The Ballad of Calico

I can't believe how far behind I am on travel posts! These pictures are from way back when I was in California! Okay, it's not actually "way back" only about 5 days, but I feel like I've been so many places and done so many things since I was in California.
On my way out of California I stopped at Calico Ghost Town, which used to be a silver mine back in the late 1800's. It was pretty cool. I don't know how much of it is actually original, as basically the whole place is a tourist attraction now, full of little shops, restaurants and other attractions. It was really cute, though, and the kind of corny tourist thing that I love. It made me miss my family because it reminded me of something that we all would have fun visiting. Anyway, I walked through the town, and climbed a bit into the hills surrounding it. The silver mine shafts were closed on the day I visited, which was a bummer because I bet that would be really interesting.

As cool as it was, it just really made me wish I could see an authentic old town like that. I'm sure there are more ghost towns that haven't been converted to tourist traps, but I have no clue how to find such a thing. The old west fascinates me. I just imagine people in wagon trains slowly plodding across the vast landscape. Can you imagine being those early settlers coming across a place like the Grand Canyon, Zion, or Bryce? You'd be floored! I mean, people are still floored, but we expect it when we go there. They were just making their way westward and I'm sure never expecting to come across the incredible topography that is here.

Another thing that fascinates me about this area is the Native people. For centuries they roamed this land and were saturated by its beauty. No wonder the Navajo and other southern Native cultures have such beautiful artwork. My native people, the Aleut, aren't really known for their art, though we have a bit (Aleuts are most known for their elaborate basket weaving). But we weren't really in a "beautiful" location either. The Aleutian Islands are a harsh place, very stark. In contrast, the Native people of southeast Alaska, the Tlingit, were surrounded by the huge rainforests of the panhandle, and they built amazing totem poles and houses, wove beautiful blankets, and created a lot of artwork- much like the Navajo. But I digress...

Anyway, Calico was fun. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and live in different cultures and do different things. Living in a silver mining town, or a gold mining town during those respective rushes would've been pretty amazing, I think. Such a spirit of adventure and optimism. When will Doc Brown and Marty McFly pull up to my Winne in their DeLorean and tell me to jump in and head back to 1855?!