I’m always fascinated by seeing evidence of history long gone. The ruins of an old building, a decommissioned road slowly being reclaimed by nature – embers of the past.
One of my highlights of our trip to Hawaii last year was the surprise discovery of a ruined restaurant. It was even more beautiful in its dilapidation than images of the original in its heyday. There’s just something about the process of the wilderness taking back what’s hers that I find intriguing. There are a thousand things to photograph; every detail is mesmerizing.
I’m drawn to images of abandoned malls, and I loved reading about another blogger’s recent exploration through the Chernobyl wasteland. The simple absence of civilization and the earth’s power to reshape what man has modified is truly remarkable. Nature is a wild and veritable force, and it’s awesome to witness.
It’s for this reason also that I enjoyed visiting the local Opal Creek Trail. This trail leads upstream to Jawbone Flats and back in a seven-mile loop past condemned mine shafts and rusty prospecting equipment. You can read about my first foray into this area here, where I spent far more time exploring all the little wonders this trail has to offer, shooting everything from misplaced wheels to an old steam engine.
This trail also offers a crumbling shack. During our last visit, this was barely standing, propped up by a single tree. Since then, I had heard it collapsed, and I made a point to return this time around for an updated shot. It was a little sad to see it in a crumpled heap, but it was also beautiful in its decay. Many were upset about this swiftly disappearing local heritage, but I see it only as another step in the gradual recirculation of the land.
This evidence of the past can’t be preserved outside of photographs, and I wouldn’t want to. Instead, I’ll marvel at the ever-changing landscape and watch as Mother Nature wins the slow battle against man – at least here.
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