Monday, December 3, 2012

A Visit to Dickey | 6 Comments - Click Here :

  Sad but true; its the beginning of December and there is no snow in Colorado's high country. The recent drought we are under has lowered the level of Dillon reservoir enough to once again expose the site of Dickey. Since the construction of the reservoir in 1963, only one other time (effects from the 2002 drought) has this occurred. The previous re-surfacing of Dickey was documented in the official publication of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Historical Society (The Bogies and the Loop; numbers 44 & 48).
  I paid my first visit to Dickey this week. It was really more like visiting the surface of the moon or an atomic bomb blast site. Dickey is situated near the inlet of the Blue River, and the underwater currents have changed much of the contours of the landscape. It is very difficult to locate the grade. Much of the dirt and sediment having been washed away. But the foundations of all the structures can still be seen. And for those who do their homework, they can be identified. There are also plenty of artifacts scattered about to signify what was once a vital community.
  Hopefully soon, the snow will pile up across Colorado. I also hope to have the opportunity to pay another visit in the springtime, before the run-off which will submerge Dickey once again.
~ Cowboy Up! 

The pump house and cistern.

The section/eating house.

Some of the artifacts found and placed atop a water tank footing.

The grade towards Dillon and Keystone.

The grade towards Breckenridge.

Pine Beetles have reeked devastation upon the area tree population.

Sadly, the Blue River is all but dried up.
6 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Darel, we're experiencing the same dry conditions you are--tough to see the water so low. Even in ruined form, seeing those foundations and the land does a lot to bring your project to life in my minds eye. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thank you Peter. Sorry to hear you are experiencing a drought as well. Though I'm not sold on the whole global warming thing, I do believe the planet has gone through these cycles since the beginning of time. The area which I am modeling experienced much different weather just a hundred years ago than what we see up there these days. Too much snow was the problem back then.

  2. Though it's bad that the drought has brought about the conditions, you have a great, maybe once in a lifetime opportunity to play industrial archeologist at this site Darel. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

    1. Thanks Ted. It is really neat to have this opportunity. When I began this project, I thought I might have to borrow a buddies boat to take pictures of the area for my backdrop! It was pretty windy and cold that day I was up there, so I am looking forward to Spring ( :

  3. Backdrops! Yeah that's it! Backdrops. What a great opportunity. We saw some great backdrops in Seattle last Sept. Especially Dale Kruetzer's Rio Grande Southern! Makes a huge difference in the ambiance of a layout. I'm looking forward to what you do!


    1. I'll be using the photos as painting aides. I'm not sold on the photo backdrop thing. Dale is the master at it, and I haven't seen many others that equal the fantastic work he has accomplished.
      I still admire a well painted backdrop and feel it blends with the model scenery better than photos.