Posts Tagged ‘Desert’

My 20 best photos of 2018- A little bit of everything, and in no particular order-

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Abandoned Church, Las Mesitas, Colorado

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Twooch aka “Busy Feets”  my polydactyl or “Hemingway” Siamese, she has 25 toes!

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Century House, Golden Gate Canyon, Colorado

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Somewhere in Colorado

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Columbines, near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

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Masonic Lodge, Victor, Colorado

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Hawk, Derry Ranch Placer, Colorado

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View of the Collegiate Peaks near Turret, Colorado

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Grouse, somewhere in Colorado

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Mr. Campbell’s cabin, Campbell Town, Colorado

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Wild Turkey, somewhere in Colorado

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Hot Rod Hill Climb, Central City, Colorado

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Miner’s Shack, Freeland, Colorado

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Near Rabbit Ears Mountain, New Mexico

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Mills, New Mexico

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La Liendre, New Mexico

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Sandhill Crane, Pecos River, New Mexico

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Along the Pecos River, New Mexico

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Holman, New Mexico

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Moon over the Sangre de Cristos, near Taos, New Mexico

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Rhyolite, Nevada-  This is by far one of the coolest places I have ever visited. A boring 2-hour drive north of Las Vegas through the Nevada nothingness brings you to the remains of this once bustling metropolis.  One hundred years ago Rhyolite boasted a population of over 10,000.  Today no one lives here except the seasonal care taker who watches over this “Ghost City” on the very eastern edge of Death Valley.  Unparalleled as a boom and bust town, Rhyolite sprang up and disappeared almost completely in the short span of 15 years.  The rich vein discovered in the surrounding hills rapidly played out, and the one time jewel city of Nevada disappeared almost overnight.  Today the towering facade of the bank building still stands, complete with the fortified concrete vault still inside.  The stone fronts and walls of a few other buildings remain.  The Rhyolite mercantile, although moved from it’s original location, still makes for some great pics.  A few other miner’s shacks and out buildings scatter the desert landscape, and mining debris and machinery can be found in all directions.  Modern day artists have erected some interesting sculptures on the south end of Rhyloite.  I was lucky enough to visit Rhyolite on a brisk February day, the clouds and intermittent rain and snow showers (yes, snow in Death Valley) provided a spectacular backdrop for a few of my shots. A truly great ghost town.

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Cisco, Utah is just down the road, along the pock marked and pot holed remnants of old Highway 6, from Thompson Springs.  You can hit both towns in a half an hour or less, and you’ll probably be the only person in both- Everyone else speeds by on Interstate 70, either on the way to or from Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or Denver.  These days there is no other reason to find yourself in this desolate hellscape of  Utah.  Nothing grows here, except for sharp things- cacti, thistles, shrubs, tamarisks. Very little lives here except for a dazzling array of reptiles- multicolored lizards of all shapes and sizes and  few rattlesnakes…although the only one I have seen in my trips was dead, laying across the road.  A few antelope roam the bluffs, and will stop just long enough to allow the visitor to snap a quick photo before disappearing into the next draw or ravine. Then there are the people who still hang on here.  I’ve never seen them, but in both Cisco and Thompson Springs, there are inhabited dwellings- A falling down shack with boarded up windows and a shiny new satellite dish. A distant trailer house with a new Dodge truck.  A well manicured green lawn with a sprinkler serves as a welcome oasis in this dry, dusty, wind swept corner of Utah.  But strangely, no people.  It is clear people still live here, but they can not be seen.  Perhaps they don’t want to be seen, so I respect that wish and never probe to deep, and I steer well clear of any inhabited looking property.  But I still wonder who they are and what they do here?  There is nothing in this place. A hundred years ago Cisco and Thompson Springs served as rail sidings and waterholes for the old Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.  In the first half of the 20th Century they were stops along old Highway 6, and there was an Amtrak station in Thompson- food, fuel and lodging for weary travelers during they heyday of the great American “road trip”.  Those days are long gone, and with them went Cisco and Thompson. But today, in one stop, you can visit the 1890’s and the 1950’s- Both Cisco and Thompson are littered with falling down buildings of both eras.  Abandoned cars and machinery dot the horizon around the towns. In one direction all you see is the 1800’s, turn around and it’s the 1950’s.  Strange places.  If you pass through Cisco, take a minute to locate the 1890’s era Post Office. (Pictured at the very bottom)cisco7 cisco6 cisco5 cisco4 cisco3 cisco2 cisco1