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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

Mission: Abandoned Mill

Debrief:
About a month ago, we did some quick recon on a local mill. You can read about that right here. We went back last night, but before I get to that part of the story, there were a few other things that happened first.

I was sitting at home watching TV last night (around 8pm) and the phone rings. My buddy wants to do a mission and wants to know if I'm in. We agree to meet up around 10:30pm at our usual spot. Before I get off the phone, he asks if I would have a problem with him bringing along a woman he met on Craig's List.

His words to me were "She seems cool, she thinks the urban exploration thing sounds interesting, and she's not crazy like that other chick I brought that one time. Are you ok with it?"

Now, I'm not one to deny a friend in need, and I figure if he vouches for her, then she's probably cool. "Sure, why not?" I tell him.

I've picked up some new gear since the last mission. New boots, breathing masks, an extra flashlight (*with red LEDs even) and more batteries, so I pack my bag, grab my boots and a jacket.

*The red LEDS help preserve your night vision while still giving you enough light to see by. Red light also diffuses a lot sooner than white light, so there is less likelihood of getting spotted.

I show up and spot the other guys in the parking lot as I'm pulling in. A quick text message to the last guy lets him know we're there and waiting for him to come out. He comes out alone and it's pretty apparent that something is wrong. At this point I figured his pre-mission date didn't go too well and she bailed. Sadly, I couldn't have been more wrong.

He gets us all together and says "Guys, she's still here, but there's a problem. She doesn't look like her picture at all and she's a lot older than I expected... and I think she might be a prostitute! As soon as she got here, she started grabbing me and trying to get me to have sex with her. She also won't answer any personal questions at all."

After we all stopped laughing at him, the look on his face told us he was totally serious and totally freaked out. So we all went in and stood around for a few minutes, awkward introductions were made and a few of the guys decided to go smoke. I'm not sure what the plan was, if there was one. I guess we assumed she would get spooked and leave. She didn't.

Several half-hearted attempts at giving her an easy out were made, but she wasn't taking advantage of them so we said to hell with it and decided to gear up and go. This was the biggest group so far, with 6 people total, so we ended up taking two cars. Our buddy and the hooker ended up riding with me. I tossed anything important in the trunk and kept my bag with me. I don't know that she would steal anything, but didn't know she wouldn't either.

On the way there, we tried making some casual conversation (in between trying to scare her off with horror stories of giant raccoons, toxic gas, crazed scrappers, giant spiders and bad smells) in the car but she wasn't giving up any details about her life.

Eventually, we got to our first destination. We had explored about half of this place in depth a few weeks ago, as detailed here, but really wanted to check out the rest of it. Having learned our lesson from the first visit, we parked in a different spot and approached from the other end. This was a much better choice since there was less visibility from the road and an easier, more casual walk.

Unfortunately, upon reaching the entrance we used previously, we discovered it was sealed up pretty tight. We could have gotten it open eventually, but it would have been loud and hard work and we didn't have the necessary tools. After a quick discussion, we decided to leave it to the vandals or tagger gangs to pry open and we'd just keep an eye on it... checking back in a few weeks.

Up to this point, the hooker had done a pretty good job of keeping quiet, so other than being mildly weirded out by her presence, she wasn't causing us any problems. She also never strayed more than 4-5 feet from our buddy, so she was mostly just his problem to deal with. It was still relatively early (just before midnight) so this meant it was time for Plan B.

We still had that old mill we did recon on last month (see link at top) so we decided to head out there. After some more driving, we found a suitable place to park (same spot as before, actually) and grabbed our gear. This was a slightly longer walk with increased exposure, due to the bicyclists. As we approached the entrance on foot, we spotted a couple of people on bikes up ahead so we kept walking and waited for them to pass. Eventually we doubled back, keeping an eye out for anyone else, and stepped into the shadows.

The walk to the back of the property was uneventful and quick, and we found our original point of entry without any hassle. The door was shut and moderately stuck, but not sealed. We got it open pretty quickly and filed inside...

The first floor was pretty much exactly as I remembered it... covered in trash and bird crap and of course it smelled like hell. I was definitely glad I brought the breathing masks. Unfortunately I didn't have enough for everyone to have one. Since we'd seen everything on this floor already, we decided to head upstairs and check out the rest.

As we ascend the metal stairs, we get a feel for just how big this place really is, and how high up we're going to be. They were really rickety and open so we tried to distribute our weight across several flights. Like everything else, they were rusty and covered in bird crap, so you definitely wouldn't want to be the last person climbing these stairs, unless you're wearing a helmet and goggles.

From the second floor and up, the graffiti started getting progressively better. The floors were also a bit more hazardous, with scattered holes and the occasional weak sounding area covered in bird crap. Gradually, we scoped out each floor, photographing the graffiti and various abandoned machinery. There was some really cool stuff in here, including an open elevator shaft that was a quick trip to certain death if anyone were to fall or get pushed into it. We also found the occasional open door or window that would result in a nasty fall.

After several more floors, and open flights of stairs, we reached some interesting features...

One floor had a door that led to a partial roof, which aside from some graffiti also had a ladder on the side of the building reaching all the way up to the top roof. I would estimate that ladder went at least an additional 50 feet (possibly more) from the lower roof to the upper roof, with little more than circular bands to catch you if you slip or fall. Unfortunately, the door leading to the lower roof has stuck (or possibly sealed) shut.

On one of the landings, I found a door leading to a confined space. I slid the door open and let it air out some (in case there was a gas buildup) then peeked in. Turns out the door led to a very long "bridge" connecting this with the adjacent building. It was too far to see the end of it with our flashlights. Deciding to save this for another day (with better equipment and less people) we resumed our trek ever upward.

One of the top floors had some really huge pieces of equipment. There wasn't enough room to get decent photos of the equipment in a single shot. As I crossed this room, my light startled some pigeons and they made a hell of a racket trying to get out through the windows. They also managed to crap all over the place as they were leaving. I thought this was pretty funny, but it really freaked out some of the guys (and the hooker.)

Eventually, after spending a couple hours there, we decided that we had pushed our luck enough and it was time to go. One of the guys ascended the last 2 flights of stairs to the top floor for a very quick look around. He didn't spot anything resembling roof access so we didn't make it outside this time, unfortunately.

Heading down the rickety stair case was mostly easy, as long as you didn't look up (too much falling debris) or down (too damn scary.) We got down to the first floor without incident and made our way back to the cars.

The ride back to the meetup point was pretty quiet, and we all went inside to figure out what to do next. Usually we hit a bar after a mission, but it was nearly 2am and not much was open. We hung out for a bit, figuring she would eventually leave, since my buddy was obviously uncomfortable being alone with her at this point. After a while, it was apparent she was getting irritated at our continued presence so we opted to go hang out outside and wait for him to "tell her the deal." We had been waiting about half an hour when he came out (alone, again) and explained that she was really upset because he wasn't interested in her, and that "nobody ever rejected her" before. At this point, given the amount of (nonbillable) time she had wasted with us and the general absurdity of the situation, we were pretty sure she wasn't actually a hooker, just crazy. He stood outside and talked to us for a few minutes until he started getting scary text messages from her and went back inside.

Expecting to see the windows get blown out in a ball of flame any second, the rest of us hung out for a bit longer after he went back in. Unfortunately, our presence (even outside) was making her even more unhinged and she totally lost her shit... so he sent us a text message to go ahead and leave.

Judging from the email I got this morning, he did eventually get rid of her but not before she threw herself at him repeatedly and more or less pronounced them soulmates. I guess it's not a good mission night if there isn't a psycho involved.

Posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 6:25 PM Urban Exploration | Back to top


Comments on this post: more Sunday Night Fun

# re: more Sunday Night Fun
Requesting Gravatar...
Any story that contains with "He met her on craisglist" cant end well.
Left by Rodman on Sep 16, 2008 3:39 AM

# re: more Sunday Night Fun
Requesting Gravatar...
These stories are always great (I always drop everything and read them when I notice a new post in my reader) but the psycho "Hooker" totally brought this to the next level.

Forwarding link to friends...
Left by Rich on Sep 16, 2008 2:29 PM

# re: more Sunday Night Fun
Requesting Gravatar...
Glad you guys enjoy them. I always appreciate the feedback. Should be doing some recon on new locations soon... so I'll keep you posted.
Left by Chris G Williams on Sep 16, 2008 2:42 PM

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