Brought to Surface

High up in the Rocky Mountains there are inumberable small lakes fed by the melting winter snows. Many of these lakes are difficult to reach, in remote wilderness areas, and are not often explored for this reason. We packed our bags high into the mountains, loaded with snorkeling gear, to discover what these lakes were hiding beneath the surface.

There was very little alive in these lakes. Absent were the weeds usually found coating the bottom of any body of freshwater. Instead we found either bottoms of broken rocky rubble from nearby cliffs, or a thick layer of silt sparsely populated with colonies of bacteria growing in coral-like structures. The frigid water and barren rock surroundings seemed to limit the resources required by many species found at lower elevations. In that regard the alpine lakes were similar to caves; their energy input seemed to low to support much life. Although instead of lacking sunlight, these lakes lacked much of what would normally run-off the surrounding landscape.

Still many of these lakes supported life in another way: they were a good place for olden day prospectors to set up camps when mining the nearby mountains for gold and silver. We found a great deal of evidence of these encampments both above and below the waves. Artifacts, submerged for over a century, were discovered easily without water plants and algal growth to obscure our vision underwater.

While climbing into the mountains each day it was easy to imagine that today, just moments from now even, today would would be the big haul. That when I'd dive down beneath the surface a rotting sack or mason jar would catch my eye and pulling it from the muck I'd see a teasing gleam of hidden gold. That this time a lost treasure would change my life forever. Although our methods differ a great deal, I suspect those miners a century ago wandered these mountain paths lost in the same reverie.

Found: An old suspenders buckle and a shirt button.

Mountain roads shrouded by fog.


Found: Broken china with manufacturer's seal.

Found: Faux jewelry.

Approached by big horn sheep en route to mountains.


See the world, they
told me...

bayou goula towhead

the sea test

the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
falling dream
the darkness
one hell of a mile 3&4
he will return
the believers
the horror pt2
the horror pt1
death valley

paradise of outlaws
the mountain climbers 1&2
brought to surface
one hell of a mile 3
the lost world
inner gorge
a ghost story
the riddle
slaying the minotaur
heart of darkness
public lands
organ music
two sought adventure
the virgin river
the road north

steal the world
the end of the world
el dorado
the valley of the kings 2
the valley of the kings 1
one hell of a mile 2
one hell of a mile 1
the mountain climbers rr4
heroes rr3
rainy roadtrip 2
rainy roadtrip 1
the transgression
sinister 2
sinister 1
new chapter

like sedona?
torn in two
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
pick up lines

revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
in their footsteps
a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
the lower depths
underground lake
stretch sewer
the hidden lab
shadow movements
meager rations
sw8: the conclusion
sw7: lost gold mines
sw6: the big tubes
sw5: gold!
sw4: el calderon
sw3: redondo
sw2: ghosts
sw1: westward bound
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning