Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tue, Aug 13

When leaving T.R. National Park-North I was treated to seeing a buffalo close to the road.  The first was standing right next to the road and seemed to approve of my taking his picture.

I opened the car door and then thought better about it, so I rolled down the window and took the pictures.  I hate it when the interior of the car gets into the 
picture (or the exterior for that matter), but my safety was of prime concern as well as not stressing the animal!

Although I didn't want to drive right up to it, a truck was stopped in the road ahead of me with a bison on either side, right up to the truck doors!  It looked like a standoff, then a small car passed me and drove around the truck/buffalo, and the animals eventually disbursed.  I wonder if the guy driving the truck had to change his underwear!

This rock seemed to be asking me to stop and take its picture, so I did - last one before leaving the park.

I drove from the Park  eastward to Devil's Lake ND, and stayed at a local "mom & pop" style motel.  I couldn't have had a nicer room - beautifully furnished and equipped with microwave, coffee maker, and fridge, although from the outside it looks like the old fashioned 1950's style motel, which is my favorite kind to begin with.  Don't give me those multi-story motels where you have to carry your belongings from the car to the nearest door, then down a corridor to your room, and then back again in the morning.  I prefer to park right outside my door!

Today I visited Ft. Totten about 15 miles from Devil's Lake. Originally a military post established to protect settlers/pioneers (good guys) from the Indians (bad guys), after the Fort was decommissioned it was turned into a school to prepare Indian children to assimilate into American life.  Brainwashed, would be a better term, although they relied also on old-fashioned discipline, corporal punishment, and of course, since the educational part was divied up between various religious denominations, the religious education and good old fear of god!

I find this sort of place to be extremely saddening and depressing, and the whole era was that of a fine line between assimilation and genocide.  The entire compound is a museum now, some devoted to the Dakota Indians' story, some to the pioneers, and some to the original military mission.  In the beginning the tribal name was changed from Dakota (friends, allies, to be friendly) to Sioux, which means "Snake in the Grass".  The term Sioux covers the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota nations, which once were all the same.

These are random photos taken at Fort Totten:


The last photo is of Devil's Lake.  There is really no vantage point for photographing it that I could see.  It is huge, divided by causeways, and seems to be used by boaters and fishermen & women.

I'm stopped at Graham's Island State Park for my lunch break, and view of Devil's Lake can be seen everywhere.

I apologize for the lack of clarity and for the darkness of most of the pictures.  I can blame it on the light or lack of it, or many other things, but in the long run it's my eyesight and lack of knowledge about the camera.  There are just too many options and modes, and I can't really read or understand the hundreds of pages of user guide, nor do the icons ring a bell with me.  I really detest icons as I've said before - what looks like a picture of something to another person, probably doesn't look like anything at all to me.  When I get back from my travels I'm going to look for a good small, easy to use, point and shoot, if I can find one with a viewfinder.  That alone will probably run over half the price of a DSLR, if I can even find one.


  1. Over the years I have gotten acquainted with the Lakota of Pine Ridge in SD. I worked with native youth for two years in southern Utah. My heart goes out to them..I can relate to you about trying to understand the modes on camera's. I wear glasses from the 99 cent store and if I don't have them on I am at a loss and even sometimes with them. LOl!

  2. I think you have been doing exceptionally well with your camera as I looked back over your photos. Sounds like your trip is going well & you are having a good time with things. Good for you in just getting out there & taking charge of your travels:))

  3. When I'm in the car trying to photograph something from the driver's seat I usually zoom up to cut out the passenger. Not sure you could have done that with the buffalo. I actually thought your picture gave a better look at how close he was to you. I think it was a federal genocide policy and all parts of it are sad. We have yet to apologize for trying to do exactly what Hitler also tried to do. It's shameful IMO.

  4. Can't believe you are already in ND and moving onward. Still using the old computer which works sometimes so I just wanted to find out where you were. Have fun. The pictures are great.

  5. that's how I felt when I went to Browning, Montana... so felt sad for the area...

    you're zipping right along! ;)

  6. Great pictures. We do so appreciate you taking the effort to take the pictures and post them for us. Thanks again.

  7. Gypsy, I agree with Al.....you are doing just fine with your pictures. Quit worrying about it and just enjoy. We are.

  8. Your pictures are great. Seems we are all enjoying your trip through your pictures.

  9. Yes they are great pictures but I still love those Buffalo's...

  10. I think your pictures are fine quit being so hard on yourself!

    I am enjoying your travelogue.

  11. I use my canon a1200 on automatic for nearly all my pictures. It has a view finder and was less than $100 when I bought it through Amazon.

  12. I will find the name/type of the camera we bought Squirrel for Christmas a few years ago. It was so insanely cheap, but the picture quality is great. Plus it is an underwater camera [I know, not really relevant to your pic taking, but you can't ruin it if you, y'know, drop it in a lake. giggle] Let me call her and find out, I'll email. And no, you dont' even have to fuss with settings or such. Even I can use it. HA! [and you KNOW me. :)]

    Your trip sharing is so wonderful. I am saddened by the part regarding our country's shameful history, but without it we would still be repeating the atrocities.

    Then again. . .

    Thank you so much for sharing. I can't imagine I will ever get to the places you go, but as I always say - it is a treat to live vicariously through YOU!

    And the buffalo pic' was just TOOOOOO COOL! Want.

    I hope you are feeling well and are safe. Thinking of you! xo JG

  13. You should read up on Devils lake. There is no outlet so it swallows up houses as it fills up. You can see chimneys, etc. when you go boating.

  14. I enjoy watching Buffalo, but not to close to the vehicle:)