Abandoned | cabin on Wyoming's Highway 11

The one common theme that weaves through our family vacations are abandoned buildings. It sounds strange, but, growing up with a mother for a photographer, I never questioned the spontaneous stops to walk around a falling-down building on the side of a highway. (although, thinking about it, it must be strange to see a family of five, golden retriever in tow, circling an abandoned structure). 

In upstate New York, we stood by as my mother photographed a rusting train car, abandoned on the side of the road, sliding into a ditch--in Utah, I pouted about the fact that my parents wouldn't let me go inside a falling down cabin (You're 12, my mother had sighed exasperatedly. What kind of mother would i be if i let my 12 year old risk her life in a potentially unsafe structure?) At 17, I had tiptoed inside an abandoned farmhouse in the countryside of Tuscany, camera on my side for the first time--the photos didn't turn out, but I won't ever forget the thrill I felt from those five minutes of wonder. 

Vacations aside, I grew fond of abandoned buildings, seeking out adventure at a local asylum and exploring empty buildings on campus (like this fraternity). Out here in the west, entire towns can lie vacant, something I can't quite wrap my head around, yet. 

With my father visiting, it was almost an obligation to stop at this little cabin on the side of Highway 11, a few minutes from the town of Albany, Wyoming--population 55. And even though it was small, it struck me as one of the eeriest ones I've ever visited. While the exterior was in shambles, there was still a rug on the floor in the bunkroom and salad dressing on the shelves in the kitchen--almost as if someone had just been living there a week ago. It sent chills up my spine, and I was glad to stray to the outside, instead of going through the whole house. 

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