Friday, March 11, 2016

Nearly Forgotten: Ghost Towns

School House, Grafton,  Southern Utah
   Scattered throughout the most desolate areas of the western United States are old skeletons from our past. Some have been hidden by time, mother natures way of playing hide and seek with us demanding that we do research and in person investigations to find them. Others have been transformed into semi profitable stops along out of the way road trips. They are ghost towns, remnants of what use to be bustling cities full of money, booze, women, and on occasion violence. Of course this history is exactly why I like to explore them.
  These places represent how people lived over 100 years ago. The work was hard and paid little. If natures beasts didn't kill you Native Americans or an outlaw might and when there wasn't any rain to water the crops you starved. Times were tough then and these old towns are proof of it. Entire towns were shuttered as soon as the precious metals were mined to exhaustion and employees were forced to move on to the next town to seek work. Heck it still happens today. Just look at what's going on in the oil fields in North Dakota. Here one day, gone tomorrow.
Old Hotel in Sego, Utah (No longer standing)
  There are a few building still standing in Sego Canyon north of Moab, Utah. This town has been washed away by flash floods on more than one occasion. The town has a special connection to me because my grandfather lived there for a while as a child. Each year the desert claims more territory from Sego and I plan to visit this year to see what still remains. It's been about seven years since I last visited and I know that the largest structure, a wooden hotel (left) has since collapsed. From this photo you can see that there wasn't much left but if you didn't value your safety you could walk directly through the building. I'll share updated photos after we return from the Jeep Safari.
  Some of these old buildings such as the ones in Grafton, Utah have needed a little TLC to keep them looking good and structurally sound. Money for these projects often comes from private donors while larger towns like Calico, CA can sustain themselves. Either way the locations should be respected and left as they are for others to follow in your footsteps so their exploration is just as much fun as yours. These places are waiting for you to explore. Some may be closer than you think. I know of 4 within 25 minutes of where I'm sitting right now (which is my house not the middle of nowhere.) Do a little research and pack a lunch and go explore. It's a great way to get the kiddies away from those electronic devices for a little while.

  Jeep Safari is just a week away folks. Are you ready? On Tuesday I'll give you some tips on what you should have with you and what you can expect while you're down there.
  In case you were wondering, Jeep The Adventure Dog is continuing to improve and the vet thinks that he may not have had a serious issue after all but only time will tell. He seems to be feeling better because we can't get him to stay sill.
  Also for those of you in the Salt Lake City area the Sportsman's Expo is next week so if you're looking for your next outdoor adventure make sure you stop by for some ideas. Thanks all and have a good weekend!

Sego, Utah

Grafton, Utah

Church in Calico, California

Nevada City, Montana

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