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selfie #26 red neck ghost town

February 12, 2017 - mirrormirror -

i took this photo of myself about an hour from any satisfying description of town or village containing other human beings . . . lukas, two friends and i drove two hours down (and up) winding dirt and mud slick roads to a ghost town that our friend’s family owns. as we drove we became more and more aware of our isolation and the forest’s silence. the ghost town’s name i will keep concealed to attempt to keep the lonely aura alive.

if you can imagine a buzzing community, a town with history and a future, until one day developments revealed plans to dame the river and flood the town to make for a fish spawning channel. the people left, being compensated with either money or property further up the valley. only two families took the land, leaving a ring of small wooden cottages surrounding a milky white and pale blue artificial lake. the dame controls the height of the water, raising and lowering the water level based on the spawning season creating a wide band of muddy shoreline. chunks of unknown metal objects lie scattered between the rocks.

eerie and forgotten.

we visited the neighbours, the summer stragglers of cottage season. as the sun set over the opaque water, snow fell far up the mountains. the neighbours had bought a new truck to haul such cottaging essentials as atvs. an elaborate tarp was strung above the front yard to shield against the pouring rain. but men are determined. fire must ignite. spongy wood was piled high in a pit of stones, gas laboriously poured. a match struck and tossed in. fire engorged the fuel for a flash of toxic heat, black smoked filled the tarp nearly catching it on fire. this, apparently, customary practice was repeated without end for the rest of the night. after three (ob)noxious flashes my lungs were so raw with chemical burn that i left the pit(iful) and laid awake in my truck thinking about the tragic contrast between man and nature.

i took this photo early in the morning, my face puffy and dehydrated, lungs seared, fingers icy. birds sung perched on the smoke stained tarp still dominating the yard. i hadnt felt so alone in a long time.


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