We'd not been to this set of ruins since our first full summer of living in the mountains. Under monsoon skies we marveled at the remnants of the old mine. A wall of snow that never melts choked the still-open main tunnel, making it nigh on impossible to go more than a few hundred feet down. Of course, there are those who would say crawling into the belly of the earth willingly is tantamount to madness.
Years later, under monsoon skies, there was some new graffiti on the walls. A few things had weathered, and some had weathered away. So it goes. All around the compound were signs stating the site was under reclamation of the Santiago Mill Stewards, and to respect the historical buildings.
It was why we were up there...
I documented only one group, but they were very interested in what we were doing. See, the Forest Service was ready to tear the place down under the auspice of attractive nuisance-pot hunters and vandals-had some group not stepped up to intervene. Take stewardship. The preservationist got a mess of together for the cause. I've never been one for joining, and causes, other than my own sense of go-my-own-way, have often been a dubious proposition, but this one captured my imagination.
As the storm clouds slithered and coiled along the highest peaks in the manner of Chinese dragons we shared knowledge and stories with a small group of prospectors. They headed down the mountain after giving well-wishes and signing our little notebook when the last of the sun and turquoise was swallowed by slate and the first fat drops of rain started to fall upon the tundra. We waited for the sky to open up.
Those of you playing along at home know I do not believe in good and evil. Such things are human made constructs, attempting to make order in a universe filled with chaos. Be that as it may, when one of our lot made a remark about doing something on the side of light, I couldn't help but smile slightly. Perhaps, in context, good wasn't such a black and white concept, and we were, indeed, doing a good thing.