I was up at 4AM on Black Friday.
Not for the savings bonanzas or the ol’ fashioned tramplings, nor for the buyer’s remorse or the last item on the shelf fist fights.
No, like many of us I worked, but #Optedoutside the minute I got out!
Didn’t have a lot of time, with the sun being so stingy in these winter months, so a short walk to Franklin, WA, an old coal mining ghost town fit the bill.
Eh, it’s got a spooky ol’ cemetery anyway. Who needs light when you have ghosts?
We parked at the small cemetery along SE Green River Gorge Rd. and began our walk.
Someone has done a lot of work to improve the road heading up to Franklin. What has historically been a muddy grade now has a new layer of gravel on top of it.
The trails have been liberally brushed, and some sites that I hadn’t seen in a decade of visiting this place have been cleared of vegetation.
A heartfelt “Huzzah!” to the volunteers and their efforts!
We reached the graveyard after the sun had disappeared beneath the horizon. No ghosts, but plenty of ambiance.
Heading back we encountered some people who decided that dropping a road flare down the 1300′ mine shaft would be a good idea. We were just in time for the show.
The flare erupted in a magnesium flash, brilliantly contrasting the decaying twilight.
Within seconds it was gone, screaming it’s way to the bottom. A robust slap announced it’s arrival with mine’s icy waters.
Darkness. Then inexplicably a light began to flicker from the ghostly depths. A menacing glow struggled to life.
Looking down the stygian pit, pulsating red with sulfurous smoke, it really was a vision of hell.
After the flare burnt out we ambled back to the car, both of us the better for #optingoutside…
Then promptly #optedforthriftshopping at the Goodwill where I got a couple of nice merino wool sweaters, 50%off!
Head to the center of Black Diamond, WA. Turn east on Lawson Street (There is a Los Cabos and a Cenex station at the intersection) this road will change names a number of times.
Continue on this road for about 3 miles then start looking for a small graveyard on the east side of the road. This is probably the best parking available. Hike south on the road to a gated off area. This is the trailhead.