A quiet day and a Ghost Town, Utah

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
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Your comments give me Life, they fill that gap, they are my bridges within this Journey that was on such a narrow path at one time and now has widen to include so many which nurture as I do, their own and our space all at the same time. These passing moments are a pilgrimage with yet no destination in mind. None physical anyhow. Only to better ourselves, yes, for the both of us. I realize it all when other’s words are read, when other’s words are spoken. There are questions that tantalizes my mind, this route taken, they make me think how and why and am I really stepping where I should be? Is there a designated passage I should know about or is it’s entrance on the next step awaiting for me? And yet, why think tonight? Sometimes the mind can stay without a thought, not empty but tranquil within this arena that surrounds me.

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The evening has been quiet, I am looking at the last photos from our ride up to Sego Canyon and feeling as I should return for more of it. Maybe ride again to the top, that sinuous well maintained dirt road so appealing with it’s array of shadows and light tapestry, with it’s trees and brushes and even grass throughout their changes within the elevations. It is one of those rare finds, roads as such are the prizes from Mother Time, Mother Nature… it is only a matter of slowing down and reaching what is already there, has been there for too many years sometimes forgotten, sometimes passed by so fast that the beauty of it all only remains a blur in one’s memory.

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Sego, the Ghost Town, eerie with it’s wooden building only held up seemingly by a single tree was the next stop after the Petroglyphs, only about 3/4 mile up the road. It  has a history unlike any other Ghost Town in Utah. A history surrounded not by gold or silver but by coal. The discovery was made in the early 1890’s, not by a prospector but by a rancher/farmer from England named Harry Ballard. He bought the land surrounding his find and started operations on a small scale. In 1911, Ballard sold the mine to a group of Salt Lake City investors. Production started with grand plans for a long and prosperous run of coal production. The new owners built a store, a boarding house and other buildings all with their own water supply.

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This above was the store built, well built I would say as I was in the basement due to the floor missing here. Knowing it’s wealth came from coal and not gold or silver, it felt as the town had not as others prospected with the usual saloons and much precious metals flowing as in other Ghost Towns. It’s past seemed quiet, maybe more peaceful even though trouble started almost immediately when the water supply started to dry up. The water table had been dropping for some time but was ignored. There were other problems, as well all of which contributed to little or no profit for the investors. Some miners were not paid for as long as a year but received script, which enabled them to buy food and other necessities for their families.

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The cars were no more, the streets deserted from the past only with left behind the present vestige of what was once. How ironic that the town of Sego went under because of modernism at the time, much diesel replacing the coal used by locomotives. As eventually only 27 miners remained, they were at a loss from the beginning within this such beautiful space they lived in. It is off the beaten track and once done walking around we decided to go up Sego Canyon, not knowing it’s condition, one mile at the time with the thought of turning around if and when it’s surface would get to be too challenging.

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It never did. A two wheel drive road all the way up to around 9000 feet, a bit sandy nearing the top, just enough to awaken the senses a bit lost on this road that seemingly was never going to end.

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The views were totally unparalleled from any other vantage points. The air cooled off, it was time for another clothing layer and a break for all of us including Spirit. Spirit is maturing. I was looking at his photos the other day, the first ones I took when saved from the shelter, the ones he was about a year old. Face of a puppy! His features have become a bit more serious now, well… as most of us… older! He however still thinks he is a puppy when in company of other dogs. I think, as myself, he is going to have a hard time “growing up” as they say. We are “one” these days, we have come to understand each other so well that quite often I have to remember to break our silence as only a look, sometimes a gesture will make each other understand the steps we both take together.

view from the top c  
  view from the top e

I can put my boots on, grab my helmet and I find him in his sidecar. One look, I guess that certain look, and he is ready for his playtime. His “do not disturb” sign comes up early with darkness when even calling his name does not make him look around. “Don’t bother me” he most likely thinks, you are only teasing me. He has become so independent, a bit stubborn as I let him live his own Life needing a sense of his own doings. He feels important and he is. He smiles and stares, he knows, he sure knows the path we are on taking it always himself one moment at the time. Unencumbered Life as my own Life itself tries so mcuh to imitate him.


It was a fine ride, one to remember, savor it’s past moments as I did it’s present ones. We stopped at the Cemetery on the way back, paid my respects, not many people are left behind, it was a crude Life I know and yet hoping that within their own space they enjoyed the magic of it all. Fast forward… today was Dentist day and he sure won the first round! One more tomorrow and maybe all this will calm down as quickly as it has risen. What a relied it will be to feel fully functional again, always surprised how such a pain can disturb one’s Life.

Michael's guitar a why drive

Another rider’s packing, I love the guitar and the button.

Almost three years of Photography is finally in order on Smug Mug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Utah the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through Smug Mug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

the moon

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11 Responses to “A quiet day and a Ghost Town, Utah”

  1. Zelda Says:

    Hi, Ara and Spirit,
    What a sense of peace comes from the dizzy overlooks in your pictures! Why is it that we get a feeling of reassurance looking at the petroglyphs left thousands of years ago by people just like us. They are reminders of how small and shortlived we are, but nevertheless have a part in this grand continuum. Thanks for finding and sharing these rare breaths of peace.
    Sniffs and tail wags from “Natasha” to Spirit.
    Pam & Randy

  2. mtajudy Says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy looking at a photographers work that finds this kind of beauty. What a joy to view! fabulous

    Judy LaParne

  3. A Lady's Life Says:

    As usual beautiful shots of a world so vast and grand so as to leave you breathless.:)

  4. RJ Says:

    I am a newcomer to your site, from Gary’s Poor Man Travels. I find your pictures and insitesvery calming and relaxing in this hectic, fast pace world we currently live in. Thankyou for doing what you do.
    I, too, have a small dog who is very independent in his ways. Give Spirit a scratch from Rusty and I.
    Hope your second visit to the tooth doc is an easy one.

    “Life is always NOW, for now is all there ever is.” (from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle )

  5. chessie Says:

    Ara, I want to spend all night inside your pictures…

  6. denise Says:

    wonderful blog! Thank you so much for sharing these words and pictures with us. Happy Trails!

  7. Mike in Montana Says:

    Hi Ara and Spirit,

    Great photos!
    I hope you both make it up to Montana, everything is just “greening up” and the Beartooth Highway opens this weekend. If you’ve not been up the Beartooth, it’s a must see!
    Ride safe and good luck with that darn tooth!

  8. Tim Hillard Says:

    Howdy Ara and Spirt,
    very cool shots, Ghost Towns always kinda weird me out, but I like to still check them out and imagine what life was like when the town was going well, then imagine what the experience was of the last person riding out of town.

    Later, Tim

  9. Mug of South San Francisco Says:

    Thank you for sharing your fotos for my memories! Our family was from Sego.
    All that is left is an apple tree grandfather planted by the home’s creek, it feeds
    the animals now. The grave in the cemetery with the black fence is an uncle who
    died as a baby. Most of the family is still in Utah.

  10. Joe Says:

    Wow ! Best pictures I have seen that bring back my memories of growing up in Sego in the mid 40s. I am impressed.

  11. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Sego! Yes, Magical Space… Thank You.

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