A steady stream of fear and excitement poured through me as I crashed the car door into the fresh country air. The fresh prairie wind whipped right through my jacket, and I roamed wet sawgrass with my flashlight for nearly half an hour. A few hours later, I went back to my car in the dark and fresh air, but the adrenaline kept me awake as we traveled through the sleepy countryside to find a place to put on for the night.
As we left the motorway to drive on the rural side road west of the ghost town, the thick cloud cover from the early evening broke through and the clouds fell hard, further yellowing the already dusty golden landscape. I drove to a lonely gas station off the highway, where I missed a nearly bone-dry tank, and it seemed as if a large fire had burned most of my pump. A few different compositions were taken with my mobile camera, as well as a few photos from the back seat.
With red gel in hand, Katie and I reluctantly stuck to what was left of the old building. She said that as we crawled out of this glorified hut of rotting wood, my intestines screamed that it was going to collapse completely under a single gust of wind.
This pink house was perhaps the most overrun house we saw, and it was the only other one still standing in Sherbooke. When Terry discovered the bed frame in the ruins of the building, I couldn't help wondering if it was the ruins of Sherbrooke's House Hotel.
As we moved south of the main road in Sherbrooke, I realized that I had not paid close enough attention to the ruins there when I visited them decades ago. However, it seems to be a place that was once an important seat of government in the 1880s and 90s. A large building once stood there, and today a field of stone foundations is preserved, in which some interesting artifacts can be found.
After a few hours of shooting, I decided that the cold had actually won the battle against my toes and poor shoe choice. As my toe thawed in the car, the familiar warmth and sheer giddiness overwhelmed me again. The trip to Sherbrooke, North Dakota, to capture these decaying ruins of a ghost town may seem a long way from my usual shooting style, but it's worth it.
As I drove north from Sherbrooke, my surroundings became increasingly bleak, and it is hard to imagine that this city has been forgotten until now.
Even under the bright moon I could barely see the silhouetted ruins of Sherbrooke in the dark thicket. This was one of the first completely deserted cities I visited in 2003, at a time when I didn't even have a real camera, so I just filmed a tour and then took a screenshot.
If you explore a lot of Sherbrooke, the forest is where branches stretch out to tug at your clothes and sweep you away in an instant. Another danger could catch you off guard and break your ankle, tweak your knee or even cause a fall.
Sherbrooke used to have a railroad and a navigable river and was the county seat of Steele County until it was deemed unfair by businessmen who saw the need to move the seat elsewhere. Sherman residents fought all the way to the North Dakota Supreme Court and eventually lost, but since then it has been moved to an abandoned air force station and is a spiritualized city. Stroll through the abandoned district and you will have the opportunity to see many galleries and sights. A prime example is the Art Gallery of the United States of America, an art museum from the early 20th century.
The silence of this remote place, combined with the decorative curtains in the windows, create an eerie feeling in Sherbrooke. Terry reminded me of the Sherrooke House Hotel, which once stood where President McKinley stayed during his visit to North Dakota.
Throw a long Full Moon weekend into the mix and you would hardly stop clamouring for luggage, cameras and car keys. If you are an Americana adventurer, you can look forward to driving around in your own car for a few days in the middle of the night without traffic.