Tuesday, March 31, 2009

melting snow

Recently I went on a road trip with a friend of mine. Two girls, one truck and the whole day. The day we went it was warm, so the snow was melting. Perfect weather to get yourself in trouble. A good mixture of mud, slush & snow.
The day started off with a hike through thick trees to reach a stone house in thigh high snow.The house was worth it but the walk definitely was a workout.
Not to mention I walked through this snow with an expensive camera loaned to me by my boyfriend. All else fails protect the camera and that's what I did. During the day I decided to jump out of the truck and walk towards a church, I did not even think about the fact that maybe there was a road, so I walked right across the ditch. All the way up to my hips in snow I had to get pulled out by my friend and not drop the camera. The things I do to keep it safe. Here are some pictures of the best & deepest snow.
TIP: Bring lots of extra pants & socks

After this we drove down a road clearly used only in the summer. We drove over hard snow and then through snow drifts, I pointed out that this road was only used in the summer and we should turn back. Nope, she was confident we could make it through. Well here is what happens when you own a truck and are positive you will not get stuck:
TIP: Be resourceful, use anything you can find - gravel, sticks from nearby trees, cardboard & always always pack a shovel & gravel

The snow was so deep it was right up to the undercarriage, it was melting so the tires only spun; we shoveled, broke off branches, ripped cardboard & moved snow with our hands & pushed the vehicle while running so we did not get stuck in the slush - 2 girls, 1 hour & we got out. No tow truck, no help and no wasting of time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

unknown to known

I have decided to share my experience with a once intact ghost town. This ghost town only has one resident who lives at the edge of town. There were many houses all of which you could get into. They had many things left behind such as books, clothing, dishes, etc. Along the main street there was old businesses and an old bar where the paintings could still be seen on the wall. In my opinion this was a fun town to take people interested in ghost towns as everything was quite intact.
Soon enough though, it became known to many people through the internet and word mouth. The ghost hunters started coming out as well as teens to party. Before you know it, things were getting vandalized and because of the growing number of people constantly coming out the owner took action and started to demolish houses.
Once beautiful houses rich in history & memories now piles of wood. I think it was smart of the owner to demolish these houses as some were not very stable and someone could get hurt. I am glad I was able to get into all the houses & see all the belongings left behind.
Here are some photographs of the houses last year & this year.

A house full of many belongings - now every window & door boarded up

The town bar, its character defined by the truck crashed into it - truck removed & bar crumbling

Cute home full of furniture & belongings - now a pile of wood

Small one person home with basement & old food jars still on the table - now a stack of wood & belongings

Thursday, March 19, 2009

test spot

Once i find potential explorers i always take them out to a test location. I usually pick a location that is not to important to me, in case i decide i don't want to take them out again, if they come out with there friends and trash the place i wont feel so bad. Never take someone out to a large location or a place that you really enjoy going. If you take them to a larger location because you feel confident use back roads to confuse the person about where the location is, this way if they try to get there themselves they wont have a clue. Anyways, i have taken a few potential explorer's out with me and have had them fail miserably. So what really annoys me when i take someone out to a test spot?

1. making lots of noise & not knowing when to whisper
2. the suggestion of bringing a sledgehammer, "just in case"
3. the inability to climb or jump any sort of barrier/fence
4. ignoring the groups suggestions when your the "newbie"
5. the lack of knowing what "silence" is
6. being to cocky - confidence is good but there's a difference
7. talking loudly in a location where there are people outside
8. standing in front of a glass window during the day with construction workers outside the building
9. thinking you know everything
10. giving away my locations to others or posting pictures of them on the internet along with information about the exact location

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

UE partner quiz

How to find a potential exploring partner:
  1. quiz the person about the area you live in
    • if they know very little about the area they probably aren't that interested in exploring

  2. next discuss why they want to explore there interest in the hobby

    • if they can answer in a couple words then they aren't to serious

  3. ask about their experience – have they explored? Where? With whom? What kinds of locations?

    • if they have no experience but are very interested – keep asking

    • if they have experience but it includes only old farmhouses while partying or they are looking for places to quad, hang out with their friends – ditch them!

  4. ask them what they think of people posting really awesome location online for others

    • if they think its fine for all to share bring up the topic of vandalism and get their opinion on it

    • if they talk about how some should be kept secret and some shared keep them around

  5. next find out how they would get into buildings and what they would bring with them

    • if they would vandalize a building – ditch them!

    • If they want to bring things like a sledgehammer, crowbar, etc. – ditch them!

+ there are many questions you can ask a potential explorer, these are just a few of my favorites, if they pass these questions and you feel they are a good candidate then take them out to a test location

Sunday, March 15, 2009

crumbling cemeteries

I know, cemeteries technically are not part of urban/rural exploration because they aren't abandoned. Wrong. People pay money so that cemeteries are kept up (grass mowed, etc.) but sometimes this gets forgotten. Of course when this is forgotten so is the cemetery and its becomes overgrown and forgotten. Along with most churches there is a cemetery located beside them and since i have been to plenty of churches i have seen plenty of cemeteries. I wanted to share some of my cemetery pictures with you all. Some are of overgrown abandoned cemeteries, others of graves that are not cared for and some of very rural & very old cemeteries that give off an eerie feeling.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

abandoned religion - interior

As i promised i will now post the interior pictures of some abandoned churches from around the province. Enjoy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

abandoned religion - exterior

Something that has always surprised me when i go exploring is how many abandoned churches there are. I have found so many of them, most of them only missing the people. Finding a very intact abandoned church is not uncommon. Some are left open for the public to view & sometimes sign a guestbook, others are boarded up so securely there is no chance anyone will get in. I always find these churches so fascinating as most of them are very old and have held up very well against the elements. Some of them are severely vandalized but others are left alone despite the door being wide open. Today religion is not as popular as it once was in this province and churches closing in rural areas is still very common. Since i have so many pictures of abandoned churches i have chosen my favorites and split them into exterior pictures & interior pictures. I will post the exterior pictures here and on my next blog the interior.

the foundations of a church that burnt down

a raven perched on a cross on a church

a Ukrainian church

another Ukrainian church not withstanding the test of time as well

an angel, part of shrine

a very old united church, middle of nowhere, no history

another Ukrainian church hidden in the trees long abandoned

a very old Ukrainian church, boarded up & long abandoned

small church & cemetery

Friday, March 6, 2009

risk vs reward

How can one tell whether the risk is worth the reward?

Well here is my experience:
A common saying among explorers is “there’s always a way in.” This meaning that no matter what there should be a way in, even if it looks impossible. In my experience you have to look for the most obvious or the most unlikely way in.

It will either be so obvious everyone skips it as a possible way in or it is so unlikely no one wants to try it.

Usually if a building is completely locked down, boards covering the whole ground level and locks on every door, whatever is inside is worth the risk! This means that whoever owns the building is trying to protect something inside. Sometimes if I am unable to find an entrance no matter what, I wait.
I am not into vandalism but by all means others can do whatever they want. If you wait a couple days’ vandals usually break something, take off a door, break a window, tear off boards, etc. Then it is a clear way in and you didn’t do anything but take advantage of the situation.

The trick is to be quick, quiet and always make sure to scout the area in advance so you know what your up against.
Are their cops circling the area? If so, how often do they come around?
What is the closest house nearby? Is anyone there at the moment?
Has there been any recent activity around the building?
Construction workers?
Traffic? Vehicles? Other people? Etc.

Make sure you know everything you can before you try to get into a building.

On the other hand, if a building is half boarded up and pretty destroyed by the elements/people and is closely watched by the crazy farmer down the road. This is not worth it. The reward in the end will not be worth the risk you are taking.
Do some research on the location before trying to gain access. Even if you drive around the area to check things out this gives you some idea of the activity. Weigh both the risks of getting in/out and the possible reward in the end. If you are in a group make sure you vote before taking any action.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

access all areas

Here is a book that I think all explorers & those interested in the hobby should read. It is written by the famous Ninjalicious, who past away in 2005. Here are three good reasons to read the book:
1. It is all about exploring
2. very humorous
3. has a time line of exploration

So go out and buy a copy or borrow from a friend!
You can purchase a copy online: www.infiltration.org/aaa.html

Monday, March 2, 2009

road signs

Most c0mmon road signs found in Saskatchewan:
- completely faded signs
- bullet marks in a sign
- inaccurately placed signs
- signs stating the obvious
- multiple signs stating the same things
- signs that do not give a clear message
- signs with just a picture on them, etc.
- little red bump signs that do mark any major bump in the road
- hand painted signs
- rough road signs stating how many km it will last (which is usually inaccurate)

To clarify on a few of these points here are some pictures from my last major winter trip,.
note: if some of the pictures are blurry this is because the person driving the vehicle refused to stop for me to take pictures of signs for this blog


because the first two "texas gate"signs were not enough

you would think the texas gate signs would be a hint enough that there were cattle, now we get pictures

the hill was steep, we didn't need a sign to tell us that

do not enter what? the grass? maybe this is referring to drivers?

remember what I said about multiple signs? This is a prime example

the bullet shots in signs, this one is even re-enforced with a board

hand painted signs, no rattlesnakes in the winter though

is this an invitation? honestly, who puts a sign up like this

classic Saskatchewan road sign

contact me!

Popular Posts

About Me

My photo
+ most of my time is spent exploring anything abandoned whether it be industrial, a ghost town, type of hospital, an old church or others + the other part of my time is spent getting an education or drawing

About Me

My photo
+ most of my time is spent exploring anything abandoned whether it be industrial, a ghost town, type of hospital, an old church or others + the other part of my time is spent getting an education or drawing