A bumpy drive south of St. Elmo, Colorado, is the Alley Belle Mine, one of a very few remaining vestiges of the town of Romley. There sits a miner’s cabin, abandoned, with only the brief summer flowers and morning light to warm its decaying existence, and one late June morning at 7 a.m., I joined those companions in the cabin, celebrating the past and present through this photo.
I’ve been visiting St. Elmo since before I could walk. Like many places that photographers visit over and over, I return to St. Elmo frequently, looking for ways to visually express the essence of this place, so familiar to me. It is quiet there at night, after the throngs of visitors to Colorado’s best-preserved ghost town have left, the chipmunks fed and snapshots taken; the town returns to the silent witnessing it has borne in the high country for more than one hundred years, the stars overhead, and only the occasional headlights to give life to the long-dark buildings.
I don’t often work in black and white, although I own the requisite red filters for proper landscape work (thank you, Ansel, for beginning that trend years ago). But during a torrential rainstorm in central Colorado, I ventured out hoping for a gift of light.
I got it.