The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

This week John, author of the site, Journeys with Johnbo, leads the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, choosing the topic flights of fancy. I was stumped and ready to bow out of this one until I realized how easy this one could be for me.

My flight of fancy has been the road. The road; cobbled roads; dirt roads; highways; country roads; farm roads; busy roads; lonely roads. Roads have led me to places that I’ve dreamed of seeing and places that I never dreamed existed.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Roads have carried me to interesting and beautiful places, but the road itself possesses its own singular beauty and character.

A road less travelled. Saxeville, Wisconsin

It’s the road that’s allowed me to experience places of matchless grandeur and beauty and to share them with my wife. If not for roads I would have never experienced the twin pleasures of viewing nature’s handiworks and Cora’s joy and awe.

I don’t know which was more beautiful, the Black Hills or Cora’s awe in seeing them.

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Being October, and being that Halloween is less than two weeks away, it’s only appropriate to add another graveyard episode to the Monthly Monochrome series (for the previous charnel chapter click this link).

As I indicated in my previous graveyard post, a graveyard can be a cemetery, but a cemetery can’t be a graveyard until time, nature and lack of attention have weathered the old charnel.

Tonopah Cemetery
Located in the high desert of Nevada, 211 desolate miles from the glitter of Las Vegas, sits Tonopah, Nevada.

Nevada is appropriately named the Silver State because many of its cities, towns, ghost towns and ruins were birthed by silver. In 1900, Jim Butler discovered silver at a site that would produce one of the biggest booms in the west and with it, the high desert town of Tonopah.

Old cemeteries are repositories of history. They speak, as silently as a grave, of lives and times long past.

Among the epitaphs of the residents of Tonopah’s old graveyard:

In 1909, Leonard Black fell from a freight wagon loaded with three tons of grain and was run over. Leonard was eleven years old.

In 1906, Alfred Anderson succumbed to a gunshot wound after having assaulted a woman in, as the epitaph describes, her bagnio.

Kentuckian William Allen Montgomery was a pioneer, stockman, and teamster. Born in 1838, he died at age 62.

In 1916, Peter Mandich was careless while riding in a mining skip (car). According to the Reno Evening Gazette, “Peter Mandich, a Servian, 25 years of age, was instantly killed in the underground incline shaft of the Tonopah Extension Mine, Saturday morning about 10:30 o’clock. He stood up in the skip and his head coming in contact with the timbers, his neck was broken and his head badly crushed.” All the way from Serbia to seek his fortune only to perish at a too young age.

Unmarked gravestones cast long shadows in late afternoon.

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This week Tina of Travels and Trifles has challenged us to a Treasure Hunt. She’s proposed a list of treasure items which includes:
A pet or pets (yours or someone else’s)
The moon or the sun (extra credit for both in one image)
Clouds (extra credit if you also include rain or snow)
A reflection
A child (extra credit if with other family members)
An umbrella (extra credit if you include a person using it)
A truck (extra credit if you include the driver or what the truck is hauling)
Autumn foliage (extra credit if it’s something that only blooms in the fall)
Something fun you found on a walk

I can’t manage the extra credits above but there’s plenty of double dipping.

Below is an alpine meadow near the summit of the Beartooth Highway a scenic 68 mile drive that begins in Red Lodge, Montana and ends at the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park.

Below, Early morning at Port Clyde, Maine.

Banner image is of a random lake I passed by while driving through Wisconsin.
Below I’ve reflected on the urban scene. The first image is a reflection of the grand Le Château Frontenac, located in Quebec City’s Upper Town. The window is in a building located on Rue du Petit-Champlain far below Upper Town.

The TransAmerica Pyramid in San Francisco is one of my favorite architectural subjects, with it’s unique shape and numerous beams and angles. The photo below is a reflection in one of the Pyramid’s windows of traffic on Columbus Avenue.

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