This is a yearly explorer meet-and-greet event I host each October at a vacant farm in Galena, Illinois. This was the first year the event was extended to include the entire weekend beginning Friday night unlike previous years when the party was only on Saturdays. Organized groups went to explore caves and abandoned mine workings in the region both on Friday night and also during the day on Saturday. All guests camped in the large field at the vacant farm. Bonfires were made each night and lots of people got to know each other better. Late on Saturday night we took the largest group ever to explore the abandoned zinc mine known as Pits Cave (a Clocktoberfest tradition) and it was an overwhelming success. We had lots of explorers travel all the way to Galena, Illinois from the Twin Cities, Minnesota (the majority of attendees), a bunch from the Des Moines area in Iowa, and a bunch of people from across the state of Wisconsin (Lacrosse, Madison, Appleton, Platteville). This was the biggest and most successful Clocktoberfest ever with 30 attendees!
Setting the bar at new high (and low), SPANDex broke all of the boundaries for what a UE convention should and shouldn't be. With attendees ranging from local n00bs to world-traveling international explorers (and everywhere in between), SPANDex wanted to show what it means to be an explorer here and today in MSP, and why this is the place to be. More than just another reason for locals to get together, this was a moment to show off who we are, and why we act the way we do, both on and offline. And in the process we made plenty of new friends who likely will never be able to separate the MSP community from their own views of what urban exploring can be. They are now part of our extended family, and will always be welcome here. Approx. number of attendees - 40 or more over the weekend.
Crashing restaurants... throwing cave parties... exploring collapses, rooftops, sewers, tunnels, underground boating expos, deathshaft rappels, plus plenty more pre-game & after party happenings.
...And you'd have to have been here to know the rest...
On November 20th through the 22nd of 2015, explorers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri joined forces to tackle several amazing locations in southern Wisconsin. Wipex 2: The Third One proved to be a great success!: A snowy bonfire behind an old feed mill. A gigantic religious school complex. Steam tunnels of both active and abandoned status. A major automobile manufacturing plant.. Many beers were drank. Birthdays were celebrated. Friendships were made and strengthened.
The first Clocktoberfest occurred in 2007, as a campout and exploring meetup for Iowa and Minnesota urban explorers. Over the years, this annual event has expanded and become a traditional institution for Midwest urban explorers. Through the communal aspect of this meetup, familial bonds have been built linking the Twin Cities urban exploration community with exploring communities in Kansas City, Madison, Appleton, Chicago, Rockford, and many other Midwestern strongholds. This year was the first time Cincinnati explorers joined in the festivities. Activities this year included Union Park ruins and cave, a large group rafting excursion to "Floaty Boaty" mine, smaller group exploration trips to abandoned power plants and breweries nearby, and of course the traditional Pits Cave.