06-22-17 A Sense of Scale

By Scott Shephard

When I tell people that I sail on Lake Oahe on the Missouri River in central South Dakota, I generally sense that they think that I sail on some small prairie lake. And when I say that "It's really big," I still get the feeling that they don't have a clue. Finally, when I say it is the third largest reservoir in the United States and one of the 50 largest in the world, I realize I am dealing in pure abstraction.

So when I got my drone in December, I thought that I might finally have the right tool to give those unfamiliar with Lake Oahe an idea of what I mean when I brag about its size. What you see here is about a 10 mile stretch of the reservoir. Beyond what you can see in the photo, the lake continues for another 210 miles. Read that last sentence again and then look at the photo. If you're not impressed with that, I don't know what else to say.

And here's something else to consider: there are no other boats in this photo. If you are a "people person," this lake may not be for you. But if you are like me or Greta Garbo and "you want to be alone," this could well be Heaven on Earth. And though "my boat is so small . . . and the sea is so wide," I always feel safe, welcomed and embraced by this special piece of the universe.

Phantom 4 Pro FC6310 1/50s f/3.5 ISO100 8.8mm (35mm eq:24mm) (3 frame HDR)

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