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The day before the reunion Lyle and Carole drove me to Midland. I almost can't describe how overwhelmed I was with emotion. I stepped out of their van and into the past. Suddenly I was surrounded by "my" mountains. All the countless hours I spent creating the Midland part of my website, scanning my dad's photos, writing stories, wishing there was some way I could see Midland again...and there I was.

The Journey Back
Lyle and Carole driving me to Midland


My first view of the mountains since I left in 1963 It seems almost unreal to be on this road again after so many years. The mountains in the distance grow nearer. Closer.


More of the mountains as we drive. Almost there. Everything is so familiar, yet so long ago. Big Maria. Hello again. I haven't seen you in 42 years! A marking on the side of Big Maria I always called "the Fox" Back in Midland at last. A dream I thought would never come true. Castle Rock is beautiful. View full size
I am overwhelmed. I took a lot of mountain pictures. My dad only shot black and white. View full size I stretch my eyes across childhood memories. View full size Evening nears. View full size The mountains glow in the sunset, just for me. View full size These pictures have been my mind for years, captured at last! View full size
Now they are more than just a memory. View full size The sun slips behind the Little Marias. I capture a fading glow...View full size ...and a sunset, too! Back in Blythe, the view from my room on Saturday morning.
Groves are now planted on the mesa along the road to Midland. A beautiful morning. I take a walk to the concrete slab foundation of the USG plant. Big Maria, always there, in my mornings and evenings, and memories. Looking east from the slab. View full size South of Big Maria is Castle Rock. The mountain range fades toward Blythe. View full size Looking south toward Blythe along the length of the USG plant. View full size
South again. I try to capture a panorama. View full size Looking at what must be the foundation of the smokestacks. View full size Looking west, where the town was. View full size A closer look at what must be the base of the smoke stacks. View full size Another view of the slabs. I think about my dad. He worked here. Tears well up in my eyes. View full size

I am fascinated by the size of the slabs. The plant seemed so much larger, yet the slabs are huge. View full size Soft, crumbly Gypsum rock is everywhere. Looking back to the north. Fire bricks litter the ground. I can almost hear my dad talking about the furnaces. View full size A severed I-beam that once supported the Ship of the Desert, the USG Plant. Looking east, I step off the slabs... View full size


...and walk south to look for the location of my house. View full size

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