Old Ranch House just west of Madras, Oregon (SwittersB)

As you push on, heading from one point to another, you pass those old places off the highway. Setting there alone, usually abandoned, visited only by the harsh weather and the occasional person with a camera.

I often wonder who originally stopped along the way on some wagon rutted road or dirt tract and considered the vistas, the land, the water, or lack thereof, and the possibilities. Were they alone? Was it two brothers, a man and woman, a family, a lone soul? What time of year was it? How did they come by the building materials and how long did it take to build the home? 

What dreams did they have? They had probably escaped the confines of civilization, but were they lonely? How did they leave here? Was it opportunity or defeat that made them walk away? Did people die here or who was born here? Was anyone ever buried on this land, their remains’ location long forgotten?

These are but a few questions that blaze through my mind as I drive by or on rare occasions pull over and contemplate the structure. Someday, if I am still alive, I will drive by and see that the house has collapsed. Will anyone else notice?

Old Homestead (SwittersB)