Beyond The Rivers

001 LkMI ex dock

With the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers behind us, I was on pins and needles to see Lake Michigan. Our first views were near a series of dock-ruins. This one is made, I think, of concrete sections.

002 wooden type

We made a side trip to a wonderful wood type museum in Two Rivers. I knew nothing about the history of the Hamilton company; now I know more.

003 LkMI MI

The previous LkMI shot was from WI. This one’s from MI soil.

004 wild golden hour

Oh, the light! I totally grooved on this evening’s golden hour.

For me (you, too)


We lunched in and wandered the streets of Buffalo, the model for the county seat of Durand in Craig Johnson‘s Longmire series (books, and now on TV). This lovely rocker was in a log cabin that was moved to the grounds of the county building (I think that’s what it is) about a decade ago.

Johnson doesn’t copy the town, and instead captures a version of its flavor and sass. We got some of its flavor, too, as we lunched at the real Busy Bee Café, where Sheriff Longmire often dines. He gets the regular, but he isn’t sure what his regular is. The proprietress brings what she choses, and that’s the way she likes it. He must, too, as he frequently returns.

I had a really good bison burger with a side of cole slaw. They make the vinegar and slightly sweet version, with the cabbage somewhat wilted, just a tad. Very yummy, but I’d probably never make it that way.

Short stories

Irrigation Bales in motion

A little agriculture…lots of irrigation around here, not all productive row-crop fields, but most, it seems to me. And the product must move to the consumption area. Not many alternate farm roads, so we travel the US highways with tractors and combines….

Purple long view Green blue long view Surviving snow

Three long views…different colors. The third is the heights of the southern Bighorn range. Note the surviving snowpack, in the last half of AUGUST, kids.

Red green med view Grey cliff face

Midground color variation…red/green (not the man/show), and the grey rocks of the cliffs on one flank of the Bighorns.

Runaway truck ramp

I didn’t check it, but the crossing from Ten Sleep to Buffalo seemed to have long, grinding climbs/descents, just as we found east of Greybull. I don’t know if they were 10 miles, but they are close. This runaway truck ramp, really some cable-gates, I thought, is on the descent into Buffalo. (Will they change their name to Bison? Is there even a movement afoot?)

Devils tower

Aha. And the geology. An igneous island amidst eroding sedimentary formations. Or the twenty-second wonder of the world, something like that.


Despite the many signs in the parking lot and along the trails below Devils Tower preaching sensitivity to this place that is sacred to many indigenous Americans, as in, they wish you wouldn’t climb it, the splash page on the NatPkServ website is all about what a wonderful climb it is. Doesn’t even mention the deer, turkeys (no photo), and prairie dogs you may see.

Deer near river

And this deer, in the low ground inside the bend of the river…better photo than the one we saw at DT, and a pretty river to boot!

And now my back posts are caught up! Yay for connectivity and energy…in conjunction. Thanks for waiting for me, Gentle Reader.

Of cottonwoods and the (N)Platte

Cottonwood group

I became focused on the cottonwoods today. Groups tended to indicate a home and cluster of ranch buildings.

Cottonwood solo beeves

Solos tended to be in grazing land…. [I am being kind; I probably shot fifty photos of cottonwoods today.]

NPlatte wide shallow

Of course, the real ecological focus of this area is the river, here the North Platte. This is a LOT of water for mid-August. We heard that somewhere north and west of here they got 8″ in something like an hour the other day. In pockets, we have seen flooding in fields. It’s spotty, though—but everywhere seems especially green.

Eroded greywhite

Hmmm. Not everywhere. We’ve been seeing blowouts since the Sandhills. When I worked there, people said the bison made some of them. Since the bison have been gone a good long while, I’m just not sure. This seems more like an eroded slope, however.

UP coal train

Wending among all of the above: coal trains. This is the famous Powder River coal that may keep you warm this winter. We usually count two engines in front (east end), and one pushing the train from the west end. The west-bound trains of empty cars are longer with usually two or three engines. Seems to me that the engine count in the Powder River Basin might become deficient.

Misc images

Rest area art

Art in a rest area.

Fort hartsuff flag picketfence

USA flag on picket fence, Fort Hartsuff.

Industrial hemp

Industrial(?) hemp, gone wild(?).

Leaves as bayonets

Yucca bayonets

Sometimes the distribution of species across the landscape is a great clue to previous human occupation, because people move plants around, to have preferred species nearby. For food, medicine, aesthetics. Sometimes yucca is one of those human-distributed species.

I also spotted a volunteer tomato plant among some bricks paving a verge…. See…out of place.

I think too much

Fence posing

Are these pickets meant to be anthropomorphic? Or is it me?

Squash blossom verge

Squash blossoms…. Of the milpa plants—maize, beans and squash—I have long felt that maize and beans are…obvious, complacent plants, while squash is the one with pizzazz. Yeah, another projection….

Old news

Tax free weekend

Back-to-school tax-free weekend…not sure why a wedding-dress shop is advertising this…. Pretty sure wedding dresses, trains, and tiaras are not tax-free…. Did hear that umbrellas (?) remain taxed.

NYT snail

Found this (oops; out-of-focus) snail catching up on her/his reading…an old issue of the NYT.

Free shipping, part two

Walmart pkg duo

Indeed, #walmart package number two showed up today. Shorter wiper blade, smaller package. Still, overkill packaging….

However, unlike our recent shipping experience in the Upper Peninsula, both were delivered to the front door.


Dawnsky again

Eye drawn to the sky again….

Celtic cross ATL

Still managed to spot this modern “Celtic cross.” Seemed sidelined in this location, side-yard, beneath porch windows.