Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Just off Hwy 88 and Mormon Emigrant Trail is the abandoned Iron Mountain Ski Area. I have memories of this "resort" from my childhood, we lived just down the highway when I was quite young. Most of my memories are from summers after we had moved out of the area but returned to hike and pick gooseberries for jam. We stopped there on Saturday and had a look around.
The silence in this spot is deafening. Outside of the rare and occasional motorist passing, there isn't a man-made sound within 10 miles of this sight. It is amazing how nature takes over what we humans abandon, and disturbing to see how people destroy unattended property. The dumping of trash and burned out vehicles plus destruction to the buildings made me sick to my stomach. This ski area hasn't be operated since 1995 and even then it only served the public 14 out of it's last 28 seasons.
These carriers on this chairlift gave me the creeps. While the cables on the other three lifts had snapped leaving the remains on the forest floor, these were still intact. Had the Littles been able to hike this, Tim and I would have liked to explore the mountainside. We were curious what lay at the end of the line.
The hotel's roof was collapsed and anything salvageable had been pulled from the rooms. This corridor felt haunted.
We stopped by Peddler Hill, elevation 7000' to see the house I lived in as a child and the station my Dad worked at. The station was in great shape but the apartments not so. One of the units looked like it had be spared but the other three were ransacked. What you can't see in this view is across the drive looking up toward the station. This is where my Mom, Janet and Patty Martin grew a fantastic mountain garden many years ago. It is now very wild and grown over but with lovely lupine and paintbrush.
I couldn't hold back my tears looking at our old front door. This once was a happy welcome doorstep and inside protected a small and growing family from harsh winters. Our sweet St. Bernard Lou-Lou delivered 18 puppies in our garage here (only 9 made it). One of my favorite memories was going to visit my daddy on his break and picking out a hot drink from the vending coffee/cocoa machine. I also remember my parents having some wild parties when their friends from Napa would visit on weekends and my first try at roller-skating happened on the down slope of this driveway. We moved from here after Jared was born, when Shannon was 5 and I was 3 years-old.

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