The car is quiet as we drive back to Denver. We are both reflective as this road trip comes to an end and muse about the fun and luck we had on this drive across Colorado and back again. All journeys must come to an end before we can embark on new ones.
We sat in a coffee shop in Gunnison enjoying our breakfast burritos while looking at the map and talking about our route. We tossed around ideas about visiting any ghost town that we pass on our way. Most are further north than where we’d be driving though, but we find one that is more or less on the way. We debate about the extra time the detour would take and then decided to do it.
St. Elmo lies in the Sawatch Range at the end of a dirt road and was a mining town for gold and silver. During the town’s peak in the 1890s, 20,000 people lived here and there was a telegraph office, general store, newspaper office, town hall, saloons and dancing halls, five hotels, and a school house. In the 1920’s the mining industry declined, and the rail road discontinued its service in 1922. The road incline back to St. Elmo is very gradual, and I suspect it follows the old railroad route. Although called a ghost town, technically it really isn’t because people still live here. Still, it was fun to walk around and see all the old buildings, some which have been preserved, some which are in the process of being preserved and some which are falling apart.
We stop for the last photos taken on our trip. These are long exposures from the Cascade Falls viewpoint.
2 Replies to “The End of the Road”
I really like these photos, especially the ones showing the details of the buildings. How did you ever find St. Elmo? It’s definitely off the beaten path. Nice work!
So neat! I can’t imagine still living in that town. But a ghost town is a lot of fun and I love the way you’ve captured it. There’s one near Missoula I need to visit one of these days!