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UER Forum > Journal Index > Slim Jim's mission logs > Local UE (There really are places to explore out here in Ah-Wah!) (Viewed 2405 times)
Local UE (There really are places to explore out here in Ah-Wah!)
entry by Slim Jim 
7/22/2004 2:29 AM

Although there's a decent number of places to explore around here, I don't spend much time exploring them because I don't know any local explorers (there probably are none), and I'm usually gone on weekends. But this weekend, I decided to stick around and get caught up with lots of random things that I've been meaning to do for a while, get ready for the upcoming trip to the east coast, and explore some places.

Emma drove up and met me in town, and we headed out to an active mental home in a nearby small town which I had discounted in the past because it was active, but was worth a scouting trip, at least. But, to the contrary, we were only there for about 5 minutes when we discovered a way into a decent-sized abandoned building. It had a basement, 2 main floors, and an attic. The main floors were mostly empty, but there was a pile of old stuff in a room right next to the front door. Lots of old toys, scary kids' books, sandals that make you bounce (Emma knew the real name for these, but I have a bad memory), and many more. In the front entry, a scary toy which remotely resembled a yellow snowman greeted visitors from above. I picked it up, and it made a scary jingling noise. In a different setting, it would've been an ordinary child's toy, but here, it was almost ominous.

The rest of the first floor was mostly empty, with a few junked items in one of the main halls in the first floor, and some computer equipment the hospital had used a few years back in the room symmetrically opposite it. This building was shaped like a T, and in the short leg of the T on the first floor, there was a room with bouncy balls on the floor. We had fun throwing these balls off the floor, and at each other, but when they rebounded off the ceiling they bounced back in the same direction that they came from, instead of at an equal angle in the opposite direction, like they teach you in physics class. That added to the ominousity of the setting. After our attention spans ran out on the bouncy balls, we checked out the rest of the building. The upstais was mostly empty but featured a library with a sign proclaiming "The Library. A place to grow." on it. Wasn't one of Ah-Wah's old slogans "Iowa: A place to grow?" It sounds really...can't think of the word right now, but it shows how incredibly boring our state is, and how naive many of the people are that live here.

We did see evidence of steam tunnels on campus, but no practical way of getting inside them, and the abandoned building didn't connect. In front of a neighboring abandoned building, we popped a metal plate in the sidewalk, only to find a crawl tunnel full of cobwebs which dead-ended.

We went back to Waterloo and headed over to 3 abandoned houses in a row in da ghetto, with mock curtains and decorations painted on some of the boarded up windows to imitate an occupied house. Broadway, in Gary, Indiana, has mock decorations painted on the windows of almost every building. And almost every building on Broadway in Gary, Indiana is abandoned.

Two of the houses were secure, but the third, largest, and only brick house, was wide open. We went inside and wandered around the rooms. It featured five apartments - two on ground floor, two upstairs, and one in the basement. Then we headed over to Waterloo's crown jewel of UE, a large abandoned factory complex. Most of this complex is comprised of rows of low, empty factory buildings. There are offices along one edge of the factory.

We entered via the usual, inconspicuous route, and proceeded through the buildings in a direction that I had never taken before in my half-dozen or so visits to the place. In one building, there was a pile of large bags, maybe 50 gallon or so, that were filled with air. I jumped on one of them, expecting it to pop or deflate, but ended up dancing around on top of the unstable bag for about 5 seconds before falling flat on my butt. Emma was cracking up.

After I had regained consciousness (ok, it wasn't really that bad) and admitted defeat to the bag, we headed over toward the offices. On the way, we climbed up to a catwalk above one of the manufacturing halls, which featured a row of high-voltage fuse boxes. Since the opposite end of the catwalk didn't have a ladder, we used our monkey skills to climb down, across a large piece of equipment (not sure what it was), over to the roof of an office, then back down a ladder. Across the next room and outside, we headed up a long ramp. I wanted to show Emma an upstairs room filled with cages. But when we got to the double door at the top of the ramp, we both heard an echoing voice coming from inside. It sounded like it was close, but I couldn't tell for sure.

Without thinking twice, we ran off and disappeared. Emma thought it sounded like a police scanner. After she said that, my suspicion was that neighbors had reported noises coming from the factory (we had walked across a parking lot close to some houses), but some co-workers I spoke to raised the idea that it might have been a meth lab. I can see why a drug dealer would choose that location - it was in an out of the way corner of a factory that was hardly ever visited. And I couldn't fathom why the police would be in that particular room, of all the places in the factory. If they were looking for us, they would be downstairs, in the big halls. That room was practically a dead end. Now I want to go back there, peek through the door, find out if it is a meth lab, and report it if it is. I'm fairly liberal when it comes to most drugs, but meth is a little too scary, and it wouldn't be nice to see the place go up in flames from the meth lab, if it was one. But then again, drug dealers are dangerous, and I probably won't get around to going back there with everything else that's going on right now. But it's hard to leave a mystery like that unsettled. We'll never know what was behind that door.

On the way home, we stopped at the Stinky Fridge apartments, which I had explored with a couple of the Minneapolis guys the one weekend they came down to experience the mundaneness and absolute boredom that Iowa has to offer. But, the worst of my nightmares had come true. All of the apartments had been cleaned out, and THE STINKY FRIDGES WERE ALL GONE!!! What three months ago had caused two hardcore explorers to run screaming out of numerous kitchens has ceased to one lonely empty fridge which did nothing more than cause Emma to make a face. She didn't even leave the room.

Over and out. Reports take a long time to write. Hope you enjoyed it.

[last edit 7/22/2004 2:41 AM by Slim Jim - edited 1 times]
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Emma Peel 

Location: Ahowah
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 4 likes

Ghosting you like you've never been ghosted before.

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Re: Local UE (There really are places to explore out here in Ah-Wah!)
< Reply # 1 on 7/22/2004 4:03 AM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Moon Shoes. They're like walking on the moon - only not.
I'd still rather think it was a police scanner than a meth lab - meth lab just means there need to be more bodies to investigate this corner of the factory.

I think you just starred in "The Tragedy of Jim and the Stinky Fridge Apartments." And I don't think the smell phased me because I hang out with a lot of boys and, well, boys stink.

Mmmm, fire extinguisher.

Sorry, I probably forgot my <sarcasm> tags.
Noah Vale 

Location: Portland, Or
Total Likes: 2 likes

It's nobler to never get paid, than to bank on shit and dismay

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Re: Local UE (There really are places to explore out here in Ah-Wah!)
< Reply # 2 on 9/6/2004 4:44 AM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
I'm betting it was both....The meth labbers prolly had a scanner to listen in on the police, since, y'know, they don't wanna get caught and stuff.

"Dallas is a magnificent and wide open city, and I'm deeply envious of any urban explorers who have the good fortune to live there." -Ninj.
UER Forum > Journal Index > Slim Jim's mission logs > Local UE (There really are places to explore out here in Ah-Wah!) (Viewed 2405 times)

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