drop out and cop out

photosfromtheabyss:

by far the most dangerous place i have ever explored is this abandoned cement plant. before i went, a fellow rurexer who had visited several years prior warned me, ‘watch your step’… i assumed that he was being condescending, because, well, yes. you should always watch your step. but actually getting into this place gave me a whole new appreciation for watch your step. dozens of holes which opened into underground storage areas with a drop of twenty feet. rounds of barbed wire lay haphazardly about the property. several places that i nearly fell, and since dropcop and myself separated as soon as we got onto the property, nobody to know where i was should i get knocked unconscious- which seemed to be a fairly effortless task in such a place.

the abundance of graffiti decorating the crumbling walls led me to believe that many people had seen this place and trekked here specifically for the purpose to leaving their art. like most art, it ranges from juvenile, to banal, to truly beautiful.

judging by a quick search on the internet, it’s a popular place for explorers like dropcop and myself, too: folks who are intrigued by the structures left behind long after the people have vanished. it’s easily spotted from a very busy interstate- and, in fact, it had been on my list of places to check out for almost fourteen years.

it’s easy to pretend you’re in a post-apocalyptic game in this place. the surreal landscape, the flutter of pigeons, the rusty clinking of unseen metal. the constant paranoia and feeling of being watched.

this is honestly one of the only locations that i— a hella loose-lipped, liberal-minded explorer— would never, ever send someone to, regardless of level of expertise or preparedness. it’s cool but not cool enough to warrant the enormous danger it presents. if you know where this spot is, go ahead and snap a few shots from the bottom of the driveway, but man holy shit, do not go near it. it’s covered in evidence of local teens and it AMAZES me that those kids don’t periodically die or lose limbs messing around there.

we passed exactly one other car on the small service road that leads to this place on our way in, and nobody else drove by the twenty minutes or so we were here. we got back in the car and were driving for maybe a minute and a half when two things happened simultaneously: molly spotted a pear tree on the side of the road and said “hey, pears! d’you wanna see if they’re ripe?!” AND a cop car came at us from the other direction. he circled back to find us pulled over, hands full of unripe pears. fortunately we’re adorable white women, so he accepted our “WE JUST WANTED TO EAT THESE ROADSIDE FRUITS, SIR” explanation without even blinking and then u-turned again, probably to park where adventuresintheabyss had been parked just minutes before to make sure we didn’t try any funny business. funny business concluded, sir, emphatically. the only time i’ve ever been relieved to see cops watching a place.

"As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me."

— Woody Guthrie, former patient at Greystone Park State Hospital; redacted from the “final” version of “This Land is Your Land” due to political pressure upon Guthrie. (via ianference)

adventuresintheabyss:

top, summer of 2013. (taken by me) bottom, summer of 2014. (taken by dropcop)

every year things change. reminders of the passage of time. nature reclaims all, takes that which we have stolen from it and reshaped as creations of our own. breaks down wood of dead trees carved into the shape of boards, disintegrates fabric woven from plant fibers, corrodes the minerals taken from the earth and forged into metals for hinges and nails.

his handwriting fades.

saplings grow between the detritus of a life abandoned.

the earth settles.

a stranger has been here, between the last time I visited and this time. they moved items. hung up the gritty old army jacket, and took the red candle which sat on the remnants of his bed. otherwise, left things undisturbed.

my imagination runs rampant.

photosfromtheabyss:

dropcop in action.
dropdoesdamage:

photosfromtheabyss:

the meade hotel in bannack, montana is creepy. not because it’s “haunted”, but rather because the ceilings are just high enough that it creates a disquieting feeling in anybody who walks its hallways. the slope of the floors is slightly disorienting, and the surprise of seeing such a huge, vacant (but clean) space causes an uncomfortable feeling in a visitor- particularly if you’re there at night, and are one of the few people in a hundred-mile radius. combined with the distant flash and rumble of a storm moving east across the mountains and prairie, and it was a truly special context in which to explore this beautiful, eerie piece of history.
so far as people’s impressions that it’s “haunted”, i would suggest that maybe an old building is prone to have drafts (“cold spots”) and obviously you will hear the laughter of children in a place that’s frequented by tourists with small children. (especially if it’s built in a valley- like bannack is- and the sound of people that you might not even see is carried through the streets and bounces off hills and buildings.) the fact that doors move “on their own” is no surprise- strong, frequent winds are liable to whip through the building and pull doors closed (or push them open if not securely latched), and the whole town is built with the slightest angle downhill toward the creek.

any other phenomena experienced inside the old meade hotel— the feeling that you are being watched by an invisible occupant, the sensation of a cold finger running up your spine when no one is there, the growing suspicion that the walls are quivering with tension, stretched fractionally higher each passing moment by some unseen force, while you are being inversely diminished, hushed, smothered— can easily be attributed to the late hour and gloaming light, and weariness from a long day on the road.
surely better to stay a while, and rest.

dropdoesdamage:

photosfromtheabyss:

the meade hotel in bannack, montana is creepy. not because it’s “haunted”, but rather because the ceilings are just high enough that it creates a disquieting feeling in anybody who walks its hallways. the slope of the floors is slightly disorienting, and the surprise of seeing such a huge, vacant (but clean) space causes an uncomfortable feeling in a visitor- particularly if you’re there at night, and are one of the few people in a hundred-mile radius. combined with the distant flash and rumble of a storm moving east across the mountains and prairie, and it was a truly special context in which to explore this beautiful, eerie piece of history.

so far as people’s impressions that it’s “haunted”, i would suggest that maybe an old building is prone to have drafts (“cold spots”) and obviously you will hear the laughter of children in a place that’s frequented by tourists with small children. (especially if it’s built in a valley- like bannack is- and the sound of people that you might not even see is carried through the streets and bounces off hills and buildings.) the fact that doors move “on their own” is no surprise- strong, frequent winds are liable to whip through the building and pull doors closed (or push them open if not securely latched), and the whole town is built with the slightest angle downhill toward the creek.

any other phenomena experienced inside the old meade hotel— the feeling that you are being watched by an invisible occupant, the sensation of a cold finger running up your spine when no one is there, the growing suspicion that the walls are quivering with tension, stretched fractionally higher each passing moment by some unseen force, while you are being inversely diminished, hushed, smothered— can easily be attributed to the late hour and gloaming light, and weariness from a long day on the road.

surely better to stay a while, and rest.

Roadtrip, 8/22. A home in eastern Washington, flanked by two guardian trees. The southeastern tree flourishes; the northwestern tree is skeletal and long-dead.