Hot day! Hot location! A hot vehicle?
Forgotten Tennessee’s Jerry Winnett, and Jay Farrell, went south to Alabama again.
In the beginning of June we’d gone to Montgomery, Alabama in search of “Abando Gold” but came up empty. On our way back we stopped in Birmingham and found ourselves looking at a 9 story, empty hospital. Huge, was the best way to describe the building, hell the campus really. Pulling into a space in front of the hospital we got our equipment ready and with cameras clicking we began to explore. I’ll tell you more about that initial trip later. It wasn’t a lengthy exploration. We had’nt brought flashlights and after about an hour of exploring we deemed it too dangerous to go on without better light than what was offered by our phones.
No, this is just a teaser. I will be writing a much longer entry about Carraway later. For now I am going to write a small tale of warning about exploring abandoned places. The dangers of exploration are plenty. Venomous spiders, bugs that like to suck blood, and rats of course. I and a friend once came across a pit bull in an abandoned structure, luckily it was a friendly dog. Unseen nails are a constant danger, they can go through a show like a knife through butter. Glass, metal splinters, insulin needles, and more are a real threat to every part of your body as are weak floors that can drop you into a world of hurt. Ceilings, stairwells, and walls are also a concern. What stood just fine for years can without warning collapse.
People. Yes, people are a danger that is seldom considered enough. This can be a terrible mistake, fatal even. In my explorations I have come across squatters, travelers and assorted other homeless people. Lucky for me they’ve been harmless, a few were even very helpful. But you never know when you might run into the exact opposite. Violently, mentally disturbed individuals are out there. Trigger happy squatters, drug addicts, and more can be found wandering the places we like to shoot.
In this cautionary tale however, it was the discovery of a possibly stolen truck that Jay and I discovered in a hallway in the rotunda section of the hospital that alarmed us. An older, beaten up, pick-up truck was tightly lodged in a hallway. Initially when I’d spied the truck I didn’t really pay attention to it. For all I knew the truck could’ve belonged fellow explorers or drone pilots. As I drew closer however I noticed the truck’s passenger side was ground up against the wall. Whilst I continued to shoot I could feel heat coming off the truck’s hood from almost a foot away. I stepped back and stopped to consider the situation. Someone had purposefully taken a large Chevy Work Truck and ground it up against a wall deep inside an abandoned hospital’s hallway and left it. Oh, and said truck was still hot, painfully hot; perhaps in more ways than one.
This was a new experience for both Jay and myself. We were likely standing beside a possibly stolen vehicle inside an abandoned hospital. Great. And if the truck was stolen? Where might the folks be who stole the truck? On our previous trip we’d met drone pilots in the same area. In another building close by we’d run into a squatter. The chance of the drone pilots, or the squatter, giving us trouble were pretty low. Car thieves though? Who knows how such a scenario might play out? Would a car thief be dangerous? Perhaps running to escape the law for something worse than stealing a truck? Might they just be some person out on a joy ride ?Or maybe this truck belonged to somebody looking for scrap in the hospital? No way to tell, really. Wisely, we chose to move along to another section of the hospital. Somewhere safer, like the morgue.
I’ve said it before that exploring abandos is not safe, its not smart, but we do it anyway for the thrill of the experience. We also do this to amaze and tantalize those who follow our adventures.