I wanted to capture a unique perspective of Old Town Pocatello, Idaho. The city used to be centered around these train tracks since Pocatello used to be the Gate City. Travelers headed to Oregon or Washington would take the train out of Pocatello. This vantage point shows the rail way going through Old Town. It is now just freight cars, but still an interesting part of town.
I went out to City of Rocks in Malta, Idaho. This area is known for majestic granite forms and pioneer history. This area was a landmark along the Oregon Trail. I had a blast climbing up the building sized boulders to get a unique vantage point on the moon rise and sunset. Once the sun went down it was time to set up at Castle Rock to shoot astro-panoramas. It was great connecting to the history of this area and spending time exploring the unique geography.
The theme for this assignment was to document a lost world. I decided to document the history of gold mining in Leesburg, Idaho. My Dad, two of my brothers, and I went up to the mountains at 4:00am. We got to the cabin as the sun started to pop over the ridge line. We continued on into the maze of old mining roads and abandoned homesteads. Finally arriving in Leesburg. This was a mining boomtown around the turn of the last century that became a ghost town. Hippies moved in during the 1960’s, and there are still remnants of both the old miners’ and the hippies’ presence. We also visited the cemetary where the people of Leesburg were buried. On the way off the mountain, we had to pass by the modern mining operations at Beartrack mine. I decided to document the scar where a mountain was removed to get at ore. Then we stopped at Dump Creek Gorge. This gorge was created when miners diverted the creek for the purpose of dredging gold. I have a deep appreciation for the history of these mountains, and the history that is being made today. It was great getting to document the mines and the the way the miners lived.
I went out to Bear Trap Cave near Minidoka, Idaho. My friend Fatu drove his Jeep, and we set out on the 100+ mile trek out into the desert. When we left, the sky was gray and overcast, but we were undeterred. About 80 miles into the desert, and we got lost. We were still undeterred. We came across Brigham Point Cabin right as the sun went down, and the sky cleared up. We stopped and did some light painting at Brigham Point Cabin with some blue in the sky. Then we continued on our quest. We started driving faster and faster trying to get to the cave before the stars started to pop. We came around a corner and started to drift. Then we say it. A huge gaping hole in the earth. We slid the Jeep sideways right up to the rim of the cave. We got out of the Jeep, and even though it was new moon, it was bright enough to see. The light was coming from the milky way. We decided to secure the perimeter and venture into the cave. Bear trap cave is a huge lava tube that stretches over 15 miles under the Idaho desert. One of these photos required me to walk a quarter mile into the cave in the pitch black with out turning on my flashlight. That was a wild experience. I was scared stiff, but determined to create the image. I could feel the darkness enveloping me, but I continued on. About half way back I thought to myself, “what am I doing here. It is 1 a.m. and pitch black, and you are underground and unarmed….Oh well.” This was great fun and I recommend you go spelunking as soon as you get the chance.