Weathered sign: Visit Molson Museum

A little more than a century later, a passenger bus drove along the sun bleached road which cut through broad swaths of gently rolling patchwork fields that stretched into the distance in every direction. A Hitchcockian murmuration of swallows flew in a swirling aerial ballet over the tombstones of an old graveyard. The coach stopped at a wide-sweeping highland plateau. Eleven-year-old Astrid stepped out while removing earbuds to hug her grandmother, Pearl. The tech-savvy girl visited each summer and at Christmas, a magical time with over a foot of snow on the ground, but this year she had grown old enough to ride the bus to the Inland Northwest by herself.

As Grandmother's car pulled away from the bus stop, a cardboard cutout of the girl's uncle wearing a throwback suit waved at them with a motorized arm like a metronome. The two-dimensional effigy bore a striking resemblance to his land swindling great-grandfather advertising guided tours of the historic ghost town.

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