Monday, February 23, 2009

Highway 14, Fort Pierre to Wall

No matter the season, the 115-mile stretch of South Dakota Highway 14 between Fort Pierre and Wall can provide the open-minded and observant photographer with some interesting subjects.

To some the scenery may seem like a whole lot of nothing, but it's hard to not be impressed when the endless view is interrupted by thunderhead clouds climbing to the heavens on a summer afternoon.

Standing alone about 36 miles west of Fort Pierre, The Little Brown Church has endured many of those thunderstorms and prairie blizzards as well. If you are GPS-equipped, the coordinates are N44-22-306 W101-44-446.

One of my favorite sounds in the summer is the call of the meadowlark, which can be heard even inside a vehicle traveling at 65 mph with the windows up and the air-conditioner on.

More wildlife is plentiful as well. In autumn and winter counting pheasants, deer, antelope and hawks keeps the journey lively.

Human interaction with the land is obvious in this part of the country. In various seasons, cropdusting or wheat harvest can provide some interesting photos.

Also along this stretch is the ghost town of Cottonwood, which I've written about here. I just found a batch of photos of Cottonwood I had forgotten about. I'll post them next.


Unknown said...

I love that Hwy. 14 got it's own subject post and I hope this is just a first in a series on this road (and numerous others). I love this stretch as it seems that storm fronts blow across the prairie daily during late spring/early summer.

Great shot of the Brown Church and the combines!

Chad Coppess said...

Hi Mike,
Yep, I'll be featuring more roads in the future and I'm sure Hwy 14 will find it's way onto these pages some more.

patty said...

Have been looking for a post/picture about the Bad River Road from Pierre to Midland but not finding one. We plan to be out there middle of next month(June) and would like to drive it if we have the chance.Where do you pick it up in Ft. Pierre? Does weather affect it much? Anything we should know about driving it? We had a 4WD Expedition. Thanks for any info!

patty said...

We have a 4WD Expedition.....sorry for the typo.....

Chad Coppess said...

Hi Patty,
I haven't done a post specifically on the entire route of the Bad River Road, but the ghost town of Capa is on the west end of the road. Here is a post about it -

The Bad River Road begins just outside of town south of Fort Pierre on Highway 83.

Most of the road is a well-maintained gravel road. There are just a couple soft spots that with a large amount of rain might be a little difficult. However, there are many people that live along the road and I've not heard of anyone ever being stranded out there. With your Expedition you should have no problem at all.

These photos were also taken along the Bad River Road -

Keep an eye out for Ted Turner's buffalo herd. His ranch is so large that sometimes the buffalo are nowhere near the road, but when they are it is a spectacular sight.

Have fun, good luck and let me know how it goes!


patty said...

Thanks Chad, My main purpose for driving that road is the possibility of seeing the buffalo herd. That would be really cool. But my husband and I love to take badk roads any where we go. Yes I've seen your posts on Capa. Have been to Cottonwood and that was really interesting. Appreciate your help and will let you konw how it goes. Thanks again!