Creative Highways: South Dakota Sunsets and Jolly Green Giants

(posted by Larissa)

As I stood beneath the looming shadow of the Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, Minnesota, I observed the soothing flow of traffic on I-90 several yards away, and the cars slowly pulling in and out of the Dairy Queen parking lot across from the neatly trimmed lawns of Jolly Green's domicile. After months of anticipation, I knew in that moment that we had finally reached what Ryan so aptly describes in the current intro on our website as the "space in between."

It is this liminality that makes road trips so salient to our personal experiences as individuals and as a couple. We have officially and successfully separated ourselves from the doldrums of our day-to-day, our to-do lists, appointments, and social obligations. I am not implying that our lives are hard to bear by any means. But we realize how hard it can be for us, as members of our society, to truly travel/move/flee from our daily routines. It is the space in between that one must find from time to time that speaks to and galvanizes our lives when we are living our "normal" everyday existences. And the further and longer we travel from the routine into the space in between, the more cogent the effects will be on our well-beings.

In the following photos, we narrate the voices of Americana that we have been discovering along the way - those ironic, iconic, and campy artifacts of our lives as humans in this country.

Jolly Green beholds his vast prairie empire in Blue Earth.

Always seek a different perspective.

What defines a man?

The roadways of America are a clash of kitschy tourism and vacant businesses.

"Ben Biking" greets motorists just off I-90 in Sparta, Wisconsin, the bicycle capitol of the world.

Snack time at the Love's truck stop in Wisconsin where we ran into travelers from Chambersburg, PA, a town just 30 minutes from our own...all we could say was, "Small world!"

All there is left to do now is drive off into the sunset...

A South Dakota honky-tonk sunset

All photos © Chace + Smith Photography

Tomorrow's adventure: The Badlands of South Dakota, Wall Drug, SD, Devil's Tower in Eastern Wyoming, and camping in Bighorn National Forest in central WY!