Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Welcome to Buffalo County

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 ~ Buffalo County, South Dakota

I leave Oacoma, South Dakota (where by some bizarre synchronicity I also spent a night last the same hotel) and drive the few miles into Chamberlin across the Missouri River.

It's a powerful river and powerful crossing over the rusting old bridge with its sacred geometry-like trusses.

There's something about crossing a river, particularly one with the force of a Columbia, Missouri or Mississippi, that always leaves me feeling as if I'm moving into the new.

When I first left Sedona, a friend gave me a tape with a half dozen little known inspirational songs sung by unnamed artists. The first track begins There's a bridge that you can cross / On the other side is freedom, and it always runs through my head at moments like this.

Across the river in Chamberlin, I follow the signs pointing the way (or so I think) to eastbound I-90. Yet as the road carries me north, away from town and the freeway, I can't figure out why I seem to be heading farther from the highway and closer to North Dakota.

Lulled by the Missouri River to the west and rolling hills to the east, I continue driving north.

Finally, I realize that this is an alternative route, for semis and other mega-vehicles. I'm about to turn back when I pass a sign that reads Welcome to Buffalo County.

Then I get it: More buffalo energy. As always, it's welcome.

Photo by Mark David Gerson

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