Route 2 Elsewhere

A film about rural America through the lens of a 1500 mile stretch of US Highway 2 from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan through the Sweet Grass Hills of Montana.

Why should anyone care?

In the past hundred years America has shifted from a mostly rural to nearly 90 percent urban and suburban. As a result many everyday people no longer go to the country even though they depend on rural areas for over ninety percent of their food and fuel.

How was the documentary made?

Filmmaker Dirk Wierenga, with a camera and microphone, embedded himself along one of the most continual rural areas in the contiguous United States. A five state region including Upper Michigan, Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana. During the course of his travels he conducted over a hundred interviews, many of which are included in the documentary.

How is the story told?

The film is presented in four unique seasons from Fall through Summer with topics that include the region’s Native heritage, its history of extraction from mining to oil, its land from its forests to prairies and the annual summer harvest season along with the challenges of living in isolated places. Interspersed between its remarkable stories are photos and film footage of the beauty of one of the least visited areas of the country.

Truly remarkable 

Dirk Wierenga is a master storyteller who combines interviews, film footage, still images all within the spectacular beauty of the vistas along the northern border area of the United States. Join the many thousands who have been following his journey.

A documentary, photo images and upcoming books

The documentary premiered at the Historic Ironwood Theatre on Sept 1 to a full house at the Emberlight Festival and into wider release during 2022. Limited signed and dated copies of the DVD are available now. Individual photo images in print, canvass and metal formats are available here Two upcoming books, one is a mile by mile guide to US-2 and the other is a coffee table style book in full color will be available in 2022.