By Hollis Moore
October 4, 2016
The Valle Vidal left me with an impression of ghosts. While hiking throughout the canyons the first 2 day I came across: barbed wire, remnants of hunted elk, campsite platforms, an old wooden trailer, windmills, fracking sites, dirt roads, water meters, horseshoes, logged trees, old railroads, graveyards, and the historic Ring Ranch.
At Shuree ponds, another abandoned structure, the mad-made fishing ponds were infested with algae. I came across Ryan fishing and he showed me how the trout got stuck in the algae when he released them...soon to become ghost trout. I harvested a couple pounds of the algae and dried it out (despite it’s fishy smell). When dry, the algae resembled green wool and I decided to weave the strands together. I made a hat for the ghost of McCrystal Creek and floated it downstream. In a matter of minutes the transformed back into heavy, wet slime and sank to the bottom.
Drying out algae, photo Ruth Le Gear
McCrystal Creek ghost hat
Hat lined with tarp for floatation and pH strips to take a reading of the water quality
Releasing the hat into McCrystal Creek
Floating down McCrystal Creek
Waterlogged hat sinking to the bottom of the creek