So, I've been trying to figure out a way to post stuff here regularly. I have the odd tendency to disapperate every few weeks for a few months and I don't really like that. To deal, I need to set it up such that I come back here at least once a week for some reason or another.
To do this, I've decided to put progress reports on a particular hobby of mine -- no not painting little plastic men in bright colors and makeing action sounds as I push them around -- urban exploration.
I've been doing it off and on for a while and decided, finally, to go for it head first. It's pretty fun. I rather enjoy it. It also combines two of my favorite hobbies: looking at shit and taking pictures of it.
I have a few picture galleries up right now on my photobukit but I think it would be better to start where I started when I decided to go all out on this.
So just a heads up on what it is I actually do as an urban explorer. It's basically like being an explorer -- in an urban setting -- minus the dangerous animals and subjugation of the local population to whomever it is that sends me. There is a bit of no-no involved sometimes. Please don't get me wrong, it can be dangerous. I don't mean running into crazy people, though I can see how that might be a problem, I mean the places themselves can be hazardous.
I've gone and looked at a few abandoned places from military installations on the side of a coastal mountain to an empty warehouse by the dock. One thing is common in all of them: it's fucking dirty. If this next bit wasn't obvious before, god help you: don't wear anything you aren't prepared to throw away afterward. Shit will get dirty. Still though, cover up as much as you can. Also, wear heavy pants, it's very easy to get scraped and because it's all fucking dirty, there's a good chance you'll get an infection if you get cut. Bring a scarf or respirator or anything that will cover your nose and mouth. These places are FUCKING DIRTY. Who knows how many mold spores are suspended in the air there? Wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in but also heavy. There's almost always broken glass or wood lying around. I use an old pair of hiking boots. One last bit about clothes: bring gloves. Anything with a leather palm should be fine. If you're climbing through open windows or over wire fences you want to protect your hands. Utility gloves should be fine. I use old batting gloves from when I was sure I wanted to be a baseball player.
As for finding places, google is a great place to look for potential sites to explore. One would be surprised at how much abandoned shit is just lying around. It would be depressing if the thought of exploring them wasn't so enticing.
As for how to get into said places... well... no one else on the internet is keen on tell everyone else how they get in. I'm not sure what that reason is but if pretty much everyone follows it the reason must be good. Because I fear that the reason is legal I'm going to keep my mouth shut about how I get to where I'm going.
Now for the stuff I think you're probably here for: pictures!
That's the link to my photobukit account where I put all of my better pictures.
KEE JT... I still have no idea what they meant.
I have a few of my adventures up so I'll do one a day until I'm caught up and then update the blog as I upload new pictures.
My first official Urban Expedition could hardly have been called Urban as I was on a hiking trail in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay has the odd history of having been the western wall of Fortress America since before WWI. As such there are a shit ton of abandoned outlooks, gun emplacements, and rocket stations dotted all over the Bay as well as up and down the West Coast.
Some of these places have been preserved, others have been reclaimed, others still just rot. This one was somewhere between being reclaimed and rotting.
It was a bit of a hike to get to anything even remotely resembling a gun emplacement but the walk up was quite remarkable.
There were quite a few survey markers all over the mountain and for whatever reason all of the long ribbons were pink. There was also an odd trailer that was left along the path, some reclamation experiments going on, and the odd hiker or runner.
The gun emplacement was underwhelming. The doors to the bunker were welded shut and not in a pretty way. This was the only picture I took at the bunker entrance that I didn't delete in disgust.
The lookout was slightly more pleasing but mostly because of the copious amounts of oxidized metal and the ironic peace sign painted on the dome of the lookout.
I didn't find the actual missile chamber until I started to come down off the mountain. It was totally covered in grass and weeds. It was drizzling and totally not worth the effort to try to make it look interesting.
There was a water station with a lot of cool looking pipes but that was in a field attached to a working water testing facility and I won't go into working places as a rule of thumb.
All in all, I got out of that first trip exactly what I wanted -- to know whether or not I was up for adventuring. I picked this place as my first because it was open, there was little chance of being caught and if caught it's totally vague as to whether or not one should be near the lookout. The bunker entrance is right along the trail so it was very easy to find my destination.
That was my dry run for what was and still is to come.