Bones on the Beach

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The world would be white or grey if not for this morning’s tidal surge. It swept the beach clean of snow to the high water line, revealing flat stones moist from rain, gentling rotting seaweed, the iron bones of a failed mining effort. Ninety years ago seawater broke through the Ready Bullion and Mexican mine tunnels here to end forty years of gold mining, forty years of transforming old growth forest into a miniature Manchester England.

Nature still works to heal the land. Trees—alders mostly, fill in the spaces between the stout roofless buildings and cover the abandoned ironworker art with shed leaves.  Graceless monuments of hand hewn rock squat near the tree line with iron forged rings which must have once provided tie offs for ship lines.

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Snow now covers the impressive gears, baffles and pipes made to order at the Treadwell foundry.  Here on the beach they lay naked to twice daily seawater baths, rust and rot giving them a twisted beauty. An oversized piston rod transforms into a monster’s leg bone,  a drive shaft mimics a giant’s fractured backbone.

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