Do you see enough?

I try to take a 360-degree approach when I’m out exploring and taking pictures.

I take some shots of what I see, then turn and turn and turn, making sure I don’t miss anything.

Some places draw me back for more. Dorothy, the Atlas Mine and Rawley are my Alberta favourites. I’m keeping a mental list of Washington spots.

Sometimes I get home, look at my pictures and think, “I didn’t quite get that right.”

Or maybe, no matter how many times I turned around, I know there’s more to see.

Nighthawk pulled me back. We first visited the little ghost town in Spring 2013. I coerced My American into an afternoon road trip.

He entertained Shep while I played the shutterbug.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Bella and I visited My American in Omak, the almost-halfway point between Spokane and Kelowna. On the way back, I convinced our little girl it would be fun to take the long way home.

She isn’t quite excited by that idea yet, but this road trip was better than others because, well, LAKES.

maremma sheepdog okanogan
I suspect Maremma sheepdogs are forever thirsty and, whenever they see a lake, all they think is “THE BIGGEST WATER BOWL EVER!”

Once we jump off Hwy 97 at Tonasket, we wind along Loomis-Oroville Road, which is dotted with lakes — a sure paradise for the recreational fisherman.

The Chopaka mountains stand strong to the west as we make our way to Nighthawk, a once-bustling mining town abandoned like so many others dotting the Washington landscape.

Everything sits on private property, but if I could just … maybe for a brief … and I do. I hoped for an event similar to my recent Grand Forks experience, when the owner of the property found me trespassing and came over for a chitchat.

I suspect, however, the folks at Nighthawk have become accustomed to weirdos like me, poking around the old buildings, and they hide away. Both times I’ve visited, someone was milling about but by the time I parked the truck, only the Australian shepherd cross was there to greet me and happily accept some ear scritches.

I promised the pup I would only stay for five minutes and take nothing except pictures. He seemed OK with that, really more fascinated with talking to Bella who poked her head out the truck window to see what was up.

I posted the picture of the old brothel in the last story on Nighthawk but here she is again … because the best stories have to come from the house of ill repute, right?

ghost town brothel
The house, behind which horses feed on grass, was built in 1903, as was the Nighthawk hotel:

ghost town hotel
And there’s this little cabin:

ghost town washington
Across the street, I spy my favourite part of the journey.

Whenever I line up a similar shot, I think “Death Row.”

ghost town washington
My heart jumps a little with every whisper of wind, since I don’t want to get yelled at again. I long for someone to make an appearance so we could chat and I could learn what it’s like to live here.

But no one comes.

I head down the little dirt road to the Kaaba Texas Mine, but old mining buildings seem less interesting to me than the places where life and love happened.

Kaaba Texas mine nighthawk
There’s probably even more to see at Nighthawk, but I think I have to satisfy myself with what I’ve seen for now.


  1. Lately I keep seeing new things even if I’ve been to the spot a hundred times. I think it’s important to get out of your routines. Maybe you go to a place because you like a certain thing about it, and that’s great, but trying to look around with fresh eyes and find a few new things is great too. I do need to get out and travel more. Just tried to start financing a new Japan trip, so hopefully that happens!

  2. Beautiful pictures. My family has lived in the Nighthawk area since the 1880’s. My father owns the old cars lined up and the hotel. We do not hide from people and love to educate people about the area. But work takes most of our time away from those “not” so abandoned buildings. There is still lots of life in them and we spend every second we can there. Thank you for posting the wonderful pictures.

    1. Hi Joshua,
      Found this post when researching a quick trip through your area this coming weekend. We are from central BC, and are taking part in a US-Canadian “scavenger hunt” (the Moss Motoring Challenge) and are looking for interesting locations to document – we thought Nighthawk would make a fantastic entry. Wondering if it would be okay to stop and take a picture or two – from the photos shared here it looks really interesting. Sounds like you are okay with quiet “tourist” visitors stopping to look over the fence for a minute or two?

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