Badlands Green-Gold Cairn
Badlands Green-Gold Cairn

Badlands Loop Road near Conata Road, Badlands National Park

South Dakota, June 30, 2018

43° 50’ 59” N 102° 12’ 48” W-Elevation 2,800 ft.

The Green-Gold Cairn, with its new green base and the addition of a tall bronze vase, was made for this spot to mark the yellow-orange rock strata and green vegetation. The unexpected green color was the result of more than usual rain in June and July.

Badlands Rock Wall (False gods 2)
Badlands Rock Wall (False gods 2)

Badlands Loop Road, Badlands National Park

South Dakota, July 1, 2018

43° 45’ 17” N 101° 59’ 36” W-Elevation 2,460 ft.

The black False gods Cairn with added elements ( version 2) balances on a small rock ledge over a trickle of water emerging from the rock hills behind it.

Burnt Trees
Burnt Trees

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, southern unit loop road, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

46° 54’ 51” N 103° 26’ 12” W-Elevation 2,600 ft.

No Egrets Cairn stands among fire damaged trees in the North Dakota Badlands.

Erosion Columns
Erosion Columns

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Southern Unit North Dakota July 2, 2018

46° 56’ 01” N 103° 24’ 41” W-Elevation 2,500 ft.

Parts of the Green Gold Cairn stand in front of a Badlands wall eroded to form monument-like columns in the southern unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park off eastern fork of the loop road,

Little Missouri River
Little Missouri River

Little Missouri River State Park, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

47° 33’ 01” N 102° 44’ 25” W-Elevation 2,400 ft.

Little Missouri River State Park is a campground for families and their horses. This cairn a composite of Crystal and Clear cairn segments is located on a bluff overlooking the Little Missouri River that meanders hundreds of feet below in the expansive badlands.

Natural Power
Natural Power

Near the intersection of 38th Avenue SW and 12th Street

Fort Clark, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

47° 14’ 17” N 101° 17’ 55” W-Elevation 1,850 ft.

After sunset near the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers looking east toward Stanton, South Dakota, where a line of red lights on the horizon marks wind turbines.

Coal Power
Coal Power

Near the intersection of 38th Avenue SW and 12th Street

Fort Clark, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

47° 14’ 17” N 101° 17’ 55” W-Elevation 1,850 ft.

The same site as the Natural Power image, but looking west to Stanton, South Dakota, near the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers. The Basin Electric Cooperative Leland Olds Station, a coal-fired power plant, is seen in the distance on the right.

Persistent Tree
Persistent Tree

West Pollock Recreation Area, South Dakota, July 3, 2018

45° 53’ 03” N 100° 20’ 10” W-Elevation 1,640 ft.

The West Pollock Recreation Area at the norther boundary of South Dakota has beautiful views of the Missouri River. But this tree that had survived many indignities from storms or man to thrive at the edge of the maintenance building parking lot was worth marking with a No Egrets Cairn segment.

Crystal Valley
Crystal Valley

Pollock, South Dakota, July 3, 2018

45° 45’ 26” N 100° 17’ 25” W-Elevation 1,990 ft.

Crystal Cairn perches on the side of Leola River Road, overlooking the sunset in the valley below, one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Pollen Ruins the Plow
Pollen Ruins the Plow

Phillip, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

44° 41’ 07” N 101° 13’ 52” W-Elevation 1,840 ft.

The title of this image overlooking the Cheyenne River with the Green-Gold Cairn in front of a rusted farm implement, is taken from “Emily,” a song-story in the Ys album by Joanna Newsom.

Grain Storage (horizontal)
Grain Storage (horizontal)

Fort Pierre, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

44° 21’ 27” N 100° 22’ 42” W-Elevation 1,470 ft.

A Crystal Cairn rests at the end of the parking lot at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center and Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center overlooking a grain storage facility and Fort Pierre homes. The Missouri River separates this smaller city from Pierre, the capital of the state of South Dakota. The citizens of these two cities go all out for Independence Day Celebration fireworks.

Breathing House
Breathing House

255th Street and 341st Avenue

Chamberlain, South Dakota, July 5, 2018

43° 41’ 16” N 99° 22’ 17” W-Elevation 1,640 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn sits in front of an abandoned house.The roof had partially caved in and the damaged part hung like a hammock suspended from the roof beams.When the wind blew, the house would emit a low-pitched sound as if a very large animal was snoring on the second floor.

Shannon Shows Up
Shannon Shows Up

Snake Creek Recreation Area Overlook, near Highway 44/50 bridge over the Missouri River, Platte, South Dakota, July 5, 2018

43° 23’ 35” N 99° 06’ 59” W-Elevation 1,500 ft.

All along the Missouri River, there are many references to Lewis and Clark’s 1801–1806 historic journey in names of places and historic markers. The sign at this overlook indicates this is the place where “Shannon Shows Up.”

According to Wikipedia, Private George Shannon was the youngest member of the Corps of Discovery. During the fall of 1804, he was lost for more than two weeks and nearly starved to death.

Vermillion Sunset
Vermillion Sunset

471st Avenue, Elk Point, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 40’ 15” N 96° 47’ 13” W-Elevation 1,090 ft.

Vermillion is the name for an intense red color similar to the setting sun here on the Vermillion River, near the city of Vermillion, South Dakota.

Milky Way
Milky Way

260th Street, North of Hamburg, Iowa, July 7, 2018

40° 40’ 26” N 95° 42’ 54” W-Elevation 910 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn sits on a gravel Road under a clear sky full of stars and the visible Milky Way.

St. Joe Highway Bridge
St. Joe Highway Bridge

St. Joseph Riverwalk, Francis Street

St. Joseph, Missouri, July 8, 2018

39° 46’ 04” N 94° 51’ 40” W-Elevation 940 ft.

This clear, translucent, white-glass combination cairn sits under the Highway 229 bridge in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. The cairn marks a jarring, but not uncommon, a minimally accessible urban riverfront where highway, train tracks, industrial buildings, and a pedestrian walkway through a restored quasi-natural habitat (partially visible on the left) coexist.

Catching Fireflies
Catching Fireflies

Wyandotte Lake County Park

Kansas City, Kansas, July 8, 2018

39° 09’ 25” N 94° 46’ 34” W-Elevation 830 ft.

After sunset, the Clear-Glass Cairn sits among native grasses growing on the side of a creek flowing to Wyandotte Lake, while a long exposure photograph captures fireflies darting among the grass and trees.

Kaw Point
Kaw Point

Kaw Point Riverfront Park

Kansas City, Kansas, July 9, 2018

39° 06’ 57” N 94° 36’ 37” W-Elevation 940 ft.

Looking across the confluence of the Kansas (also called the Kaw River) and Missouri rivers. This was the site of the Lewis and Clark encampment June 26–29, 1804. Now, it offers a stone table base for a cairn, with a great view of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, not diminished by the sight and scent of the city’s waste treatment plant (in the background on the right).

Lake Oahe Sentinel
Lake Oahe Sentinel

Missouri River Bottom, off Highway 1804 across the Missouri River from Huff, North Dakota, July 3, 2018

46° 37’ 34” N 100° 38’ 31” W-Elevation 1,610 ft.

South of Bismarck, the Missouri River widens and is called Lake Oahe (pronounced oh-WAH-hee). This image was made on the east side of the Missouir RIver looking across the river to Huff, North Dakota

Bringing Down the Sky
Bringing Down the Sky

Badlands National Park

South Dakota, June 30, 2018

43° 45’ 18” N 101° 59’ 2” W-Elevation 2,390 ft.

We arrived in Badlands National Park in the afternoon. It was raining, making the red layers of the moonlike rock formations stand out. We pulled out the Crystal Cairn, balancing it on an approximately seven-foot-tall rock, the consistency of semi-hard, slightly slippery concrete. We call this shot Bringing Down the Sky for the way the top vase blends into the colorless sky and for the raindrops.

Big Sioux River
Big Sioux River

Sioux River Road, Stone State Park

Sioux City, Iowa, July 7, 2108

42° 33’ 24” N 96° 28’ 38” W-Elevation 1,090 ft.

Josh saw a bald eagle fly away as we were unloading this Clear Cairn from the van. Unfortunately, the majestic bird did not return to its perch here on the Big Sioux River in time to be included in this image.

Mobridge Campground
Mobridge Campground

Revheim Bay Recreation Area, Mobridge, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

45° 31’ 06” N 100° 23’ 50” W–Elevation 1,590 ft.

Mobridge was a busy place for a three-day rodeo July 3-5. A heavy storm swept through the area on the evening of the 3rd, felling trees and knocking down the festival’s circus-sized food tent. Many branches were down near the entrance to the picnic and children’s playground, but other areas, like the site of our shoot with the Clear and No Egrets cairn segments, were unscathed.

Decatur Bridge
Decatur Bridge

Decatur, Iowa, July 7, 2018

42° 0’ 26” N 96° 14’ 35” W-Elevation 1,080 ft.

A large ceiling-light glass is used as a base for No Egrets Cairn segments. Motorists who stopped to talk with us explained that the bridge was closed during the 2011 flood because the ramp on the other side of the river had washed out, and all the land on this side was flooded.

Little Sioux RIver
Little Sioux RIver

Three RIvers WIldlife Area, Iowa, July 7, 2018

41° 48’ 07” N96° 03’ 58” W-Elevation 1,070 ft.

Erosion at the base of the False gods 2 Cairn on the bank illustrates one of the ways that rivers like the Little Sioux sculpt new channels.

Road Closed
Road Closed

False gods 2 Cairn on 48th Street, Plattesmouth, Iowa, July 7, 2018

41° 01’ 08” N 95° 59’ 17” W-Elevation 1,120 ft.

Ahead the gravel road was washed out by 4-mile Creek on its way to the Platte River. The flooding must have been recent because a local man seemed surprised by the barricade. He drove carefully between the barricades, past the cairn, and down toward Ashland Road intersection at the bottom of the hill. The van’s taillights illuminated the road behind the cairn.

Black Hills Crystal
Black Hills Crystal

Spearfish Creek, off Highway 41A, after it is joined by Iron Creek

Black Hills, South Dakota, July 1, 2018

44° 22’ 41” N 103° 54’ 51” W-Elevation 4,780 ft.

Clear water tumbles over rocks in Spearfish Creek behind the Crystal Cairn. The dark green foliage of South Dakota’s Black Hills is in the background.

Grain Storage (vertical)
Grain Storage (vertical)

Fort Pierre, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

44° 21’ 27” N 100° 22’ 42” W-Elevation 1,470 ft.

A composite cairn rests at the end of the parking lot at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center and Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center in Fort Pierre, population 2,000. The view is across the Missouri River to Pierre, the South Dakota state capital, population 14,000. Although few in number, the citizens of the two Pierres go all out for Independence Day Celebration fireworks.

Theodore
Theodore

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit, near old east entrance

North Dakota, July 2, 2018

46° 55’ 49” N 103° 29’ 14” W-Elevation 2,540 ft.

The False gods Cairn (version 2) is dwarfed by rock/hills off the East Loop Road in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park badlands.

Interior, South Dakota
Interior, South Dakota

Interior, South Dakota, July 1, 2018

43° 43’ 43” N 101° 59’ 08” W-Elevation 2,370 ft.

Clear Cairn sits at the end of Main Street. Interior is a city with a population of sixty-seven people, one peacock, and uncounted dogs, cats, and horses, was named for its position in the interior of the badlands.

Belle Fourche
Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche Reservoir, Belle Fourche National Wildlife Refuge

South Dakota, July 1, 2018

44° 42’ 34” N 103° 42’ 18” W-Elevation 3,050 ft.

Near the largest body of river water in the area, the Belle Fourche Reservoir this big field of native grass was waving in the wind. Leveling and balancing the 22-inch glass bowl-shaped light fixture and a No Egrets spire in a spiral of grass had its complications: Libby put her hand on a prickly pear cactus, and Josh was overrun by tiny ants as he sat in the grass to photograph the cairn.

Missouri River Lantern
Missouri River Lantern

Missouri River Natural Area and Trailhead

1472 River Drive NE, Mandan, North Dakota, July 3, 2018

46° 50’ 10” N 100° 51’ 52” W-Elevation 1,610 ft.

Assembled on site from No Egrets and Clear segments to draw attention to the eroding riverbank, one of the sources of the sediment in the Missouri River, also known as “Big Muddy.”

Wind, Corn, Crib
Wind, Corn, Crib

Near the Intersection of Highway 1804 and Point of View Road

Pollock, South Dakota, July 3, 2018

45° 48’ 43” N 100° 17’ 11” W-Elevation 1,970 ft.

A wooden fence, in front of a wind turbine in a cornfield, protects in-ground water pipes, a pump, and a cairn built from No Egrets and Clear cairns.

Bridge and Butterflies
Bridge and Butterflies

Old Agency Tribal Park, off highway 1804

Forest City Lakeside Use Area, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

45° 01’ 31” N 100° 18’ 14” W-Elevation 1,630 ft.

Butterflies flit among the native plants on the shore at the Forest City Lakeside Use Area, near the confluence of the Cheyenne and Missouri rivers. The highway 212 Bridge is in the background.

Niobrara River
Niobrara River

Niobrara State Park, Nebraska, July 6, 2018

42° 46’ 10” N 98° 04’ 28” W-Elevation 1,520 ft.

This cairn, assembled from sections of the Clear and Crystal cairns, rests at the top of steps leading down to bottomland created by the Missouri River and Mormon Canal. The site is a mile upstream from the point where the Niobrara River, a major tributary, enters the Missouri River.

Santee Dock
Santee Dock

Lewis and Clark Lake, East Street and 898 Road

Santee, Nebraska, July 6, 2018

42° 50’ 34” N 97° 50’ 17” W-Elevation 1,240 ft.

No Egrets Cain perches at the end of a dock. Soon after we finished making this image, fishermen returned to the dock pleased with their catch and temporarily disturbing the mirror smooth lake surface pictured here.

Sediment
Sediment

Gavin’s Point Dam, Lewis and Clark Lake

Seven Miles West of Yankton, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 52’ 16” N 97° 29’ 31” W-Elevation 1,220 ft.

The top of the Green-Gold Cairn marks the edge of the recreational lake created by the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota. The dam generates enough electrical power to serve 85,000 homes. This cairn doesn’t mark the hydropower; rather, it seeks to draw attention to the soil in this river known as “Big Muddy. if this sediment laden water were not contained by the dam, it would flow from the Missouri, into the Mississippi and on to the gulf of Mexico to slow the loss of the valuable Louisiana Delta.

James RIver SIlo
James RIver SIlo

446th Ave and 310th St., Michigan Hill, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 53’ 39” N 97° 16’ 28” W-Elevation 1,240 ft.

The James River is one of the Missouri River’s major tributaries. Flowing south from North Dakota to its confluence near Yankton, South Dakota, the muddy river irrigates rich agricultural land like this family farm.

Salix Oxbow
Salix Oxbow

Bigelow Park Road in Salix, Iowa, July 7, 2018

42° 18’ 23” N 96° 20’ 21” W-Elevation 1,050 ft.

No Egrets Cairn sits at the southern end of an oxbow lake. Horseshoe-shaped lakes like this one were once part of an older river channel. When flooding, earthquakes, or erosion, caused the river to find a new channel, some water remained in the deeper parts of the old riverbed, creating a lake cut off from the river’s flow.

Hay Bale
Hay Bale

Iron Nation Road, Lower Brule, South Dakota, July 5, 2018

44° 10’ 50” N 99° 34’ 42” W-Elevation 1,490 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn rests near a cylindrical bale of hay, close to the end of a peninsula created by a horseshoe-shaped bend in the Missouri River.

Fort Randall Dam
Fort Randall Dam

Powerhouse Road, Lake Andes, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

43° 03’ 39” N 98° 33’ 11” W-Elevation 1,160 ft.

At night, the intense lights on Fort Randall Dam’s electrical power plant are almost too bright to look at. Built in the mid 1950s at 2.5 times its anticipated cost, the dam was generating 200,000 kilowatts of electricity in the 1970’s, four times the current output of the most economically efficient Big Bend Dam upriver. Oddly, the US Army Corps of Engineers hasn’t updated the energy output of the Fort Randall Dam for a current comparison.

Spirit Mound
Spirit Mound

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie

Vermillion, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 52’ 03” N 96° 57’ 20” W-Elevation 1,220 ft.

This mound is a geological feature created when the ancient glaciers leveled the surrounding land, skirting this rocky outcropping. Lewis and Clark visited the Spirit Mound in 1804, traveling on foot from their campground on the Vermillion River. https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/spirit-mound-historic-prairie/

Gravel Road
Gravel Road

Trapper Ave., Brunswick, Missouri, July 10 2018

39° 23’ 32” N 93° 05’ 44” W-Elevation 580 ft.

The Clear-Glass Cairn, which had been used for the Hay, Corn, and Trees image, moved to the middle of Trapper Avenue, near the point where the Grand River, a major tributary, enters the Missouri River.

River Inn Resort
River Inn Resort

Near the point where the Niobrara River enters the Missouri River

Brownville, Nebraska, July 8, 2018

40° 23’ 32” N 95° 38’ 54” W-Elevation 890 ft.

James Smith, inland marine pilot and co-owner of the River Inn Resort, including a twenty-five stateroom floating Bed and Breakfast, and a smaller charter riverboat, stopped rebuilding the road into the resort to talk with us.From the cab of his front-end loader, he explained that the land had been flooded with about 2.5 feet of water for a week.Mr. Smith said, “If you didn’t love it (working on the river), you’d go crazy.”

Corn
Corn

Weston, north of Kansas City, Missouri, July 8, 2018

39° 20’ 59” N 94° 52’ 07” W-Elevation 770 ft.

The white-glass No Egrets Cairn tries to blend in with 6-foot-tall, vibrant green corn nearWeston, Missouri, north of Kansas CIty.

Arrow Rocks
Arrow Rocks

Arrow Rock, Missouri, July 10, 2018

39° 04’ 05” N 92° 56’ 37” W-Elevation 620 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn perches on rocks over the Santa Fe Spring in the Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The town of Arrow Rock was a well-known landmark on the Missouri River, appearing on a 1732 French map as “Pierre a’ Flesche,” or rock of arrows. By the 1850s, the town was one of the busiest ports on the Missouri and with 1,000 residents. Now the town, a National Historic Landmark, has fifty citizens and hosts tourists visiting its historic tavern, homes, and beautiful state park.

Rocheport Riverwalk
Rocheport Riverwalk

Katy Trail Park, Rocheport, Missouri, July 10, 2018

38° 58’ 28” N, 92° 33’ 58” W-Elevation 580 ft.

A cairn assembled from clear and crystal glass rests at the end of the riverwalk trail near confluence of Moniteau Creek and the Missouri River. Highway 70 bridge over the Missouri River is seen in the background.

White River Cairn
White River Cairn

South of Westover, South Dakota, June 30, 2018

43° 42’ 52” N 100° 40’ 22” W-Elevation 1,790 ft

We spotted the White River, a tributary of the Missouri River, as we crossed a bridge over US 83, not too far from highway 44. It really is white: the sand is white and the water is the color of a latte with way too much milk. Following a dirt road we had seen before the bridge, we caught up with the river resting in its flood plain. The No Egrets Cairn holds the sky in its handblown, clear glass top.

Jackass Bend
Jackass Bend

Off Highway 210, Orrick, Missouri, July 10, 2018

39° 12’ 52” N 94° 11’ 38” W-Elevation 780 ft.

The white No Egrets Cairn rests in the pool where water from adjoining farm fields drain into the creek at Jackass Bend.

Confluence Point Looking South
Confluence Point Looking South

Riverlands Way, Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park, West Alton, Missouri, August 9, 2018

38° 48’ 58” N 90° 07’ 10” W-Elevation 470 ft.

The Confluence Cairn rests on an octagonal concrete pedestal in Confluence Park. It is situated at the southern point of the peninsula that juts out between the Mississippi River, flowing from the east at the right of this image, and Missouri River, entering from the north on the left side of this image. The Missouri River has traveled about 2,350 miles from its origin in the Centennial Mountains, Montana, to the confluence. The Mississippi has journeyed 1,130 miles from its origin at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. The conjoined rivers become the Mississippi River from this point; it empties 1,190 miles downriver into the Gulf of Mexico, south of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Confluence Point, Looking East
Confluence Point, Looking East

Riverlands Way, Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park

West Alton, Missouri, August 9, 2018

38° 48’ 58” N 90° 07’ 10” W-Elevation 470 ft.

Looking east across the Mississippi River, the Confluence Cairn glows in the dawn. The town of Hartford, Illinois, is in the background. The Missouri River joins the Mississippi just 30 feet south of this marker. Towboats and barges, like the one pictured here, will enter the Chain of Rocks Canal a mile-and-a-half downstream.

The Confluence Cairn, created from parts of other cairns used in upper Mississippi and Missouri River Watershed Cairns images,

Confluence Point, Looking North
Confluence Point, Looking North

Riverlands Way, Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park

West Alton, Missouri, August 9, 2018

38° 48’ 58” N 90° 07’ 10” W-Elevation 470 ft.

The Confluence Cairn rests on an octagonal concrete pedestal at the southern point of the peninsula that juts out between the Mississippi River, flowing from the east at the right of this image, and Missouri River, entering from the north on the left side of this image. The Missouri River has traveled about 2,350 miles from its origin at in the Centennial Mountains, Montana, to the confluence. The Mississippi has journeyed 1,130 miles from its origin at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. The conjoined rivers become the Mississippi River from this point; it empties 1,190 miles downriver into the Gulf of Mexico, south of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Badlands Green-Gold Cairn
Badlands Rock Wall (False gods 2)
Burnt Trees
Erosion Columns
Little Missouri River
Natural Power
Coal Power
Persistent Tree
Crystal Valley
Pollen Ruins the Plow
Grain Storage (horizontal)
Breathing House
Shannon Shows Up
Vermillion Sunset
Milky Way
St. Joe Highway Bridge
Catching Fireflies
Kaw Point
Lake Oahe Sentinel
Bringing Down the Sky
Big Sioux River
Mobridge Campground
Decatur Bridge
Little Sioux RIver
Road Closed
Black Hills Crystal
Grain Storage (vertical)
Theodore
Interior, South Dakota
Belle Fourche
Missouri River Lantern
Wind, Corn, Crib
Bridge and Butterflies
Niobrara River
Santee Dock
Sediment
James RIver SIlo
Salix Oxbow
Hay Bale
Fort Randall Dam
Spirit Mound
Gravel Road
River Inn Resort
Corn
Arrow Rocks
Rocheport Riverwalk
White River Cairn
Jackass Bend
Confluence Point Looking South
Confluence Point, Looking East
Confluence Point, Looking North
Badlands Green-Gold Cairn

Badlands Loop Road near Conata Road, Badlands National Park

South Dakota, June 30, 2018

43° 50’ 59” N 102° 12’ 48” W-Elevation 2,800 ft.

The Green-Gold Cairn, with its new green base and the addition of a tall bronze vase, was made for this spot to mark the yellow-orange rock strata and green vegetation. The unexpected green color was the result of more than usual rain in June and July.

Badlands Rock Wall (False gods 2)

Badlands Loop Road, Badlands National Park

South Dakota, July 1, 2018

43° 45’ 17” N 101° 59’ 36” W-Elevation 2,460 ft.

The black False gods Cairn with added elements ( version 2) balances on a small rock ledge over a trickle of water emerging from the rock hills behind it.

Burnt Trees

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, southern unit loop road, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

46° 54’ 51” N 103° 26’ 12” W-Elevation 2,600 ft.

No Egrets Cairn stands among fire damaged trees in the North Dakota Badlands.

Erosion Columns

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Southern Unit North Dakota July 2, 2018

46° 56’ 01” N 103° 24’ 41” W-Elevation 2,500 ft.

Parts of the Green Gold Cairn stand in front of a Badlands wall eroded to form monument-like columns in the southern unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park off eastern fork of the loop road,

Little Missouri River

Little Missouri River State Park, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

47° 33’ 01” N 102° 44’ 25” W-Elevation 2,400 ft.

Little Missouri River State Park is a campground for families and their horses. This cairn a composite of Crystal and Clear cairn segments is located on a bluff overlooking the Little Missouri River that meanders hundreds of feet below in the expansive badlands.

Natural Power

Near the intersection of 38th Avenue SW and 12th Street

Fort Clark, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

47° 14’ 17” N 101° 17’ 55” W-Elevation 1,850 ft.

After sunset near the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers looking east toward Stanton, South Dakota, where a line of red lights on the horizon marks wind turbines.

Coal Power

Near the intersection of 38th Avenue SW and 12th Street

Fort Clark, North Dakota, July 2, 2018

47° 14’ 17” N 101° 17’ 55” W-Elevation 1,850 ft.

The same site as the Natural Power image, but looking west to Stanton, South Dakota, near the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers. The Basin Electric Cooperative Leland Olds Station, a coal-fired power plant, is seen in the distance on the right.

Persistent Tree

West Pollock Recreation Area, South Dakota, July 3, 2018

45° 53’ 03” N 100° 20’ 10” W-Elevation 1,640 ft.

The West Pollock Recreation Area at the norther boundary of South Dakota has beautiful views of the Missouri River. But this tree that had survived many indignities from storms or man to thrive at the edge of the maintenance building parking lot was worth marking with a No Egrets Cairn segment.

Crystal Valley

Pollock, South Dakota, July 3, 2018

45° 45’ 26” N 100° 17’ 25” W-Elevation 1,990 ft.

Crystal Cairn perches on the side of Leola River Road, overlooking the sunset in the valley below, one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Pollen Ruins the Plow

Phillip, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

44° 41’ 07” N 101° 13’ 52” W-Elevation 1,840 ft.

The title of this image overlooking the Cheyenne River with the Green-Gold Cairn in front of a rusted farm implement, is taken from “Emily,” a song-story in the Ys album by Joanna Newsom.

Grain Storage (horizontal)

Fort Pierre, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

44° 21’ 27” N 100° 22’ 42” W-Elevation 1,470 ft.

A Crystal Cairn rests at the end of the parking lot at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center and Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center overlooking a grain storage facility and Fort Pierre homes. The Missouri River separates this smaller city from Pierre, the capital of the state of South Dakota. The citizens of these two cities go all out for Independence Day Celebration fireworks.

Breathing House

255th Street and 341st Avenue

Chamberlain, South Dakota, July 5, 2018

43° 41’ 16” N 99° 22’ 17” W-Elevation 1,640 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn sits in front of an abandoned house.The roof had partially caved in and the damaged part hung like a hammock suspended from the roof beams.When the wind blew, the house would emit a low-pitched sound as if a very large animal was snoring on the second floor.

Shannon Shows Up

Snake Creek Recreation Area Overlook, near Highway 44/50 bridge over the Missouri River, Platte, South Dakota, July 5, 2018

43° 23’ 35” N 99° 06’ 59” W-Elevation 1,500 ft.

All along the Missouri River, there are many references to Lewis and Clark’s 1801–1806 historic journey in names of places and historic markers. The sign at this overlook indicates this is the place where “Shannon Shows Up.”

According to Wikipedia, Private George Shannon was the youngest member of the Corps of Discovery. During the fall of 1804, he was lost for more than two weeks and nearly starved to death.

Vermillion Sunset

471st Avenue, Elk Point, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 40’ 15” N 96° 47’ 13” W-Elevation 1,090 ft.

Vermillion is the name for an intense red color similar to the setting sun here on the Vermillion River, near the city of Vermillion, South Dakota.

Milky Way

260th Street, North of Hamburg, Iowa, July 7, 2018

40° 40’ 26” N 95° 42’ 54” W-Elevation 910 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn sits on a gravel Road under a clear sky full of stars and the visible Milky Way.

St. Joe Highway Bridge

St. Joseph Riverwalk, Francis Street

St. Joseph, Missouri, July 8, 2018

39° 46’ 04” N 94° 51’ 40” W-Elevation 940 ft.

This clear, translucent, white-glass combination cairn sits under the Highway 229 bridge in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. The cairn marks a jarring, but not uncommon, a minimally accessible urban riverfront where highway, train tracks, industrial buildings, and a pedestrian walkway through a restored quasi-natural habitat (partially visible on the left) coexist.

Catching Fireflies

Wyandotte Lake County Park

Kansas City, Kansas, July 8, 2018

39° 09’ 25” N 94° 46’ 34” W-Elevation 830 ft.

After sunset, the Clear-Glass Cairn sits among native grasses growing on the side of a creek flowing to Wyandotte Lake, while a long exposure photograph captures fireflies darting among the grass and trees.

Kaw Point

Kaw Point Riverfront Park

Kansas City, Kansas, July 9, 2018

39° 06’ 57” N 94° 36’ 37” W-Elevation 940 ft.

Looking across the confluence of the Kansas (also called the Kaw River) and Missouri rivers. This was the site of the Lewis and Clark encampment June 26–29, 1804. Now, it offers a stone table base for a cairn, with a great view of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, not diminished by the sight and scent of the city’s waste treatment plant (in the background on the right).

Lake Oahe Sentinel

Missouri River Bottom, off Highway 1804 across the Missouri River from Huff, North Dakota, July 3, 2018

46° 37’ 34” N 100° 38’ 31” W-Elevation 1,610 ft.

South of Bismarck, the Missouri River widens and is called Lake Oahe (pronounced oh-WAH-hee). This image was made on the east side of the Missouir RIver looking across the river to Huff, North Dakota

Bringing Down the Sky

Badlands National Park

South Dakota, June 30, 2018

43° 45’ 18” N 101° 59’ 2” W-Elevation 2,390 ft.

We arrived in Badlands National Park in the afternoon. It was raining, making the red layers of the moonlike rock formations stand out. We pulled out the Crystal Cairn, balancing it on an approximately seven-foot-tall rock, the consistency of semi-hard, slightly slippery concrete. We call this shot Bringing Down the Sky for the way the top vase blends into the colorless sky and for the raindrops.

Big Sioux River

Sioux River Road, Stone State Park

Sioux City, Iowa, July 7, 2108

42° 33’ 24” N 96° 28’ 38” W-Elevation 1,090 ft.

Josh saw a bald eagle fly away as we were unloading this Clear Cairn from the van. Unfortunately, the majestic bird did not return to its perch here on the Big Sioux River in time to be included in this image.

Mobridge Campground

Revheim Bay Recreation Area, Mobridge, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

45° 31’ 06” N 100° 23’ 50” W–Elevation 1,590 ft.

Mobridge was a busy place for a three-day rodeo July 3-5. A heavy storm swept through the area on the evening of the 3rd, felling trees and knocking down the festival’s circus-sized food tent. Many branches were down near the entrance to the picnic and children’s playground, but other areas, like the site of our shoot with the Clear and No Egrets cairn segments, were unscathed.

Decatur Bridge

Decatur, Iowa, July 7, 2018

42° 0’ 26” N 96° 14’ 35” W-Elevation 1,080 ft.

A large ceiling-light glass is used as a base for No Egrets Cairn segments. Motorists who stopped to talk with us explained that the bridge was closed during the 2011 flood because the ramp on the other side of the river had washed out, and all the land on this side was flooded.

Little Sioux RIver

Three RIvers WIldlife Area, Iowa, July 7, 2018

41° 48’ 07” N96° 03’ 58” W-Elevation 1,070 ft.

Erosion at the base of the False gods 2 Cairn on the bank illustrates one of the ways that rivers like the Little Sioux sculpt new channels.

Road Closed

False gods 2 Cairn on 48th Street, Plattesmouth, Iowa, July 7, 2018

41° 01’ 08” N 95° 59’ 17” W-Elevation 1,120 ft.

Ahead the gravel road was washed out by 4-mile Creek on its way to the Platte River. The flooding must have been recent because a local man seemed surprised by the barricade. He drove carefully between the barricades, past the cairn, and down toward Ashland Road intersection at the bottom of the hill. The van’s taillights illuminated the road behind the cairn.

Black Hills Crystal

Spearfish Creek, off Highway 41A, after it is joined by Iron Creek

Black Hills, South Dakota, July 1, 2018

44° 22’ 41” N 103° 54’ 51” W-Elevation 4,780 ft.

Clear water tumbles over rocks in Spearfish Creek behind the Crystal Cairn. The dark green foliage of South Dakota’s Black Hills is in the background.

Grain Storage (vertical)

Fort Pierre, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

44° 21’ 27” N 100° 22’ 42” W-Elevation 1,470 ft.

A composite cairn rests at the end of the parking lot at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center and Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center in Fort Pierre, population 2,000. The view is across the Missouri River to Pierre, the South Dakota state capital, population 14,000. Although few in number, the citizens of the two Pierres go all out for Independence Day Celebration fireworks.

Theodore

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit, near old east entrance

North Dakota, July 2, 2018

46° 55’ 49” N 103° 29’ 14” W-Elevation 2,540 ft.

The False gods Cairn (version 2) is dwarfed by rock/hills off the East Loop Road in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park badlands.

Interior, South Dakota

Interior, South Dakota, July 1, 2018

43° 43’ 43” N 101° 59’ 08” W-Elevation 2,370 ft.

Clear Cairn sits at the end of Main Street. Interior is a city with a population of sixty-seven people, one peacock, and uncounted dogs, cats, and horses, was named for its position in the interior of the badlands.

Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche Reservoir, Belle Fourche National Wildlife Refuge

South Dakota, July 1, 2018

44° 42’ 34” N 103° 42’ 18” W-Elevation 3,050 ft.

Near the largest body of river water in the area, the Belle Fourche Reservoir this big field of native grass was waving in the wind. Leveling and balancing the 22-inch glass bowl-shaped light fixture and a No Egrets spire in a spiral of grass had its complications: Libby put her hand on a prickly pear cactus, and Josh was overrun by tiny ants as he sat in the grass to photograph the cairn.

Missouri River Lantern

Missouri River Natural Area and Trailhead

1472 River Drive NE, Mandan, North Dakota, July 3, 2018

46° 50’ 10” N 100° 51’ 52” W-Elevation 1,610 ft.

Assembled on site from No Egrets and Clear segments to draw attention to the eroding riverbank, one of the sources of the sediment in the Missouri River, also known as “Big Muddy.”

Wind, Corn, Crib

Near the Intersection of Highway 1804 and Point of View Road

Pollock, South Dakota, July 3, 2018

45° 48’ 43” N 100° 17’ 11” W-Elevation 1,970 ft.

A wooden fence, in front of a wind turbine in a cornfield, protects in-ground water pipes, a pump, and a cairn built from No Egrets and Clear cairns.

Bridge and Butterflies

Old Agency Tribal Park, off highway 1804

Forest City Lakeside Use Area, South Dakota, July 4, 2018

45° 01’ 31” N 100° 18’ 14” W-Elevation 1,630 ft.

Butterflies flit among the native plants on the shore at the Forest City Lakeside Use Area, near the confluence of the Cheyenne and Missouri rivers. The highway 212 Bridge is in the background.

Niobrara River

Niobrara State Park, Nebraska, July 6, 2018

42° 46’ 10” N 98° 04’ 28” W-Elevation 1,520 ft.

This cairn, assembled from sections of the Clear and Crystal cairns, rests at the top of steps leading down to bottomland created by the Missouri River and Mormon Canal. The site is a mile upstream from the point where the Niobrara River, a major tributary, enters the Missouri River.

Santee Dock

Lewis and Clark Lake, East Street and 898 Road

Santee, Nebraska, July 6, 2018

42° 50’ 34” N 97° 50’ 17” W-Elevation 1,240 ft.

No Egrets Cain perches at the end of a dock. Soon after we finished making this image, fishermen returned to the dock pleased with their catch and temporarily disturbing the mirror smooth lake surface pictured here.

Sediment

Gavin’s Point Dam, Lewis and Clark Lake

Seven Miles West of Yankton, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 52’ 16” N 97° 29’ 31” W-Elevation 1,220 ft.

The top of the Green-Gold Cairn marks the edge of the recreational lake created by the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, South Dakota. The dam generates enough electrical power to serve 85,000 homes. This cairn doesn’t mark the hydropower; rather, it seeks to draw attention to the soil in this river known as “Big Muddy. if this sediment laden water were not contained by the dam, it would flow from the Missouri, into the Mississippi and on to the gulf of Mexico to slow the loss of the valuable Louisiana Delta.

James RIver SIlo

446th Ave and 310th St., Michigan Hill, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 53’ 39” N 97° 16’ 28” W-Elevation 1,240 ft.

The James River is one of the Missouri River’s major tributaries. Flowing south from North Dakota to its confluence near Yankton, South Dakota, the muddy river irrigates rich agricultural land like this family farm.

Salix Oxbow

Bigelow Park Road in Salix, Iowa, July 7, 2018

42° 18’ 23” N 96° 20’ 21” W-Elevation 1,050 ft.

No Egrets Cairn sits at the southern end of an oxbow lake. Horseshoe-shaped lakes like this one were once part of an older river channel. When flooding, earthquakes, or erosion, caused the river to find a new channel, some water remained in the deeper parts of the old riverbed, creating a lake cut off from the river’s flow.

Hay Bale

Iron Nation Road, Lower Brule, South Dakota, July 5, 2018

44° 10’ 50” N 99° 34’ 42” W-Elevation 1,490 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn rests near a cylindrical bale of hay, close to the end of a peninsula created by a horseshoe-shaped bend in the Missouri River.

Fort Randall Dam

Powerhouse Road, Lake Andes, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

43° 03’ 39” N 98° 33’ 11” W-Elevation 1,160 ft.

At night, the intense lights on Fort Randall Dam’s electrical power plant are almost too bright to look at. Built in the mid 1950s at 2.5 times its anticipated cost, the dam was generating 200,000 kilowatts of electricity in the 1970’s, four times the current output of the most economically efficient Big Bend Dam upriver. Oddly, the US Army Corps of Engineers hasn’t updated the energy output of the Fort Randall Dam for a current comparison.

Spirit Mound

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie

Vermillion, South Dakota, July 6, 2018

42° 52’ 03” N 96° 57’ 20” W-Elevation 1,220 ft.

This mound is a geological feature created when the ancient glaciers leveled the surrounding land, skirting this rocky outcropping. Lewis and Clark visited the Spirit Mound in 1804, traveling on foot from their campground on the Vermillion River. https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/spirit-mound-historic-prairie/

Gravel Road

Trapper Ave., Brunswick, Missouri, July 10 2018

39° 23’ 32” N 93° 05’ 44” W-Elevation 580 ft.

The Clear-Glass Cairn, which had been used for the Hay, Corn, and Trees image, moved to the middle of Trapper Avenue, near the point where the Grand River, a major tributary, enters the Missouri River.

River Inn Resort

Near the point where the Niobrara River enters the Missouri River

Brownville, Nebraska, July 8, 2018

40° 23’ 32” N 95° 38’ 54” W-Elevation 890 ft.

James Smith, inland marine pilot and co-owner of the River Inn Resort, including a twenty-five stateroom floating Bed and Breakfast, and a smaller charter riverboat, stopped rebuilding the road into the resort to talk with us.From the cab of his front-end loader, he explained that the land had been flooded with about 2.5 feet of water for a week.Mr. Smith said, “If you didn’t love it (working on the river), you’d go crazy.”

Corn

Weston, north of Kansas City, Missouri, July 8, 2018

39° 20’ 59” N 94° 52’ 07” W-Elevation 770 ft.

The white-glass No Egrets Cairn tries to blend in with 6-foot-tall, vibrant green corn nearWeston, Missouri, north of Kansas CIty.

Arrow Rocks

Arrow Rock, Missouri, July 10, 2018

39° 04’ 05” N 92° 56’ 37” W-Elevation 620 ft.

The No Egrets Cairn perches on rocks over the Santa Fe Spring in the Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The town of Arrow Rock was a well-known landmark on the Missouri River, appearing on a 1732 French map as “Pierre a’ Flesche,” or rock of arrows. By the 1850s, the town was one of the busiest ports on the Missouri and with 1,000 residents. Now the town, a National Historic Landmark, has fifty citizens and hosts tourists visiting its historic tavern, homes, and beautiful state park.

Rocheport Riverwalk

Katy Trail Park, Rocheport, Missouri, July 10, 2018

38° 58’ 28” N, 92° 33’ 58” W-Elevation 580 ft.

A cairn assembled from clear and crystal glass rests at the end of the riverwalk trail near confluence of Moniteau Creek and the Missouri River. Highway 70 bridge over the Missouri River is seen in the background.

White River Cairn

South of Westover, South Dakota, June 30, 2018

43° 42’ 52” N 100° 40’ 22” W-Elevation 1,790 ft

We spotted the White River, a tributary of the Missouri River, as we crossed a bridge over US 83, not too far from highway 44. It really is white: the sand is white and the water is the color of a latte with way too much milk. Following a dirt road we had seen before the bridge, we caught up with the river resting in its flood plain. The No Egrets Cairn holds the sky in its handblown, clear glass top.

Jackass Bend

Off Highway 210, Orrick, Missouri, July 10, 2018

39° 12’ 52” N 94° 11’ 38” W-Elevation 780 ft.

The white No Egrets Cairn rests in the pool where water from adjoining farm fields drain into the creek at Jackass Bend.

Confluence Point Looking South

Riverlands Way, Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park, West Alton, Missouri, August 9, 2018

38° 48’ 58” N 90° 07’ 10” W-Elevation 470 ft.

The Confluence Cairn rests on an octagonal concrete pedestal in Confluence Park. It is situated at the southern point of the peninsula that juts out between the Mississippi River, flowing from the east at the right of this image, and Missouri River, entering from the north on the left side of this image. The Missouri River has traveled about 2,350 miles from its origin in the Centennial Mountains, Montana, to the confluence. The Mississippi has journeyed 1,130 miles from its origin at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. The conjoined rivers become the Mississippi River from this point; it empties 1,190 miles downriver into the Gulf of Mexico, south of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Confluence Point, Looking East

Riverlands Way, Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park

West Alton, Missouri, August 9, 2018

38° 48’ 58” N 90° 07’ 10” W-Elevation 470 ft.

Looking east across the Mississippi River, the Confluence Cairn glows in the dawn. The town of Hartford, Illinois, is in the background. The Missouri River joins the Mississippi just 30 feet south of this marker. Towboats and barges, like the one pictured here, will enter the Chain of Rocks Canal a mile-and-a-half downstream.

The Confluence Cairn, created from parts of other cairns used in upper Mississippi and Missouri River Watershed Cairns images,

Confluence Point, Looking North

Riverlands Way, Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park

West Alton, Missouri, August 9, 2018

38° 48’ 58” N 90° 07’ 10” W-Elevation 470 ft.

The Confluence Cairn rests on an octagonal concrete pedestal at the southern point of the peninsula that juts out between the Mississippi River, flowing from the east at the right of this image, and Missouri River, entering from the north on the left side of this image. The Missouri River has traveled about 2,350 miles from its origin at in the Centennial Mountains, Montana, to the confluence. The Mississippi has journeyed 1,130 miles from its origin at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. The conjoined rivers become the Mississippi River from this point; it empties 1,190 miles downriver into the Gulf of Mexico, south of New Orleans, Louisiana.

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