Table Rock has been in my thoughts for several months now.
The last time I visited I had only a mere 20 minutes to walk through the empty village and photograph the first images that caught my attention! I had promised myself, like always, that I would return to this little forgotten community of rural decay to further explore it with my camera.
So here I am, again.
I parked Simone, my trusty ford, at an abandoned nearby gas station about 1/2 mile away. There were signs all over the place stating “No Trespassing” and I really don’t know if the company still sends people to check on the area or not. Plus there wasn’t anything to provide proper cover for Simone. The entire development is easily viewed from the Interstate and I was aiming to be a little more stealthy than I have been in the past.
The plan was to focus more on details that I had missed during my previous visit and to venture inside a couple of the houses. I didn’t enter any of them last time due to the time restraints.
Once inside the development I made the decision to again NOT go inside. With more time on my hands to really take in the details of my surroundings I can see all the evidence of squatters. First I look into the ground floor windows of the “big house” at the entrance of the housing development and saw several sleeping bags and other personal objects laying about. Later, in other houses, I found unbroken windows with blankets hung up to keep light out, and more personal objects suggesting that there were a group of people possibly still squatting.
Out of respect for their privacy and personal space, I decided to remain outside. My thoughts were that these people don’t know me or what my intentions are and I don’t wish to put them into a situation where they may feel that they have to react defensively. Interestingly the last time I was here I recalled having an intense feeling that I was being watched by a few of the houses. Perhaps I actually was… I never did see anyone while I was there, only their belongings.
– Later on I learned that there has been a large problem not just with squatters in the village but also people illegally using the space for Meth Labs. The isolation and desert landscape makes this empty community of houses a target for some illicit activity. Knowing this makes me feel grateful that I had followed my instincts and remained outside, despite my curiosity.
From what I had seen through the windows it looked rather cozy inside. The carpet was still plush looking and some rooms still had their walls fully intact. Several of the houses looked as though they had been thoroughly gutted and terribly abused. While other houses appeared to have been spared some of the same cruel treatment. Perhaps because these houses were the houses people choose to dwell inside?
I took my time walking around the neighborhood, poking my head behind houses and over fences. Looking for clues of what life was like before everyone left. Keeping an eye out for any sort of security, there was a brief moment when I thought for sure someone was driving toward the village to find me but it was a blessed false alarm. my guess is that the residents left maybe around ten years ago and it looks like there was at one point several other houses that no longer exist. There were a few cement foundations left in the center along with open lots and small fences.
The solitude and stillness of Table Rock Road was intense! Near the end of my visit I found myself stopping and sitting in the middle of the road itself listening to the din of the birds and sharp buzz of a few insects. The sun was warming and a gentle breeze was calming. I could have spend hours there relaxing and meditating at the spot.
And now, after looking through my photos and writing about my experience, I look forward to visiting it again with different lighting and mindset