This Old House

I discovered this old homestead in a valley about an hour and a half from the nearest town.  I had descended for the first time into the lowest reaches of Surprise Valley and seen these old buildings standing in the still morning light a ways off the dirt road.  I could not pass them up, I had to stop the truck and get a closer look.  There were no private property or NO TRESPASSING signs to be seen, only a mangled wire fence and clumps of gnarly yellow grass.  No glass remained in the windows, only the dark unknown to fill the spaces between the frames.  A long-dead tree stood by the forgotten home a leaning shed that mimicked the sloping hills at the end of the abandoned pasture.  There was an eerie feel to this place, as if a child’s wild imagination was the sole inhabitant of the old house.  For me, it was a glimpse of the past.  Perhaps the owner had been the first rancher on the valley floor and his cattle had the whole expanse to roam.  As I circled the decrepit structures, I wondered at what life had been like when they had been a home and the wood fresh.  What had the mornings been like without 4×4 trucks and diesel fuel, radio repeater towers, and detailed GIS created topographical maps?  Was life that much simpler, or was it just as complicated in other ways; ways we have since forgotten in our modern world?

3 thoughts on “This Old House

  1. I agree, an amazing photograph. Whenever I stand in a spot like this I find myself listening for the sounds and watching for the images that were once there. We occupy the same space but are separated by time. At moments like this, time is a concept I don’t really understand.

  2. “as if a child’s wild imagination was the sole inhabitant of the old house.” That line is as lovely as the picture of these decaying old homes you took. Love it.

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