How does one keep a small town in rural North Dakota alive when it is 30 miles off of I-94, the state’s main artery? You make that highway an Enchanted Highway. Local artist Gary Greff conceived this project and began building scrap metal art work at intervals between I-94 and the small town of Regent.
The theory is similar to the Field of Dreams “if you build it they will come.” Gary Greff hoped to counter the trend of small towns like Regent, North Dakota from dying off by building something worth visiting. It worked for me. On my way back from Theodore Roosevelt National Park, my first diversion was to drive the Enchanted Highway.
The first piece of art is the Geese in Flight, which is right off the interstate. When I got off the interstate a gravel road lined with little geese posted on both sides of the road greeted my car. I passed the sculpture on my way west, and I from my first glance that it would be perfect for taking video time lapse shots on my GoPro Hero4 black. The only problem was it was a little windy. I had a few sessions where the wind knocked my camera down, and in most of the films you can see shakiness.
Despite these problems, I think they came out pretty well. I had a perfect day for it with a sky full of fast moving billowing clouds with blue sky and sunshine. After taking the Geese in Flight, I turned the camera around to the adjacent farm field and captured more clouds and cars passing on I-94. I stitched all seven video time lapses from art pieces on the Enchanted Highway and added the one with the farm field and made the video embedded above. Music courtesy of www.incompetech.com.
More art work heading south to Regent
I got in the car and headed four miles south and the next piece of art was Deer Crossing. Another five miles and the next was Grasshoppers, then Fisherman’s Dream, then Pheasants on the Prairie, then Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again, and finally the Tin Family. After the Tin Family, you were now in Regent, North Dakota. If you have made it this far then you were sucked in by the enchanted vortex created by Gary Greff.
Unfortunately, the eight individual time lapses took a collective three hours along with the drive, so the by the time I got to Regent, the Gift Shop was closed, and I did not have time to visit the Enchanted Castle. The Enchanted Castle is a family friendly and hunter/fisherman friendly hotel in Regent.
Enchanted by the Enchanted Highway
I was enchanted by the Enchanted Highway and rural beauty of the drive. The scenic beauty found along the Enchanted Highway was much different than the spectacular badland formations found in Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, some people might find the prairie and small town America dull. I felt it was really scenic in a stark way.
It also helped that I was driving around dusk and sunset, so the clouds, the color of the sky, and the sunset was gorgeous. My favorite piece and my favorite part of the drive was the Theodore Roosevelt rides again sculpture. The backdrop was the best for this work with a huge grassy butte in the distance and the sunset was peaking at this moment.
The Pheasants on the Prairie was another cool one, and I could not believe the amount of actual pheasants on the prairie. There were several in every field, and I may have seen over a hundred during the drive. I can see why North Dakota is such a prime place to hunt ground birds. I also saw turkey and grouse in Theodore Roosevelt.
Wish I had more time
After spending so much time staring at the sculptures, I wish I had more time to spend in Regent. I definitely recommend staying around and taking in the small town and staying at the castle. I did not stay at the castle, but I wish I would have. Regent seemed like an interesting place to spend some time.
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