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The View from Lone Butte

The View from Lone Butte

The view from Lone Butte plays a significant role in See Jane Run!, the first book in the West River Mystery Series. I’m not spilling the details here because I’d rather have you read the book once it’s available for purchase in June of 2022.

However, I will provide plenty of other tantalizing details. Here goes:

  • Hiram and I climbed Lone Butte this past July while staying with friends on their ranch that encompasses the butte.
  • It’s a pretty easy climb. If you know me, you may have already surmised that it had to be for me to attempt it.
  • The vegetation changes along the way. It becomes more desert than pasture higher up.
  • The butte is peppered with animal burrows. We didn’t see rattlers or any other kind of snake, so I keep telling myself they were rodent burrows. Faulty thinking, of course, as we didn’t see any rodents either. Still, faulty thinking can be a great comfort at times.
  • The view from Lone Butte is spectacular. On a clear day, a person can see for miles, Not just a few miles, but for 20 or 30, perhaps even 50 miles. Which means that a person standing on the butte can see Montana, two miles to the west; North Dakota, fifteen miles to the north; and  South Dakota to the south and east.

The day we climbed the butte, haze from the forest fires in the western United States limited the view. Even so, Hiram and I marveled at the beauty stretching before us. Standing there, I realized that the words used in See Jane Run! to describe this land were inadequate.


Each word describes a facet of the landscape. Even when combined, they can’t capture the view from Lone Butte and the northwest corner of South Dakota where the series is set. Still, I try. Why?

Because this place and the people in it captured my heart more than forty years ago.
Because the view from Lone Butte explains the transformation of the main character in See Jane Run!
Because it changed me.
And because, dear reader, there’s a chance it might change you.