Great Places Series - West Pollock Recreation Area

 It wasn’t a very long path that I took but I took my time really enjoying the quiet morning sounds and colors

It wasn’t a very long path that I took but I took my time really enjoying the quiet morning sounds and colors

I made the 40 minute drive from Mobridge up to Pollock before sun-up because I love to catch these parks at sunrise and have them mostly to myself. I wasn’t disappointed. The frosty morning, a light dusting of snow that only clung to patches of grass, geese and the pastel sky were so beautifully serene together. I am excited to paint the subtlety of those elements. 

 If you are interested in seeing the painting from West Pollock Recreation Area or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page!

 Geese flying were just the faintest dots in the sky.

Geese flying were just the faintest dots in the sky.

Great Places Series - Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Area

 The trail I took was mostly dirt path but I did explore away from the trail some.

The trail I took was mostly dirt path but I did explore away from the trail some.

Lake Hiddenwood is a real hidden gem of a park. The valley was carved by melting glaciers and then an earthen dam was used to create the lake in 1927. I took a trail that circled the lake and was just over 2 miles. Unfortunately heavy rains this spring washed out the bridge and dam on the road to the park, which is the only way to access the area. The park will be closed indefinitely as officials assess the situation and future options. I hope they are able to come to a good solution as this park even in November had multiple people camping and enjoying its quiet beauty.

If you are interested in seeing the painting from Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Area or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page!

 There were such interesting patterns and bubbles frozen into the ice.

There were such interesting patterns and bubbles frozen into the ice.

Great Places Series - State Recreation Areas near Mobridge

 Revheim Bay Recreation Area

Revheim Bay Recreation Area

These two state recreation areas just outside of Mobridge are such treats, with lots of activities for families and of course with lots of water activities available on the river. I visited in November and was fortunate to have very mild weather. The paths and trails I took at each park were around a mile but both parks have about two miles of mapped trails. During my hikes at each place I remember specifically enjoying listening to the sounds of wind and water and trying to differentiate between the two.

 Indian Creek Recreation Area

Indian Creek Recreation Area

If you are interested in seeing the paintings from either Revheim Bay or Indian Creek Recreation Areas or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page!

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Great Places Series - Mina Lake Recreation Area

I really enjoyed this park that is just outside of Aberdeen. The trail was diverse in its wooded and lakeside views available and if you take the trail as I followed it, the distance is just over a mile. I startled several deer while walking through the quiet woods. If you are interested in seeing the painting from Mina Lake Recreation Area or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page!

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Great Places Series - Richmond Lake State Recreation Area

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I loved the gradation of color in the late fall sky and reflected in the lake.

Richmond Lake was my first stop on a little weekend trip on November 12th. It was beautiful weather for November with ice on the edges of the lake, freezing the mossy rocks until spring.  It was a quiet day other than the chatter of geese out in the middle of the 1,000+ acre lake, and I seemingly had the Quaking Aspen Trail part of the park to myself.

If you are interested in seeing the painting from Richmond Lake State Recreation Area or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page!

 This nice little trail is about 3/4 of a mile. 

This nice little trail is about 3/4 of a mile. 

Great Places Series - Yankton’s State Recreation Areas - Pierson Ranch, Lewis and Clark and Chief White Crane

What a great group of parks and trails. I took both of my dogs with me to explore these parks on an early November day and successfully wore them both out on the extensive trail system.

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While walking the trails connecting Pierson Ranch and Lewis and Clark Recreation areas I imagined how busy this place would be with its lovely picnic and campgrounds during the summer months. I also truly enjoyed the smell of crisp fall air and a bonfire that one of the late season campers had going that afternoon.

Last stop of the day was Chief White Crane Recreation Area. Before visiting I had read that it is known to be a wintering spot for Bald Eagles, so I was on the lookout in the tall bare Cottonwoods near the water. While I didn't see any eagles the sky was practically glittering with late afternoon sunlight through the clouds.

If you are interested in seeing the paintings from Pierson Ranch, Lewis and Clark or Chief White Crane Recreation Areas or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page!  

Pickerel Lake Recreation Area

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I took the Ponderosa Trail at the West Pickeral Lake Recrestion Area. I was struck by the lovely little campground and abundance of water related activity options. I had a quiet hike and visit to the park since it was a weekday in October. Also, because it was relatively empty of campers I checked out the cabin views which were right on the water! My pup Rye also approved of the park!

 The trail I took pictured above includes a loop around the camping area and the Poderosa Trail   

The trail I took pictured above includes a loop around the camping area and the Poderosa Trail

 

If you are interested in seeing the painting from Pickerel Lake State Park or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page! If you perhaps are interested in learning more about how you may be able to help me with this project please visit my Patreon Page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

Great Places Series - Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

The Fort Sisseton Historic State Park was a very interesting place working hard to retain and teach its part of South Dakota history. Originally a frontier army outpost called Fort Wadsworth from 1864. The site was chosen nearby resources including lake water for drinking and a thick stand of trees for timber and fuel. I think it would be really interesting to have a tour or to visit on a weekend when they have some of the buildings open. However, I truly enjoyed the quiet of the park on this October day.

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If you are interested in seeing the painting from Fort Sisseton Historic State Park or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page! If you perhaps are interested in learning more about how you may be able to help me with this project please visit my Patreon Page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

Great Places Series - Roy Lake State Park

My visit to Roy Lake was so energizing. The clear day and sunshine really highlighted the changing leaves. I walked along the beach for a time then followed the Roy Island Trail. The trail was nice and easy and would be great for anyone to enjoy!

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If you are interested in seeing the painting from Roy Lake State Park or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page! If you perhaps are interested in learning more about how you may be able to help me with this project please visit my Patreon Page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

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Great Places Series - Sica Hollow State Park

Because of this park’s history I wanted to visit it when the season would match the name. The meaning of Sica is “evil” or “bad” which came about because of eerie Sioux Legends. Along the Trail of Spirits there are gurgling reddish bogs, which Native Americans saw as the blood and flesh of their ancestors. 

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I stayed on the Trail of Spirits Interpretive Trail for my hike though I made a point of driving through the rest of the park to enjoy the late fall color, and I know that their are miles of trail available for those who enjoy horseback riding.

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If you are interested in seeing the painting from Sica Hollow State Park or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page! If you perhaps are interested in learning more about how you may be able to help me with this project please visit my Patreon Page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

Great Places Series - Sheps Canyon Recreation Area

I found parts of this place rugged and empowering, and I didn’t want to leave. The dawn light made this place even more magical. 

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Though I didn’t explore much of this park, I took my time here and when I would find an especially great view I would find a seat on a rock and enjoy it. 

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If you are interested in seeing the painting from Sheps Canyon or any of the other Parks and Recreation Areas before they are released to the public please reach out to me via the contact page! If you perhaps are interested in learning more about how you may be able to help me with this project please visit my Patreon Page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

Great Places Series at Lake Alvin

On August 23rd I visited Lake Alvin. Kicking off the series of paintings that will be inspired by all of the State Parks in South Dakota. Learn more about my visit and see a bit of my process for this series.

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Packing for Ann Arbor

Getting set for my trip to Ann Arbor! I will have mostly early morning hours before the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair gets started each day and I hope to hit some of the nature areas to hike and also walk around the University of Michigan campus. If you have any other suggestions of must-see places in Ann Arbor please let me know!

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