Thistle

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Every Tuesday, my boyfriend and I try and hang out together, but we decided that we were tired of doing the same old mundane things. Wake up, get lunch, run a few errands, “hey, lets go walk around IKEA” sounds a whole lot like us, and we were about to lose it. So we decided to maybe do something new for our day off, do a little research, and see what we find. So I looked online and found this ghost town in Thistle, Utah named appropriately and more obviously as “Thistle Ghost Town”. It was about an hour’s drive from where we live, but the scenery was nice. A little winding through the mountains and we were upon it.

Now, when you think of a ghost town you think of a classic western film with tumbleweeds and horses, a John Wayne wannabe chewing wheat in the distance, “The Good The Bad and The Ugly” whistle tune playing as you walk up the dusty road to a long forgotten town of saloons and shops and railroad stops. Right? Classic ghost town, amiright? Yeah, no. Thistle was…it just…let me put it this way, we almost drove past the damn thing.

Now let me give you a little history before we go into detail on this shy-under-a-disappointment “Thistle Ghost Town”. There was a massive landslide back in April of 1983 that basically demolished most of the little town. Hence, the still flooded house you see in the picture above. There was no way to salvage anything so naturally everyone just packed up and left. So when I read this, out loud to the man sitting on my left, we thought, “Oh cool, so it’ll be kinda warped and old and you can still see everything. Great, high five, let’s check it out.”

So we drove up there, and turned around the bend and *zoom*, “Wait..what? Was that..? Turn around”. One house on the right, two on the left. Where is everything else? Where are the spurs on my boots? What is going on here?! This place was rated highly by…some random website and I want answers! It wasn’t terrible. I’m being overly “eh” about it, but it was just a wee bit of a let down. An hour’s drive for three standing structures weren’t exactly our idea of cool, and definitely wasn’t worthy of a high five. We got out of the car and tried to get a little closer look, at least make something of our day in the five star town of “Thistle” and then we basically just drove right back home. We did see a few more scattered structures here and there for a block, but they were further up the mountain or into the pasture. Nothing that we were able to really get to, and half of it was graffiti galore anyway. Brody loved Chris back in 2011, so that’s nice. And Jim’s birthday is coming up, I know – cause he wrote it down 3 times all over the structure. Cool guy, that Jim. Sigh, I suppose you don’t really have those old classic ghost towns anymore. My dreams are shattered. Where can I quench my thirst of old saloon doors and dusty bottles besides Thunder Mountain at Disneyland? Is there such a place? Supposedly there are quite a few ghost towns in the state of Utah. If they are anything like Thistle though…I think I’ll just watch a Quentin Tarantino movie and save myself the let down.

I did get a few good pictures, so the trip wasn’t all for not. At least I can quench my thirst of wanting to be like Vivian Maier day and night. If you don’t know who she is I highly recommend you check out the film “Finding Vivian Maier” or just wait for me to write a blog post about, because it will inevitably happen. She’s the reason I bought myself a Rolleiflex Twin Lens TLR camera but anyway, I digress. A couple pictures of half sunken houses can still get me somewhere, right? Ah…Thistle, you old shithouse. Thanks for the aesthetics. They were…mesmerizing.

-C

P.S. Happy early birthday, Jim-bo