Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Exploring Acme, Wyoming One Fine Day


     My exploring is greatly cut down without a vehicle of my own.   I am working on that, but the process is a slow and expensive one.  With a car again, I hope to soon take a much needed road trip, and take a long trip that I have been planning.  Both should make for some good blog posts.    Please take the time to check out some of my old blogs, for some thoughts on past day trips.  If nothing else the pictures are good, if I do say so myself. 

     A few weeks ago found me in Acme, Wyoming with my parents.  Just north out of Sheridan is this old coal mining town.  Well the remains of the town.  At one point there were 50-100 houses in the area.   Some of the foundations can still be found.  But the area seems to be mostly an area for exploring and target practice now.  

 Some of the homes were moved into Sheridan many years ago.  On the way, if you look quickly you pass a small cemetery, to the right, just off the highway.   I have always wanted to explore this cemetery.  Mostly because there is no real road to the sight.  Cemetery's are always interesting to roam around.  Being in the middle of the day, or late at night. 

                                                  Mount Hope Cemetary Big Horn, Wyoming

   I am often surprised how quickly out of town, my cell phone is useless.  Most of Acme seems to be a dead zone.  In fact 80% of the journey between here and Billings is a dead zone with my phone anyway.   Which could be bad in any winter storm or zombie attack.   This surprises me because during the short 23 hour bus rides from Washington to Wyoming there are very few dead zones.  Mostly in the hills.   Although past experience has shown me that when you really really need a cell phone, you are just past any reception area.  

     Just past Acme on the other side of the road, is a very kool old church.  It has recently turned into someones home, so taking pictures is now much harder to do.  I have recently discovered the joys of taking pictures of old buildings, lately favoring barns and churches.   In the past I really favored clouds and trees for some reason.   Closer to Acme, I was amazed at how different the "pits" looked.  I realize I have not been out that way for ten plus years, but they look completely different.  Much more family friendly than the party and mudding zones I recall.   For those of you not familiar with the pits, years ago several deep open mine sights were filled in with water.  Game and Fish stalks the ponds with fish.  And partying legend says the pits are over 100 feet deep.   Back in the day, many a party was held in the area.  Although I am still not sure why.   I guess because it was in the middle of no were, and at that time much more out of the way.  No houses were very close.  In my high school days the local police knew that most of the rednecks partying at the pits had CB radios.   The cops would announce on there radios that they were getting ready to check out the pits, and most of the partiers would scatter.  The police never really had to leave the donut shops. 

                                                 Below could be the greatest driveway ever.   In the far left you can see Just a little bit of my great dad.  

     About a week after we took this trip there was an article in the Sheridan Press with a picture showing this bridge in it's glory days.   Now I am not sure it would hold much at all.   Not sure why I look like I need to take a dump in this picture.  

   Running into bones is always an encouraging sign.   Although we did not see any wildlife beyond many turkeys getting fat before they disappear for the month of November.   The entire area makes for some great hunting grounds. 

                                                        Yet another great Wyoming sunset.

                                              Happy Trails!!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Very nice pictures from the Acme area. I lived in Acme for only one month at the end of summer of 1972. I was only 10 and in the 4th grade. In fact I started 4th grade there in the 3 room school house. The eldest of my two sisters was the only first grader and my neighbor and best friend, Monty, was the only 5th grader. Acme was laid out in a circle. As one came into the village we live to the right and past the alley that ran the diameter of the circle that led one to the post office/general store and then across the street to the school house. We we nor far from the river at all. Our home was heated by coal, including the hot water which was boiled in the cook stove in the kitchen! My mother hated it needless to say. Since we were out of school, my brother and I and a bunch of other local kids did a lot of exploring, playing and fishing. The suspension bridge that you have a picture of was in a little better shape then but we were forbidden to use it as even then it was deemed unsafe. I remember a small boy falling into the water but he was okay. The power plant was spooky to say the least. It made sounds like a little girl screaming for her life. The water tower was always a cool sight to see. I would have climbed it if I hadn't been so afraid of heights. We moved to Billings, Montana just after school had started. My little sister had been diagnosed with Leukemia and we needed to be closer to the doctors Sheridan just wasn't going to be it. I had also lived in Sheridan from 1867-69.
    In 1990 my wife and I moved to Finland from Juneau, Alaska. We drove through Wyoming and made a detour to Acme. I got excited when I saw the water tower and the power plant. But then as we turned into village there were no buildings to be seen. Several trees lay across the road as in your pictures, seeming to prevent people from entering. There was a fairly new looking shop at the opposite end. The only building that was left was the old 3 room school house atop the little hill it sat and the maypole in the front play ground. One could still still make out the ball field to the left of the building.
    I am now 50 years old and am working on recording the places I have lived and my memories about them. I am also using Google Earth and Street views to make it more alive, if they exist.
    Even though I had only lived there a short time I was able to experience raking and burning of Autumn leaves, the smell of raw and burning coal, the wonderful nature about the village, a giant hornet's nest in a tree that overhang the road at the opposite end, the general store where we had a post box that the store clerk would open to hand us the mail and that quaint, little school house.
    Best regards,
    Matti Kujala
    Espoo, Finland
    (formerly of Red Lodge (Fox), Montana