As Felix (my boyfriend) and I pulled into a gravel parking lot on Main Street of Eureka, I felt a sense of relief, which could have been attributed to the fact that our car had made the journey despite some questionable moments along the way. But it was more than that; I felt alive, as though I had found a treasured item that I hadn’t even realized was missing. The rat race, the checking off of lists, the drudgery, the worries about the future...they all seemed to dissipate in this place where time stood still.
Felix and I began exploring, taking pictures as we went. We climbed around an old train car that looked to be a favorite hangout spot for local teens, peaked in dusty windows at the silhouettes of abandoned furniture, and soaked in the quiet and solitude. Apparently, Eureka was a bustling mining town until the 1930s, when the depression hit the town hard.
We were having a great time, but there was something odd about the place. The car shop that looked to be part of the ghost town was actually still in operation and there were new homes sprouting up next to the crumbling remains of the Old West. I couldn’t tell which way this town was headed- toward decay or renewed vitality. It was truly a town in limbo. But then I realized, we’re all in limbo, always. I didn’t know what would happen after Felix and I graduated from college, whether we would stay in Salt Lake or move away, get a dog or have a child. I decided that I needed to work on accepting the not knowing. After all, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
And more than that, I realized that the lines and perimeters we like to draw to make sense of things are not always so clear. Summer bleeds into fall, adults carry within them an unfinished child, and some ghost towns are inhabited by the living.