust. Dust, dust and more dust, in record quantities…on me, on the car and on everything in the car. Yesterday, I spent several hours decommissioning the Pontiac for winter storage…removing everything, dusting it off, washing the inside and outside of the vehicle, lubricating the locks and latches. There are plenty of repairs and maintenance tasks ahead to fill the winter months.

Grass. I enjoyed traveling through a whopping nine (out of twenty) National Grasslands last month: Buffalo Gap, Cimarron, Comanche, Grand River, Kiowa, Little Missouri, Oglala, Rita Blanca and Thunder Basin. (Would’ve hit Pawnee once again had a snow storm not forced a detour.) All of that dust came from those many miles of gravel roads in the grasslands. I didn’t keep score, but I’m certain that the Pontiac set a record this year for miles driven on gravel…my best estimate is in the range of 500 to 600 miles.

Statistic: The Pontiac odometer now stands at 331,245.3 miles.

Black & White Meets Color

The sunny driving weather that I came here for has been in effect since Monday and looks like it will continue for many days ahead. Today, I logged well over 200 miles (the vast majority on gravel roads) in and around South Dakota’s Buffalo Gap National Grassland. A spectacular day of driving, with plenty of interesting things and places to see and hundreds of photos accumulated in the process. I’ll be sharing those for several months to come; here’s one to tide you over.

White Knight

The scenery has changed. Above is the view from early this morning in northwestern Nebraska. Happily, the roads were clear by late morning as I made my way toward the Black Hills of South Dakota. But it will be a few days before the backroads in the area are dry enough to explore.