Anyone who knows me at all knows I have a passion for rocks. There’s just something about them. They’re easily accessible, can be used in landscaping design, walls, art. There is something primitive about them that brings out the “earthy” in me. It feels like a throwback to primitive man to stack and shape them in a way so as to protect or defend the human.
Whenever I am feeling restless or disgruntled I have a tendency to rush to the outdoors to escape whatever is causing my restlessness. People cause me restlessness, not nature. I have very strong pantheistic tendencies.
Yesterday I was feeling once again that urge to run away. I headed out on Road 73 and passed a couple of roads. There is an old mining town called Ophir and I wanted to see what it looked like. You only have to go about three miles off 73 before you enter Ophir. It is situated in a very small slot canyon that is all nestled and quaint and intimate. It was not as old as I expected and while it was clear the little (mostly deserted) town wanted to be known for its mining roots, most of the “mining” parts of it were fake! There’s nothing quite as frustrating as going to find an old mining town and instead finding a “new but cheaply decorated to look old” mining town instead. There was a rock wall that had a couple of wooden dams in the crevices. But someone had put up shelves on this wall, and put cheap figures on it! Like elves! Oh the horror! There was an indentation on the wall that was made to look like a mining entrance but when I pulled back the black rubber cover it was just a shallow closet sized space that was used as a storing area for paint.
Elle Oh elle.
Still. Some cute little, older houses make up for it, and there were lots of trees and streams. I’d say there were a total of 50 houses. Some were clearly more modern and ruined the whole feel of it. And it was a bit disarming to have a kitzchy decorated RV trailer home adjacent to a larger 70’s style A-frame home. Too bad someone wasn’t more careful about the housing/zoning ordinances.
I bet this place is gorgeous in the summer. I intend on returning so I can go farther up the canyon.
I went one canyon over, to Mercur. I thought it was going to be another small town but alas, it was not. Just a fenced in construction area. The road to Mercur, however, was hugged by shale, rocky areas. Did I mention just how much I like rocks?
We made a trifecta. Each one is approximately three feet tall. I was bummed because I framed all of my pics in such a way the cairns (apparently the fancy name for a rock stack) melted into its same-colored rocky background. With the help of my friends we have managed to highlight the cairns in such a way that you can better see them.
Big thanks to Paul Allen, Eric Bean, and Thayne Forbes for the following pictures: