We hit the brakes and pulled a u-turn!

Jay and myself had decided to take a trip to Alabama in search of abandoned gold to photograph. We were giving the back roads of Montgomery, Alabama a second shot and so far had come up empty. This isn’t to say we’d not spotted some abandoned places.

We’d seen a school that looked abandoned but alas, it wasn’t. There were more than a few abandoned places on the side of 231 as well but they didn’t meet our standard of “Abandoned Gold”. They just looked broken. All that changed as we went down a hill and saw to our right a truly odd sight. A concrete Yurt? It was all I could think to call the rounded structure we’d passed. Slamming on the brakes we came to a stop and did a quick u-turn back to the drive way to this curious sight!

Small windows crowned the top of the building, small, almost like arrow slits. This was, to say the least, a bit odd and made even more so by the very ordinary deserted trailer sitting back behind the circular house.

I picked my way through the overgrowth to the narrow doorway, but since the door wasn’t closed I didn’t need to knock or push it open to gain entry to a sight that was much weirder than the building’s outside. Immediately upon entering the “Round House” were two deep hand dug pits. Easily eight to ten feet deep they were. The pit to my left was topped by an overhanging structure that I could only assume held a bedroom of some sort, maybe more than one. Trash and assorted debris filled the pit.

The pit to the right wasn’t quite as deep and had hand carved steps leading into it. The shape of the pit and the steps leading into it screamed “Pool”. On the treads of the steps were old copies of National Geographic, and other assorted publications, yellowed with age.

Crumbling between these pits I found myself walking across a narrow bridge that looked to slowly be crumbling. I cross this bridge all the while shooting and hoping this would not be the day the dirt bridge would give u the ghost. Being buried under hundreds of pounds of red Alabama dirt in a bizarre house in the wilds wasn’t my idea of an ideal death. Luckily for myself and Jay the dirt was strong and well packed.

A giant spool that once held electrical wire was now a table.
A loft for living quarters? Who knows?

I found myself looking around a wide-open space with a peaked ceiling that maybe was fifteen feet or more above us supported by a lone metal pole. There were large gaping holes in the ceiling and the light coming through made me feel a bit more comfortable and I began to move about shooting at whatever caught my attention.

An old television sat upon a pile of debris almost directly under the holes in the roof. The placement of the blank screen staring up into the large holes brought to mind an altar of some sort. Weird, I know. You had to be there. A giant wooden reel that had once held metal cable around its girth had been painted and re-purposed as a makeshift table. Upon this sat a bloated old tome, a Bible, other knick-knacks were strewn about.

An old family album lay open, some kind of fake house plant lay next to this. Nothing too creepy, if you disregarded the body-less Cupid’s head that was no bigger than a Cue ball. No, not creepy at all.

Jay and I kept shooting as we explored through the Round House’s rubble all the while voicing our opinions on what this place may have been years ago. Was it somebody’s attempt at a swank bachelor’s pad? Or was it meant to be a place for kids and teens to hang out? Could it have at one point been a Biker’s Club? We had no way to know. All we did know was the place had been empty a very long time. More than one TV from the late 80’s lay broken on the floor. The National Geographics went back to the 1970’s. There were some old computers too. They were dinosaurs whose drives used five-and-a-half-inch floppy disks (Google this kids if you don’t know what these were). At the end we walked out of the Round House with questions but no answers. But really, that’s part of the attraction to finding “Abandoned Gold”. Not every mystery has an answer, and that’s fine. It allows our minds to play.