Valve job

I noticed something really cool while taking photos for the owner of a farmstead northwest of the Bismarck-Mandan area. Obviously it was a beautiful day, as you can tell from the green pasture and blue sky above.

This is an inventive way to block the door of the shop. The hasp doesn’t quite line up okay, but by grabbing a spare valve and dropping it into place, it’s easy to keep things closed.

I love the ingenuity of rural North Dakota.

One for the bucket list

I spotted this old farmhouse while out roaming a couple years ago, and was curious about it (naturally)…but, since there were cattle on the land, I wasn’t about to try getting any closer (including by air). I always planned on swinging by again to try getting a better look, but I had no idea when that might be.

Fast forward to Spring 2019 (Did we have a spring? I may have missed it.) – I was poking around south of Bismarck-Mandan, and figured I’d try my luck despite the wind. Thankfully, I was able to fly around a little bit during a lull in the stiff breeze.

This house sits on a hill, providing a nice angle from above. It looks like at least one addition was built at some point.

The funny thing is, due to the wide angle of the drone camera, I kinda like my original photo, shot from the road with a telephoto lens. It gets the water in there better, as well as those lovely Morton County hills.

I’m told that this house may not remain much longer, so I’m glad I was able to investigate a bit – at least enough to satisfy my curiosity. There’s a growing list of sites for which I was too late, and a comparable number of sites which have disappeared since I photographed them.

No more tuning in

I don’t go in old buildings when I find them. That’s a personal rule. I’ve only ever made one exception to that, and I’m not doing it again. I do it for a couple of reasons: safety and respect. So when it comes to this photo, I can assure you that I poked my camera through a window while standing outside, and did not venture into the house itself.

This set comes from an era of small, rounded screens; tubes and dials; and only a few analog channels. It also comes from an era of plaster walls, solid wood doors, and hardwood floors. Progress comes with good and bad, I suppose.

St. Petri Ruins

These are the remnants of St. Petri Church, nestled in northern Kidder County. I never did get up there in time to see it, although I’m sure it was a fantastic little church. Google Earth imagery shows it intact in 2013, but the next pass in 2017 shows it leveled. I’m not sure what happened to it…I’ll have to ask around.

Sadly, the little church lies in a heap along a gravel road, with its cemetery nearby. I knew that the building had fallen before coming up here, but I still had to see for myself.

The walls are laid over and/or strewn about, the roof partially crushed, and there’s no more little square steeple anymore, either.

The grounds look well maintained. I didn’t have time to check the dates on any of the markers in the cemetery to see how recently anyone has been buried here.

It’s such a shame that this church had to meet such a demise. It looks like a storm of some sort probably hit it – microburst, or – dare I say it – a small tornado?

It’s strange, seeing the walls laid flat like this. It really does look like a mighty wind came along and simply toppled the structure.

Here’s one of the walls. You can see the outline of the foundation as well.

There was a little outbuilding to the west, but that hasn’t survived, either.

There are lakes all around this area, and it’s really pretty. This nice, green grass is something we won’t be seeing for a while; as I write this, there’s an arctic cold mass heading our way which is expected to last for a little while. But at least we don’t have tick or mosquito problems right now!

This isn’t the only little church I’ve missed out on; the resources I use to find these have shown me plenty of plots where a church obviously stood at one time, but now is gone. And just as I’d been told about one northeast of here last fall, I received another email to tell me that it had just burned. These landmarks are vanishing quickly, and I wish I had the gas money to roam around and find them all before it’s too late.

Red

I stumbled upon this barn earlier this summer, and was thrilled to find it. What a unique architecture! At least I hadn’t seen one like it. And it had a great shade of red remaining in places.

If it looks familiar, it’s because I posted this angle a while back. Both are from a flight over the area, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the find.


I haven’t been able to get out with either aircraft or camera lately, but I’m hoping to venture out soon! All my friends are posting cool stuff, and it’s driving me absolutely nuts.

Got a bit of an overbite there

I’d seen a photo of this home posted online and knew I had to find it.  A lot of Google hunting based on a description with the posted photo gave me what I needed to load up the truck and venture off to the northeast.  I marked six or seven spots that looked promising from space, then proceeded to hunt them all down.  This was the last spot on my list, and it didn’t disappoint.

 

I’m sure you spotted the same feature about this house that I did: the overhang of the upper floor, no longer supported by columns to the deck below.  I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before this collapses, but for now it has a great visage.

 

Before long, the sun departed behind me and I had to head home and pressure wash a LOT of sticky mud from my truck.  But this home holds a lot of promise, so you can be sure I plan to check in on it from time to time.

Joe’s garage

Okay, I don’t know if the owner’s name is Joe…but I struggled to come up with a title for this post.

The big question is…what are they trying to prevent from escaping?  All the doors are barricaded from the outside. >gasp<

An hour well spent

I managed to sneak out for an hour or so with my cameras this weekend, and decided to head out to a spot which I’ve been eyeing for a long time.  I’ve actually roamed within a couple of miles of this place on multiple other occasions, so it’s been a little frustrating that I’ve never made it to this location.  But that frustration has ended now.

 

I originally thought this was a barn, having viewed it from a distance…but that was based on the roof line.  Obviously that isn’t the case.  It sure is a unique little house!

I found some other cool stuff in the area, which I’ll post later.  I’m still cleaning mud off my truck.  Something about section lines after two or three days of rain and slushy snow that tends to introduce a lot of sticky mud into one’s life.

How firm a foundation

I jetted out west early in the morning to take a photo of this little building near a friend’s farm.  It wasn’t until I looked at the photos that I saw the bottom of the building.  Looks like the foundation is a little lacking.  That would explain its sagging.  Unfortunately, once a building starts to bow like this I think the clock starts ticking.  The big barn nearby has already succumbed to the ravages of time.

Gloomy hut

I took the kiddos duck hunting a while back and stopped in the small town of Denhoff to check it out.  I saw this quaint little building and thought I’d snap a quick shot.  Didn’t do much else for photography that day, or much at all recently, as I’ve been so busy and the weather hasn’t exactly been great.  I know there are plenty of opportunities out there, but right now I’m just so stacked I don’t know if I’ll be out there to snatch them.