Thursday, June 6, 2013

Red Desert: Signs of Humans

Stock trough, Honeycomb Buttes, Red Desert.
(Click images to view larger)

I spent last weekend in the Red Desert with fellow photographer Ed Sherline.  We started in Rawlins where we met up with Christi Chapman, whose family ranched in the area when she was a kid.  Christi led us out to  a strange and obscure relic of human occupation--a large "mansion" build sometime in the last 50 years and then abandoned to weather, cows, vandals, and great horned owls.  From there we continued to the also abandoned but less mysterious Jawbone Ranch, named, according to Martin Stupich'es book on the Red Desert, because it was "financed on talk."  

Ed and I continued alone to the Honeycomb Buttes in the northern part of the Red Desert, a spectacular badland area, where we spent the remainder of the weekend until we emerged on South Pass and descended through spectacular wildflowers at the head of Red Canyon before heading for home.  

I'm leaving town today for the start of almost two months of travel, so I don't have time to say much more, but I want to post a few images before hitting the road.  I have many more, mostly of the natural appeal of the Honeycombs, but will focus here on random signs of humans in the desert, some easily explained and others weird as all get out.  

As I travel, I'll try to at least post photographs from time to time. 

The Red Desert "mansion," accessed only by obscure two-track roads.  

Sink in the mansion.

Murphy bed and peeling paint, Jawbone Ranch, Red Desert.

Jawbone Ranch.

Slow motion collapse, Jawbone Ranch.

Rusting culvert, Chain Lakes, Red Desert.

55-gallon drum (empty).  Honeycomb Buttes, Red Desert.

Railroad tie fence posts.  Honeycomb Buttes, Red Desert.

6-ounce Coca Cola bottle.  Red Desert.


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