A Writing Exercise

Mark Paxson

I just spent four days in Death Valley — one of the most desolate, isolated places in the continental United States. I take my camera on trips like this and take a lot of pictures of things.

Twice I stopped for pictures that had my wife questioning me. Both times I said the same thing. There’s a story there.

So, here’s your chance. Provide the story.

The first picture is of a car abandoned about 75-100 feet off the road in a place where I have absolutely no idea how it got there. I don’t recall seeing any tire tracks and the surface is pitted and bumpy enough I’m not sure how it could have got there. This is on the road from Furnace Creek to Badwater (the lowest piece of dry land on earth).

The second picture is of an old mine. I think it was probably a borax mine at one point. But I don’t think it’s operational anymore. You see things like this in places like Death Valley. Just random, in the middle-of-nowhere, factories or homes or buildings of one sort or other, that once thrived but now seem to be more ghost-like than real.

So … if you feel up to it and one of these (or both together) inspire a spark, write it and share it here. Put a link to it in comments if you post it to a blog, or email it to me and I’ll share it here. (mpaxson55@gmail.com)

In the meantime … hope you’re all writing. I’ve got more pictures to sort through.

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