Christi Strickland
Barstow Mine, Spirit Gulch Colorado
2022

Story Info

Story & Experience

Four friends hiked up Spirit Gulch in Ouray County, Colorado to visit the Barstow Mine. The mine operated from 1895-1930, extracting primarily fluorite, copper, and silver. When we came upon the mine, situated at 11,000 ft. in an incredibly beautiful mountainside, we kept wondering – how do people come and go and just leave the “mine dump” without care or repair to the damage done to the hillside? We wondered about the people who lived and toiled here. Were they happy? The conditions must have been harsh. Time on the land and stories shared brought a feeling of groundedness and connection. One participant spoke of feeling “rooted like the trees who found their roots here.” It was clear how the plants and trees had to fight extra hard to “make it” compared to the nearby hillsides not sacrificed for extraction. There was a wondering as to why there was not a sign to let people know what happened here – to remember and to help us learn from the past so as not to repeat it….. with so much loss and pain and unknowns in the world today, we talked about the process of RadJoy and the empowerment in being able be present with the wounded places, to bring acts of love and beauty wherever we are.

Barstow Mine, Spirit Gulch Colorado

Act of Beauty

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The glass and so much “junk” left behind offered an endless selection of found objects for our Radjoy bird – to bring it a sparkle and color. We circled around it and sang with the bird and to the hillside.

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