Western North Dakota is really really beautiful. Fields of rolling grain, grass, and sunflowers, and the biggest skies I've ever seen. Especially from the road, I had the widest view, and we watched storm clouds chase each other across the sky. I saw where they were raining, where the lightning strikes were, and kept an eye on the storms that seemed to be moving in our direction.
Of course, we also crossed through much of oil country. There were oil rigs everywhere along the road, pumping away. Many of them also had open flames on site - to burn off byproducts? Some of the flames were really fascinating - I could see them off in the distance, really bright against the rest of the dusty and hazy summer landscape. They also kind of reminded me of the signal beacon fires in The Lord of the Rings...
|Beautiful stormy skies|
There were also a fair amount of dilapidated/completely collapsed buildings in fields along the way. I've always been torn in my feelings about buildings like this. On the one hand, it's sad to think that it was once a used, thriving structure that has fallen into disrepair, possibly through disaster or financial difficulties leading to abandonment. On the other hand, the softened curves of bent beams, weathered grey wood, and different silhouettes are absolutely gorgeous.
A side point: when I was in Ireland, I was told that one reason there were so many buildings falling apart in fields is that the owners would have built a new shed/barn/etc next to the old one, take what they needed and leave the shell to the weather. It's an interesting addition to my thoughts about the subject.