For those who follow the blog on a regular basis or that read the books I write, it will come as no surprise to learn that we like the the big empty, those special places where only the wind remembers the dreams that inspired the creation of a trading post, a road, or bridge. It would seem others share that affection even though few will go to the lengths we do to find them, to discover their secrets.
|What was the reward for the climb up these steps in Stockton Hill?|
This afternoon was spent preparing a series of photos for the KNAU website that will be used as a slide show promotion for a forthcoming series on ghost towns. With each photo selected I was instantly transported back to the moment this special place was first discovered and in my mind the smells, the sounds, and initial sense of wonder were renewed. The old town of Stockton Hill and I have a very long history. It was here that I made my first journey underground as a miner. The empty streets that provide stunning views were among the first places my dearest friend and I took long walks. It was on a journey to this forgotten town that my wife first drove Barney the wonder truck.
|Endee survived the closure of the railroad, drought, the Great Depression,and the closure of the railroad but not the by pass of Route 66.|
It was a cold January day when this photo was taken. The breeze was slight but brisk as it rolled down the snow covered flanks of the Cerbat Mountains. My dearest friend and I paused on these steps to savor the silence, each others company, and reflect on what once was the reward for climbing them. This photo from Endee was taken this past May on our excursion to chronicle the ghost towns of Route 66 for a forthcoming book. It was our first trip to Endee, a town often overlooked by even the most ardent fan of the double six. Our plan was for a quiet picnic under the trees. The near gale force winds negated that idea and so our explorations were brief. The balm for our disappointment was a piece of peanut butter/chocolate pie at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas.
|It was this scene and the forthcomig release of our book,Ghost Towns of the Southwest, that inspired a series ofghost town prints that are sold through the LileFine Art Gallery in Amarillo.|
This was my wife’s first road trip east of Albuquerque. To celebrate she piloted the Jeep across the old wooden bridge with a ground school making a valiant effort to pace us, through Endee, and into Glenrio, Texas. On of our favorite haunts is the mining town of Chloride. My wife’s family has a long association with this quaint old town and for more than a few it is their final resting place. This photo was taken on another of our winter excursions. Initially we had planned a drive to Windy Point and then lunch in Chloride. As the road to that hidden gem was in the snow line we decided to forgo that and just walk the streets of Chloride to work up an appetite for lunch at Yesterday’s.
|At sunrise Bisbee seems to be a town suspended in time.|
Bisbee is a bit big to be considered a ghost town. Still, when you consider the population is less than half of what it once was or that this street was once filled with traffic as well as a trolley car line the descriptor fits. My father in law worked a construction project here for awhile and as a result my dearest friend lived here as a baby. Our first trip to Bisbee as husband and wife was to celebrate an anniversary, number 25, with a weekend at the historic Copper Queen, a hotel that has been in continuous operation since 1902.
|Two Guns – land of broken dreams.|
Two Guns is one of those places that leaves me wondering what the fascination is. It is in a scenic and historic location but there is something lacking, at least for us. Perhaps it is its proximity to I-40 that prevents the silence from enveloping us. As I perused more than a dozen years of photographs this afternoon a realization came to me, the writing of books about ghost towns and the quiet places is something that has been almost a half century in the making. I suppose you might say sharing these places with those who also find solace where the winds whisper the secrets of the past is my calling.