Visual reports from and about the land and the idea of the American West.  Stories, signs and omens; truths and lies; myths and realities; aspirations, values and vanity --  our history and our culture on view in the geography.   

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Myth of the West. Mural by John Wehrle, photographed in 1980 in Venice Beach, California.

This brilliant mural, painted in the late '70s, is an inspired and inspiring comment on the times and on the West and on the values and myths we hold dear. The mural has been almost completely overpainted.
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Winnemucca, 2005.
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Soap Lake, Washington; mural by Wm. J Barth
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Left Field, Seneca Oregon. 2009. In February, with blowing snow obscuring the horizon, a bear in cleats surveys a snowed-in ballfield.  Seneca lies at the very northwest corner of the Great Basin. The bear faces southeast, away from the Cascades and toward the desert basins of southeast Oregon and Nevada. I can construct a geographical fantasy in which the fence is the hydrological divide: as the snow to the west beyond the fence melts the water will find its way to the Columbia River and the Pacific, while water from the snow in the outfield will flow eastward to evaporate in the shallow lakes and alkali pans of the Great Basin Desert. This fantasy, though too precise by far, helps me to appreciate the physical geography as well as the human re-shaping of it.
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Butte
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
American Idol, 2006. A perfectly elegant oil pumper; in North Dakota, on the Bakken, before the boom.
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Volchek's Workshop, Grand Coulee, Washington, 2006

In 1995, an iinventor from Grand Coulee named Volcheck drove across the country and back in a modified vehicle powered by a special gas he had invented. The trip consumed $10 worth of his wonder fuel. After word got out, he was invited back to Washington DC for a speical meeting. While he was away, federal agents raided his workshop and destroyed or confiscated all his plans and components. He was subsequently convinced to forego any future such projects.
(information from internet sources dealing with the grand conspiracy to suppress radical energy inventions that might threaten powerful vested energy interests)
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Tye Moore's Place, Wyoming
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Wiley City, Washington
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
The Big Coulee, Montana
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Rocky Mountain Bandshell, Great Falls
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Verona, Montana
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Verona (Detail)
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
All the Local Brands, Alpine, Texas
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
John Wayne in Monument Valley
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Mora, New Mexico
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Custer Died for Your Sins. Both ancient and modern petroglyphs on the San Juan River in Utah.
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Mojave Media, California
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Newcastle, Wyoming
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Billings, Montana
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Roundup, Montana
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Miners' Entertainment, Republic, Washington.

This is a large, thick rectangle of concrete, erected in front of a natural wall of well-columned basalt. Republic is in mining country. As a part of the town's summer festival, miners compete with their jack drills by drilling holes in the concrete. Similar objects can be found in mining communities throughout the west.
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
ZX Ranch, Paisley, Oregon
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Abandoned Ranch, Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
Photographs by John A Kane Sagebrush Stories
Cows and the Caprock, New Mexico
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