Silhouettes at the Summit


It was anything but a white Christmas in Calico, California. Which made for a great climbing day, evidently.

We had traveled to California’s Mojave Desert to spend the holidays with family, and the drive was undoubtedly worth it. Great conversations, great people, and (too much) great food prepared by Aunt Becky. After awakening from a food coma one afternoon, my wife and I resolved that we wouldn’t spend the rest of the afternoon on the couch. No! Instead, we would venture forth to the local…ghost town.

Well, “ghost town” may be an exaggeration. Calico is an old silver mining town outside the city of Barstow, built right into the hills during a gin-u-wine silver rush. The town once had a population of 6000, but today only a few of the original buildings remain thanks to the efforts of a local county park. Today, it is more a museum and shopping attraction than anything. However, the surrounding mountain range was a striking site and a clear destination for hikers and bikers.

As Calico closed down for the night and we headed back to the parking lot, we noticed a group of hikers making their way up the red hills at dusk. I snapped this photo just in time to see one group reach their summit. I was impressed at their grit, and grateful that unlike them, I didn’t have to hike back down a mountain in the dark.

Once I got back home and got a better look at the photo, I was amused at how the image appears illustrated, despite being captured by a camera. I suppose a surreal silhouette photo is in keeping with a surreal semi-abandoned silver town, eh?

Hang this photo on your wall

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When was a time you were surprised by the texture you achieved in a photo?