Yesterday, I packed the kids up and headed out to the old mining district, specifically Victor, Colorado.
There's a better chance you've heard of Victor's neighbor, Cripple Creek, but they both have old preserved mining equipment from the last big gold rush, as well as preserved buildings from the time. Walking through a town that still boasts the gorgeous brick visages of the late 1800's and early 1900's will get you in a creative mood if nothing else can. Since we went on a Sunday afternoon, it was a virtual ghost town, which meant I could envision the old days: miners grabbing the electric car out to the mines; rich men in suits and hats strolling with powdered, perfumed women in long dresses with frilly hats; the bawdy madams of the red light district calling out to the saloon goers; trains steaming their way into town. Into historical fiction, non-fiction, steampunk? This place had it all!
I had intended to hit Victor, Cripple Creek and Florissant (to view some fossils and fossilized redwoods), but the kids and I had so much fun hiking and exploring the old mines and homes that we never made it anywhere else. And, while I'd really gone out there intending to get some fall foliage shots with maybe a couple of homestead/aspen shots, most of my hundreds upon hundreds of photos from yesterday are of the great old buildings.
I highly recommend that any field trip you go on, you take a camera, pad and pencil. Jot down ideas and notes that come into your head. Take photos of those things that inspire you, as you will continue to be inspired each time you reference them, and it will help to keep those ideas fresh.
Not everyone has a mining town near them that they can just pick up and drive to in an hour, but anywhere that allows you to get lost in the feel of a different time or place, anywhere that allows you to be closer to nature or deep in a past time, is perfect. If you're busy and can't spend a day exploring a new place, take a half hour jaunt to the woods, the beach, the mountains, a historical site near you or even your downtown, which will often boast older buildings, especially deep in the heart of the city. Go somewhere that is bustling with people to watch them and take it all in. Listen in on snatches of conversation and fill in the blanks. Any of these things can get your mind working in a different way, and bring out the creative juices.
I thought I'd pass along a handful of photos from my day out yesterday to maybe give someone else a little inspiration. I hope you enjoy!
Note: Do not use these photos without my permission.
Have you gone on any field trips lately? Any you'd really like to go on?
May you find your Muse.