Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Broken Buildings

Broken Buildings
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
Derelict old barns and abandoned ranch outbuildings are everywhere in eastern Oregon. For some reason, I just love the way they look—the more askew and collapsed they are the better. I became a bit obsessed with them, in fact, and stopped constantly to photograph them. They look so dramatic against the mountains and the threatening skies.

Collapsing Building

Old Shack and Old Trucks

Empty Ranch Building and Dead Thistles

I find these buildings oddly comforting, they’re just so basic and wooden and without purpose. And yet they persist. They turn no profit. They contain no microchips or plastic components. They weren’t made in China. Perhaps what I like most is that no one thinks it necessary to tear them down and put up a Chuck E. Cheese or a Hard Rock Cafe.

What’s their story anyway? There are quite a number of ghost towns in eastern Oregon (thanks to a 19th-century gold boom [and subsequent bust]), but these buildings aren’t part of any former town, they’re just out in the middle of ranchland all on their lonesome. A few had “No Trespassing” signs on them, which is kind of ridiculous. What’s there to trespass on?

Hard to say how old they are. I’m sure the harsh eastern Oregon winters strip paint and rot wood in no time, so perhaps some of these building are no more than 30 years old. Then again, maybe they’re 130.

Damn! I have lots I want to write about but no time to do it. I'd much rather be documenting my trip than spending all day hacking away at the pile of work on my desk and then squandering my evenings slogging through my To Do list, which has become quite enormous and daunting. I promise, however, that I will get around to blogging about the actual main purpose of the trip, i.e., hiking up and down the mountains of eastern Oregon. Soon.


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