“In the 1920’s, raw uranium was ground up and mixed with drinking water or worn in packets in waistbands to cure rheumatism or other ailments.”
In the vast and empty expanse of the southern desert, the lone wanderer stumbles upon a warning sign left by a population of yesteryear.
He straps on a gas mask, and slowly proceeds to the entrance of the mines. Curiosity outweighs safety, yet he won’t linger long. Besides, he only wants to find another sign of life out here, even a nesting big-eared Townsend bat will do.
The light is too bright for the nocturnal creatures, but faint images on the mine’s ceiling and the scat on the floor point to recent life. It gives the lone wanderer a shot of hope in the desert wasteland.
He carries on through the emptiness of Capitol Reef in the December winter, searching for signs of the living, a spring of running water unpolluted by the recent decay of the human world.