45º25'26.3"N, 102º17'14.1"W. 113 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Mindy Arneson, Ian Arneson, and Eric Arneson pause after moving cattle in an early morning fog at the family ranch in the old town of Chance, SD on July 31, 2017. The Arneson's are one of the few families in the area that haven't called their ranch home for generations, instead buying the old abandoned town of Chance and turning it into a 21,000 acre ranch after rising prices of land in Montana forced the family to move.
45º32'31.3"N, 102º29'52.1"W. 110 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Eliza Blue, a singer/songwriter, plays with her daughter Molly as she sits in her husband's family homestead in Bison, SD on July 31, 2017. Eliza, originally from Minnesota, has lived in a number of large cities, including New York, but moved to Meadow to record an album at a failed record label and stayed after falling in love with the people and the land, and later a rancher named Max Loughlin.
45º31'48.9"N, 102º12'59.8"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Daryl Ferguson has an afternoon beer at Smoky's Bar and Grill in Meadow, SD on August 6, 2017. The town of Meadow has six residents on main street, a post office, 30 more residents in the surrounding ranches, and a bar which was recently bought and revitalized by a couple who moved back to the area.
45.639792 N, 102.039354 W. Cowboys scare a calf into a pen while sorting them for sale on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD on October 8, 2017. Grazing associations provide a way for multiple ranchers to defray the costs of land owning and usage for grazing cattle and on occasion provide access to national grasslands and grazing areas.
45.402653 N, 102.137022 W.Marty Vig watches as his hay grinder begins working on bales south of Meadow, SD on October 4, 2017. One of Vig's few sources of income after spending 20 years in prison for manslaughter, he bought the rig from his son who was having trouble making payments himself because of the harsh realities of the economy of rural life.
45º31'52.6"N, 102º07'55.2"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A bone pile is stacked high on Audrey Lorius' family ranch about 5 miles outside of Meadow, SD on August 6, 2017. Lorius has 150 head of cattle, numbers built up through hard work to build up her family's ranch to a sizable number matching their 8,000 acres after she cared for both parents until their recent deaths. Part of the trials of owning a ranch, however, means that animals die not just of old age but lightning strikes or even freak snowstorms like winter storm Atlas that devastated herds in 2013.
45°38'23.3"N 102°02'21.7"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A group of friends round up cattle on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD. The association land was ravaged by one of the region's largest wildfires in 2005, burning down much of the grassland and the old homestead but Cam Miles, son of one of the owners, spent days camped by the corrals and barn in an effort to save them.
45º29'05.8"N, 102º40'44.5"W. 108 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Harvesters from a major area farm work a wheat field outside of Bison, SD on August 1, 2017. Due to the drought, many area farmers have taken a complete loss on their crops and winter feed for cattle is at an extreme shortage.
45º18'57.2"N, 102º11'54.2"W. 120 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Jamie Hepper and her 14-year-old daughter Aiyana Byrd work on removing fencing around an old hay yard on their ranch south of Meadow, SD on August 1, 2017. Jamie, a single mother, is one of the only local female ranchers working almost entirely alone, save for the help of her daughter.
45º31'48.6"N, 102º48'17.6"W. 107 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A McDonalds trailer sits in a field outside in the small town of Prairie City, SD on July 31, 2017. Not far from the former McFarthest point in America, a local rancher bought two semi trailers for storage and left them in a field, one of which now acts as a reminder of the ubiquitous nature of corporate America.
Worn-out gloves sit on the dashboard of a cracked windshield during a round up cattle on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD on October 8, 2017. Out in this rural region, work implements rarely survive unblemished for long in the punishing prairie.
45º29'43.2"N, 102º19'59.6"W. 120 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Morgan and Brody Kronberg eat breakfast at their family's ranch homestead in Meadow, SD on August 3, 2017. The family and their 500 head of sheep and 70 head of cattle live on a 4 generation ranch that has been in the family for 104 years. The Kronberg's father died 6 years ago in an alleged accident in the oil fields in North Dakota, where many men go to make a large amount of money in short time with dangerous work.
Randy Hapney holds the neck of a horse while doing chiropractic work on a ranch on the old abandoned town of Chance, SD on October 5, 2017. Equine chiropractic work was generally looked at with suspicion for years but more ranchers have begun to use their services to fix issues with horses to keep them healthy and working longer.
45º31'58.8"N, 102º15'19.5"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Eli Gaaskjolen, 5, uses a flag to turn cattle toward a chute as his parents practice team roping on a friend's farm in Meadow, SD on August 1, 2017.
45º26'49.9"N, 102º10'07.6"W. 127 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Parishioners pray while worshiping at Coal Springs church in Meadow, SD on July 30, 2017. While many old prairie churches have closed over the years, many other small congregations still struggle to survive, or have multi-point parishes with one pastor serving a large area.
45º33'14.2"N, 102º30'36.1"W. 114 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Eliza Blue holds her daughter Emily as her son Wesley closes his eyes and feels the coming storm winds on his face as they stand near an abandoned farmhouse on their leased land in Meadow, SD on July 31, 2017. Ranchers and farmers have spent much of the droughty summer watching clouds on the horizon, hoping storms would hit, but most pass by without rain.
45º32'45.9"N, 102º07'41.0"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Rain runs down a dirt road on the Lorius ranch in Meadow, SD on July 28, 2017. An extreme summer drought caused a state of emergency in both North and South Dakota which meant that any small rain was a cause for celebration for ranchers
45º31'59.1"N, 102º15'20.5"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Scott Storm and his son Travis, 12, relax after practicing team roping as Kenny Kocer puts away a saddle in his saddle shop on his ranch in Meadow, SD on July 29, 2017. Kenny built his own arena for practicing roping and invites a select group of locals to rope almost every night, teaching many young or beginning riders the skills to become both a good competitor and ranch hand.
45.739728 N, 102.218580 W. A deer crosses the road at the Shadehill Recreation Area near the spot where frontiersman Hugh Glass was mauled, inspiring the movie "The Revenant," south of Lemmon, SD on October 6, 2017.
45º31'54.3"N, 102º15'32.6"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Kenny Kocer pauses in a clearing of trees as he tracks a skunk he shot on his land in Meadow, SD on August 4, 2017.
45º31'30.0"N, 102º28'11.9"W. 111 miles from the nearest McDonald's. People stand for the national anthem before the start of the Perkins County Rodeo in Bison, SD on August 5, 2017.
Members of the Bison High School Cardinals varsity football team practice in Bison, SD on October 3, 2017. The team competes regionally in 9-man football, with 16-17 total players, many of whom, the coach said, only play varsity out of the team's necessity and not their personal ability.
45º35'28.6"N, 101º51'35.9"W. 135 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Two boys hang out on an old horse trailer during an estate auction at the ranch of the late Sid Miller in the unincorporated town of Central Corson, SD on July 30, 2017. After his passing, Sid Miller's family parted out family heirlooms before selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment, trailers, tractors, trucks, and even scrap metal in an auction attended by hundreds of people from the surrounding area.
45º30'35.5"N, 102º13'48.2"W. 124 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Jessica Lawson holds the war bridle on Fred the horse as her boyfriend Shane Yalowizer goes to get ready for a swim on his ranch in Meadow, SD on July 28, 2017.
45º31'58.9"N, 102º15'19.0"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Scott Storm swings a rope as he practices team roping with his friend Kenny Kocer at Kocer's ranch in Meadow, SD on July 29, 2017. Storm was known as a great roper on teams years ago but stopped after he was married; he didn't rope again until his son was old enough to start.
45º27'04.3"N, 102º02'27.5"W. Exactly 134 miles from two separate McDonald's. People mill about at a potluck before a Ranchers Camp worship service in a field between the towns of in Meadow and Glad Valley, SD on July 30, 2017.
45.384285 N, 102.570363. Cam Vanderpool relaxes after weaning calves on the five generation Besler family ranch east of Bison, SD on October 7, 2017. Ranching remains a job that requires a lot of help from a number of people during various points of the year which means work often has a family reunion or social component.
45º31'27.4"N, 102º28'11.2"W. 111 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Cowboys compete in a ranch rodeo at the Perkins County Fairgrounds in Bison, SD on August 3, 2017. Ranch rodeos, unlike traditional rodeos, are team events where four riders show their skills as horsemen and ranch hands in activities that would actually be performed on a ranch like trailer loading.
45º25'37.9"N, 102ª17'10.7"W. 113 miles from the nearest McDonald's. The Arneson family and their employee Riley Cihak ride their horses through thick morning fog on their ranch in the old town of Chance, SD on July 31, 2017.