Recently that question was posed to me. “What’s up with all the ghost town stuff? Where’s the broad Arizona scenery?”
Well, I’m still shooting broad Arizona scenery. I’m still waiting for that magic moment when the Granite Dells bobcat stays long enough for me to photograph her. I’m still digging the sunsets out here. And I’m also having a blast with the ghost towns. I can’t help it.
For readers of my former blog, Gadget’s Airstream Chronicles, I’m sure you remember my first trip to Anza-Borrego in California. I’d stopped blogging for a bit after a pretty heafty flare up, and then the blog popped back up after a few months of near silence. AZ and CA found me blogging once more. Still a little shaken, and still trying to find my new home. I’d already decided it would be in the Southwest, but I wasn’t sure exactly where.
My new friends Larry & Bill (other Airstreamers) had suggested Anza-Borrego, and I figured, “What the heck.” I drove from Tucson to Borrego over 2 days, and then I stayed for a few weeks.
Borrego isn’t a huge place. A state park, a small town (sometimes you can’t even find TP at the grocery), and a good bit of open desert for camping. The weekends host lots of 4 wheel off roaders, the week days it’s pretty darned quiet. Actually, it’s extremely quiet. Open desert, little going on, and some might call it an extremely barren area.
That barren area “filled me up.” For the first time in quite a while I really enjoyed myself and had fun. Fun in the middle of a lot of empty space. How interesting.
While there I visited active communities like Julian, and I visited places like Ghost Mountain. I enjoyed the desolate spots more, and found that visiting “abandoned areas” and historical spots were just more interesting to me.
Ever since that visit to Borrego I’ve enjoyed the desert more and more. And I’ve enjoyed the abandoned places more and more. Route 66, the North side of Sycamore Canyon, and now ghost towns. Places without many people, but with a few clues they were once there.
So, the ghost towns are just a continuation of my enjoyment of remote places, barren places, and places that once were populated and no longer are. It’s all interesting to me.
Of course I’ll keep varying what I shoot. But I will try to meet my goal of visiting every AZ ghost town location this year. That will mean more ghost town photos for the forseeable future!
It proves the artist within you, that you love barren landscapes and abandon ghost towns.
Keep up your amazing work, Richard.
Thanks Mark! I enjoy going out and seeing what the places have to offer!
Today I visited Bumblebee and Cleator. I’ll be writing about them soon. Interesting locations, especially Cleator!