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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight

Today's photo is one that I have been looking forward to taking since I moved back to the East Coast, but I haven't had a chance until, well, until yesterday.  This photo was taken on what was formerly Route 61 near Centralia, Pennsylvania.  As you may or may not know, a mine fire started under the city in (possibly) 1962, and it is may burn for the next 250 years.  The residents of the former city have been forced to relocate as the entire area has been condemned, and today only a precious few houses and residents remain.  The State of Pennsylvania began a project in 1993 to create a detour around the area of Route 61 that was the most affected by the fire, which is a narrow, snaking road that takes motorists away from the area.  The road was blocked to vehicle traffic, however, curious onlookers and tourists can park near several places by either road block and venture (at their own risk) into the affected area.

I grew up about 20 miles from Centralia in Shamokin, and we moved from the area to Northern Indiana in 1995.  At that time I remember quite a few houses still being in the area, today what used to be the city is overgrown grass lots and remnants of roads and driveways that lead to nothing.  The cemeteries are really the only thing that is "left" of the area, beside the few houses that remain.

I took this shot with my fisheye lens, but positioned the camera vertically, rather than horizontally, in order to distort the sky.  I processed it through a variety of color and infrared filters in order to achieve, what I feel, is a "post-apocalyptic" photograph of the area.  We did see a very little bit of smoke rising from some of the cracks and were treated, a few times, to the pleasant smell of sulfur, but did not see any actual flames, unfortunately.

Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight

Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes.  Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted.  If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback.  Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire.  Thanks for stopping by!!

If you would like to read more about Centralia, I suggest reading the Wikipedia page, and then using that for additional reading materials.

(AUTHOR NOTE: The blog post title came from a child and his mother that were looking for a geo-cache near a marked guardrail in the area.  I did not get their names, but maybe they will somehow stumble across this photo!)

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