U P P E
R C A N Y O N C A B I N
The best part of
beauty is that which no picture can express --Francis Bacon
Upper Canyon Cabin, Ruidoso, New
explored & photographed by:
away in the thickly-wooded forest surrounding a small mountain village
sits something out of a dream... a long-abandoned stone cabin
rising out of the tangled green like an
urban-exploration-fairy-tale... welcome to the place I call 'Upper
community of Ruidoso, NM began in the 1890's as a trading post; it's a
beautiful, timeless little village that sits amid mountain peaks
and pine tree-tops at 6,900 feet above sea level. And along the
banks of the Rio Ruidoso and the surrounding canyon walls is a
cool, densely-wooded stretch of area known as the Upper Canyon,
which is dotted with the quaint summer cabins that they began
building here back around the 1920's and 30's.
There is an area within the Upper
Canyon where my family used to go all the time for picnics and
hiking and stuff, and it was during one of those outings (bout 20
years ago, I must have been about 10!) that a group of my cousins
and I discovered what became one of our favorite secret
hideouts while we were exploring the canyon's deep dark woods one
day- this captivating abandoned cabin hidden away amongst the
trees and perched right on the edge of the riverbank. Of course,
we instantly fell in love with the archaic old place!
Hell, two decades later I'm still
in love with it. And amazingly it's still standing. Or maybe not
so amazingly, when you consider the construction... the entire
cabin is made of painstakingly-assembled stone; it's got a
weathered shingled-metal roof and splintered hardwood floors, and
it's a really great old structure, even despite it's decrepit
condition. The side of the cabin with it's stout chimney flanked
by a window on each side almost looks like it could be the cabin's
face, staring mutely out at you.
Last time I spent a weekend in
Ruidoso I made a trek out to the Upper Canyon in hopes that I'd
find the ol' cabin still there. And, as you see from these pics, I
did! I have no idea how old this place actually is, but I know
it's been there for decades... otherwise it's origins are a
mystery to me...
The glass of the windows has been
long gone, since way before we ever found the place... but the
wooden sills still remain. A peek inside through the window
reveals a semi-circle of tree stumps arranged around a large
hearth in what was once probably the family or main living room of
the cabin. Decades of graffiti criss-cross the walls.
veranda of what may have been some kind of outdoor room or
porch affords a great view of the forest; from this side of the
place the gurgling of the water can really be heard. The
side of the bank drops off steeply so you can't really see the
creek from up by the cabin, but inside, one of the windows
provides a wonderful
view of the swirling waters below. In another room, one of the
weatherworn window sills is decorated with scrawled
handprints from previous visitors.
Inside, we had to be careful with
all of the big gaping holes in the floor, didn't wanna break an
ankle or something, ouch. The cabin was dim and cool and smelled
of woodsmoke. In fact, outside of the cabin we could clearly see
white smoke drifting out of the chimney, but the weird thing was
there was no fire inside the fireplace. And I even shot an
mpeg of the smoke and the empty fireplace, but the disc it was on
got mysteriously screwed up. Of course it would be that one
that got messed up huh, arrgghh. Ah well, just one more mystery.
At one point while I was inside
taking pics, I heard a rustling from
outside, and turned in time to see some kind of black shaggy
creature go lumbering by a window! I have no idea what it was...
dog? Wolf? Bear cub? Baby sasquatch?.... I dunno, but I did
manage to snap one shot
of the critter as it streaked by. By the time I got outside, it
was nowhere to be seen, and we didn't see it again while we were
It was great to know
that the old place is still there as it has been since I played in it
as a kid... I have so many good memories of this aged cabin, such as
this one time back in my teens... I was with my siblings and a bunch
of friends on our way back from a hike and we got caught in a
downpour, so we ran to the cabin and took shelter inside. We spent the
entire rainstorm in there telling ghost stories and listening to the
drumming on the raindrops on the metal roof... it was a fun time.
So I guess you could say this old
abandoned place was quite an influence on me. I mean, look what it
lead to- a full-blown urban exploration obsession that has been with
me ever since my cousins and I first caught sight of it's gray stone
walls through the leafy green shadows.
So, let's hear it for the Upper
Canyon Cabin, a Lost Destinations classic... three cheers
baby... hip, hip, and hooray. Yeah!
Do you have any background information or stories to tell about this abandoned
to purchase one of these, or any of my other photos...?
O W N A P I E C
E O F L O S T H I S T O R Y:
of my pics are available for purchase as
high-quality prints on Kodak glossy paper, in 5x7 or 8x10 size; framing
is available. Click
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+NO PLACE LIKE