Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ghost Towns and Gunfights

Yesterday, we decided we'd had enough "normal" Saturdays, so I managed to convince Becca and Eli that we could have fun visiting a few ghost towns in the area.

For those of you who don't know, Utah has quite a few ghost towns, mining boom towns and railroad towns that dwindled as quickly as they started up when the ore became scarce/difficult to mine or the railroad stopped using that stretch of line. Many of these old ghost towns are nothing more than a graveyard and a smattering of old foundations. Luckily, there are a few that still have some standing structures from the period when these towns were in their hay day.

We went to Ophir, Utah, in Tooele County. Ophir isn't a TRUE ghost town, because there are some people living there - as of the 2000 census, there are 23 people living in the down (the population fell from 25 in 1990 - wikipedia link).

The road to Ophir cuts through a winding canyon from the west side of the beautiful Oquirrh Mountains. Other than a small ranch at the mouth of the canyon, as you drive up the road, there is hardly any indication that there is a town at the top. After about 5-10 minutes of driving up the road, we came to a sign that told us "Welcome to Ophir! Quiet hourse between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM"

Becca was pretty much freaking out that the people who lived here were psycho murderers who were going to kill us, so we didn't get out of the car, we just slowly drove through town taking in the scenery. I'm kicking myself for not taking our camera - but here are a couple of web pages that have some of the highlights of the town:

From and

If you get a chance, browse through these sites, pick a destination, and take a weekend to explore some of these places.


After exploring the ghost town, "hunting" for rabbits at Eli's request, and visiting the Haight family in Tooele, we picked up some of the coolest things ever:These nerf guns are soooooo much fun. They have light sight that activates when you depress the trigger a little bit, allowing more accurate fire so you can be sure to hit your opponent in the eye (even if they are wearing glasses *wink wink* - Link) We bought three of them, with extra whistling darts, to strike fear into the hearts of our opponents, and then went home and declared Jihad on each other. Basically, my superior combat skills lead to Becca and Eli forming an alliance against me. Becca shamelessly and unethically used Eli for cover as a human shield, but I deprived her of this tactic by shooting at them regardless. Eli also discovered that if he was out of darts, his best option was to revert to hand to hand combat and attack me with a combination of tickling me until I curl up into the fetal position, then kicking me until his mother calls him off. After about an hour of battle we decided to hold a cease fire until the next day.


Laurie said...

Shooting bunnies at ELI'S request???? ha ha ha.
Your trip sounds like fun though!

Becca Jo said...

Sorry that I had to keep shooting you in the neck! :) I think this post shows the maturity level in our household? I wonder if it came as a surprise to anyone.

Scar Belly said...

For Laurie:

First, it WAS Eli who requested to go bunny hunting! Becca, please back me up on this one.

Granted, I had brought guns, ammo, hearing protection, was wearing boots for hunting, kept looking for bunnies as we drove down the road, etc...

But is was ELI who said, "Daddy, are we going to shoot rabbits?"

I asked him, "Do you WANT to shoot bunnies?"

He said, "YES!!!"

To me, that constitutes a request ;-)

Second - yes, it was tons of fun; I recommend you go visit some ghost towns!


Regarding Becca's comment...

I forgot to mention that Becca likes to shoot me in the face/neck as a means of showing me that it's "wrong" to shoot her in the face/neck.

What she fails to realize I that when she shoots me in the face/neck, her exceptional accuracy makes her appear incredibly attractive to me and that's all I can think about.