January 17th, 2005

writing on a plane
  • rpeate

An Abandoned House Outside Tucson

For those who may not know, my wife and I went to Arizona for the holidays. From Tucson we went to Ajo, then back to Tucson.

Right before we returned to Tucson, I spotted an amazing abandoned house. I immediately promised myself I would go back the next day to photograph it, and I did.

On December 27, I saw the house again, and I said to myself, “Now, how do I get there?” I turned off on the nearest road, and found myself entering a mobile home park. As I approached a small bridge, I spotted a man outside, told him I was a photographer from L.A., and asked him if I could take some photographs of the abandoned house up the mountain, only a few hundred feet away.

He not only said I could, but he said he’d show me the way up there! He introduced himself, and instructed me to park my car on his driveway, because one cannot drive up to the house. It’s on national park land, and the Government has blocked all vehicular routes up to the site to protect it. “They don’t want people up there,” he explained, as they don’t want damage to result. Evidently he decided I looked and sounded like someone who would not cause damage, someone he wouldn’t mind helping to document its beauty, someone trustworthy.

This man took me down some stone stairs in a wall to a wash . . .

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