Grasslands Treasure: Old Dodge

Old Dodge

I take way too many photos. I do my best to keep them organized but every now and then, a few get lost in the fray. Last night, at the end of a very long writing day, I sat down to select a few images for the annual Smithsonian Magazine photo contest and stumbled across these long lost shots of an old Dodge truck.

Fitting that I stumbled across the photos, because I also stumbled across this truck. I had camped out the night before (for free!) on the edge of an endless field in the National Grasslands just north of Badlands National Park in South Dakota. In the morning, the dogs and I hiked down an old rutted road marked with a foot traffic only sign:

Respect the Landowner, Respect the Land

A mile or so down the road, we came over a small rise and discovered this treasure: an old Dodge truck, left to rot. I have no idea how long this truck has been sitting in this spot, but I’m sure it has been here longer than I have been alive. Bonus points to anybody who can identify the model and year!

Morning Light, Me & Bowie

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you’ll know how much I love old junked cars. Ecstatic, I circled the truck, photographing it from every angle. Then, as I was leaning far over the engine compartment, peering down into the rusted, twisted metal, I saw a slight movement, and a tuft of black and white fur. A SKUNK! Man, I’m lucky I didn’t get sprayed! What would the dogs have thought of me then?!

Defunct Dodge

Rust & Paint

Old Dodge Self Portrait

On to the Badlands!

Dog-wise travel tip: Keep Skunk Off in your car at all times!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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14 Responses to Grasslands Treasure: Old Dodge

  1. Great Pictures…Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jason says:

    I just wanted to say that you rock! I used to travel a lot when I was younger and then thought I needed to “grow up” and buy a house and all the stuff that comes with it. I was miserable. I’m now house and debt free, and because of your blog, plan to do many more road trips in 2013. Thank you!

  3. 23andunfunny says:

    great pictures! I especially like the self portrait 🙂

  4. These are fantastic Mary. Wow..a photo contest, I’m impressed and hope you win!

  5. Travels with the Blonde Coyote, I have nominated you for a “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award” ~ (for the “rules” :-)) — however, whether you participate in the awards process or not, thank you for sharing and know you are appreciated! ~ Kat

  6. Cool photos of the truck, and I especially like the self-portrait. Glad the skunk wasn’t too alarmed by your presence.

  7. Pingback: The Blonde Coyote: 2012, in review « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

  8. Pingback: The Blonde Coyote: 2012, in review « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

  9. I’ve just started following and love these pics of the dodge. I would adore to travel the roads you’re on.

  10. markonelius says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

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