When I recently started doing this thing in my blog of presenting photos and some comments about them and what some of them mean to me I mentioned that roads (caminos) are one of my favorite subjects. Perhaps that’s because where I am often they’re the most interesting visual element of a scene. Or perhaps it’s something else.
This is my most typical picture of a road. Usually I got for curves but sometimes straight to to disappearing at the horizon is also interesting. It’s nice where the location of the road also has other visually interesting elements.
This road is a backroad in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. It’s an interesting area (divided in two disconnected sections) and I was lucky to be there in the spring as I can imagine it’s not so great in late summer as this is a very dry and hot area.
The park is interesting because instead of being “up” (like mountains) it’s “down”. In the middle of flat North Dakota plains you hit the valley of the Little Missouri River. It’s not a really spectacular canyon, like the Grand Canyon or even Palo Duro Park in Texas (the second biggest canyon in the US), but the soft sedimentary rocks make for interesting erosion patterns. It’s not so much spectacular colors, as with some erosion areas, but it’s the textures especially in contrast to the flood plain of the river where there is enough water to keep trees alive.
It’s also filled with bison. I happened to be there at exactly the time the bison were hanging out along the river (right next to the campground). In the evening they decided the grass was better in the campground itself and just meandered through, including knocking down my tent. I was amused by a warning sign, “Don’t approach wildlife”, wondering what to do when it was the wildlife that approached me!
Another usual feature is this road led outside the southern segment of the park and immediately entered an area of some of the most active horizontal oil and gas drilling. Having grown up in Texas with a dad in the oil business I’m well acquainted with the smell of hydrogen sulfide but seeing signs for poison all along the road (and smelling the gas) is a bit spooky, especially after had none of it just over the boundary into the park.