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?