A Ghost Story

We drove into the San Juan mountains of Colorado in early May and discovered the inevitable: much of the backcountry remain inaccessible due to the spring avalanche hazard. Determined to make the most of our time here we set off on foot through some of the lower country in search of ghost towns and lost treasures left in abandoned mines.

Just days before our arrival we had purchased some used children's snowshoes from the Goodwill. The plastic 'shoes', many sizes too small for us felt ridiculous, and we sunk several inches into the deep snow with each step. Bemoaning our wasted purchase, we nonetheless trudged on in the bright blue 'shoes'.

We spent several days in the mountains, treasure hunting in the rubble of old mines, and exploring the long abandoned homes of their people. At night we camped below the treeline hoping to find some shelter from the high winds and severe weather; but there was no hiding from the precipitously dropping temperatures each evening. We built large fires to keep burning through the night to provide warmth.

Eventually as our supplies dwindled and our time in the mountains drew closed we began the long trek back. We both discovered early on the way back that our snowshoes had failed us, their flimsy bindings ripping free from the pads. It was then that we discovered the actual utility of our supposedly insufficient 'shoes'. Instead of sinking a few inches with each step, we know sunk up to our knees and occasionally our hips with every third step. After breaking through the snow covering streams and creeks several times and dunking our shoes, we took to crawling on hands and knees at every water crossing.

Our progress back was slow and laborious without the snowshoes and afterwards we could reflect on how much they had actually helped us.


Cooking dinner over the fire.



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