This is Part Three of my report of a trip into western South Dakota on Highway 212; to understand where the middle west ends and the west begins, I wanted to cross the Missouri River and the 100th Meredian, which demarcate that line. I continued west on Highway 212 to Highway 73 where I swung north to Lemmon, South Dakota, before circling back towards Redfield, following Highway 12 as far as Highway 281 in Aberdeen. Today we continue the report heading west along Highway 212, approaching its intersection with Highway 47.
A large hawk on a fence post, looking northwest.
In these great flat stretches, why does the road have to wander? A lazy curve to the left, and I don't know why.
Junction Highway 47. I have passed this way before, the three miles from here to Seneca, South Dakota; it was last September when I drove south from Rugby to Smith County, Kansas. In my rearview mirror now road signs are huddled like sentinels on a cold morning.
Beans, small grain.
Small grain on the left, rangeland on the right.
A duck flies from the road. Really.
Baby pheasant. Hen pheasant.
Seneca, pop. 58. "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart." A telephone booth in the middle of nowhere. Nothing anywhere near it. No glass in the walls of it. Phone is gone. "I called, but nobody answered."
Cock pheasant on the road.
Small grain, beans, and corn. A great long view of everything, or nothing, dpending on how much you love this earth.
Potter County. Another cock pheasant at the county line.
Soybeans and range.
And here would be corn.
I have to slow again for a hen and cock pheasant, then two cocks.
A pen of sheep, another pen of them. Hayfield and corn.
An old threshing machine and a swayback shed. "Gettysburg, 16 miles." Angus, corn.
And now a roll and saw to the land, as if something is in dispute. These hills have range and cattle. The occasional pothole. A coyote dead in the middle of the road. A hen pheasant and chicks. Cattle on rangeland. A vista with a view, from the top of a rise.
Herefords at one pasture; Angus in the other. An old windmill, motionless. Small grain. Corn.
DJ's Cafe & Lounge - closed down, vegetation grown up around it, building grown over.
Beans and beans. Corn and small grain. Highway 47 turns north towards Hoven, 13 miles.
Angus on range. Small grain. Soybeans. Ah, more corn.
Far off, a barn with its mouth open. Aching.
Beans, grain, hay on the ground.
Ahead - one finger of thunderhead, west by slightly northwest, like an angry gesture. Otherwise the sky is blue corn.
Another big powerline running north to south just before Gettysburg, South Dakota. Soybeans. Corn. Small grain.
A HUGE watertower - Mid Dakota RWS - "Quality on Tap."
Gas station. Motel. Medicine Rock Cafe. Gettysburg Medical Center "Celebrating 50 Years."
Small houses, trim and tidy.
Several gas stations. Ace Hardware. Everything as green as the John Deere dealer, Potter County Implement. Schlachter Lumber.
Some of the wheat is getting ripe.
The smell of vegetation drying in the ditch. A cock pheasant hiding there in plain sight.
Horses in a pasture.
Pigs. For chrissakes, pigs!
To be continued....