For some reason I looked up a town in South Dakota on the internet today. The map it showed was zoomed in very close and I had to keep zooming out to get some perspective about where it was. By the time I had a good sense of where it was the map was showing several of the plains states and the southern parts of some of the Canadian provinces. I saw the green on the map which pointed out the Badlands National park, where we used to drive through at least once a week while we lived out there on those great plains. It’s so very different from here. I remember how I used to wander the canyons behind our brown trailer for hours and never see another person. I would usually have a dog or two along with me, and I’d just wander. Sometimes I’d take pictures like I was a famous nature photographer, and to this day I believe that some of the most beautiful land in the world lies in western South Dakota. Now I live in a place so far away from all that. There are people everywhere here. It seems that nearly every square inch of land here is put to use. There are no wide open plains for grazing cattle and no deep and mysterious canyons untouched by human hands. I knew that before I came here for sure, but for some reason today I remembered those images of dried grasses on rolling hills under a dazzling and perfect blue sky.