NOWHERE IN SOUTH DAKOTA | ROAD TRIP WITH FUJI X100

ROAD TRIP WITH FUJI X100 and X-PRO1

It’s been almost a year now since Jason and I left Madison on the rainy Thursday morning of May 15th, 2014. Below is our 5 day road trip story told in present time on March 26th, 2015.

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I am traveling light this time. Fuji X100 is what I have on me all the time. Fuji X-Pro1 will be a backup this time tucked deep in my backpack.
After quick stop at Stalzy’s Deli on Atwood Ave. we set the sail to Superior, WI where Jason is putting together dinner for wine tasting.
When we arrive to Superior Jason starts working on his setup and I head out for a walk around commercial neighborhood. I don’t meet any people. I find a beautiful and very patriotic gas station though. I start taking pictures.

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After the wine tasting dinner we head back to Birchwood, WI. Birchwood apparently is Blue Gill Capital of Wisconsin. We stop at Blue Gill Bar(!) for a few drinks. Blue gill paraphernalia inside is a bit overwhelming. We drink beer. I order shots of Fireball too. We put few bucks on some dice game. We lose it. We leave.

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Next stop is Jason’s friend’s house. We sit in the basement, we talk, we drink wine. Maybe we drink whiskey too. I don’t remember. I step outside into cold and refreshing Spring night. Ground is frozen. Black dog escorts me around. What’s its name? That night I sleep on the couch.

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In the morning we head for South Dakota. To Jason’s parents farm. We listen to Night of Thunder- audiobook by Stephen Hunter about Bob Lee Swagger. It’s entertaining and it helps us in between conversations. It’s a long 11 hour drive. Somewhere on the way we stop for booze and ammunition. Rain follows us for a while. We arrive to VTV Ranch at the Sunset. Its a calm evening with clear skies.

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Jason’s dad Greg left ranch earlier today. He’s on his on his way to Poland to visit Jason’s brother. If I remember correctly it’s his first time Greg is away from farm in like 15 years. We’re back to take care of ranch over for a few days. Detailed notes about latest local happenings and list of chores sits on the kitchen table. Jason reads dad’s notes and we head to the barn- it’s dinner time for those who can’t feed themselves. It’s time to help those in need.

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Later that night Jason fixes couple old fashioned drinks. We talk. His lunch box and water bottle from his childhood come out. The Dukes of Hazzard! Definitely a badass! I study Jason’s family’s pictures that cover part of kitchen cabinets. Pretty extensive photo collection for a kitchen. What a nice habit to print photos! I realize how few printed images I have in my house. We call it a night.

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For the next few days I follow Jason around ranch helping him with his daily chores. Feeding baby sheep, checking cattle, doing small repairs here and there.

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On Saturday Jason takes me on a ride to show around. VTV Ranch sits in the middle of 8000 acres of land that is painted with rolling meadows, creeks, hills. Pretty fucking big chunk of land. Black lab Dirk is traveling along with us. Good hunting dog. Good companion.

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Marsha, Jason’s mom, past away last year. On our way back to ranch we visit a little memorial built in her honor. I don’t remember who built it. Its very peaceful out there. Its beautiful. Another calm spring day in the middle of nowhere.

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In Saturday afternoon we go shoot some guns. I remember 12 gauge and 16 gauge. There was a pistol and some other gun. I don’t really remember what’s the difference. I don’t know much about guns. I never shot one before. So today is the day. We shoot clay plates and we blast though over a hundred of shotgun shells. I’m having an amazing time and am completely unaware how sore my body will be tomorrow…

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We leave VTV Ranch on Monday morning. On our way back Jason takes a little detour and visit Badlands National Park. It’s a first National Park I visited while residing in US for 12 years. Badlands is 100% Badass. Weird rugged beauty surrounded by flat land. Their website says that ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat once roamed there. Website looks legit so I trust them.

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In the beginning of 2015 Jason and his fiancée Amy moved to New Zealand. It doesn’t look like I will be heading back to Veal family ranch in South Dakota anytime soon.

All images © by Paulius Musteikis Photography

Most of the images above were captured with Fuji X100 camera and converted to black and white using Silver Efex Pro software by Nik Collections. Like this road trip story I captured with Fuji X100? Have something you want to share? Please let me know! Leave a comment below or just shoot an e-mail at [email protected]. Find my newest wanderings on Tumblr, Facebook page and Flickr.

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3 Comments

  1. Superb…

  2. Absolutely stunning pictures! Fuji xpro1… I think I need it!

    • Thanks for stopping by Tom!
      90% of these are shot with X100. XPro-1 is in few and I used it for the 14mm wide angle lens I own. I ended up selling X100 and buy extra lenses for XPro1. These days I use Fuji X system for travel, personal work and editorial assignments- food, portraits. You can pick up used XPro1 dirt cheep. And Fuji lenses are really nice peace of machinery.


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