I made it to the library three times during my week in Byers. While I was engulfed in the animal books for much of my visit, I spent time looking through the Colorado and local collections. It was fascinating to look through the ‘then and now’ photographs of places I have (and have not been) in my home state. It also offered an opportunity to reflect on the road trip that happened weeks before, where we visited and passed multiple places in various stages of effect from the oil, gold, or coal boom. It can be easy for these instances to remain independent in my mind, though there are far to many similarities among them to hold meaning on their own. I live in a state whose history and current events lay in the midst of industry booms, and this couldn’t help but make another connection; and couldn't help but feel somewhat protective of this state and its dwindling remoteness.
“I didn’t admit this at the time –the bust was causing too much misery around me –but I loved the collapse. I loved seeing the boomers leave town… because I thought it meant rural Colorado would remain a backwater.”
- This quote was found in one of the Colorado anthology type books at the library, referencing the demise of a coal mining town in western Colorado.