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UER Forum > US: South > Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry. (Viewed 684 times)
NeuroticMatt 


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Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< on 12/18/2017 4:14 PM >
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I have been pretty stir crazy as of late. Had not been able to drive around and explore in a while other than quick stops at falling down houses. I had planned on going on Dec. 10, but our heater went out at the house, and the day I was going to go was the only day the repair man could come, between the hours of 6:00am and 5:00pm. So that day was shot. So I postponed a week. Wife and son were out at a friend's lease for a girls/kids camping/hunting weekend so I was pretty free and clear.

What was not clear was the weather. When I first postponed I checked the weather and it called for cool and clear, perfect! A day or two before however and the forecast had changed, cold, windy, and rainy, all day long, all along my planned route. Screw it, I really needed to clock some miles to clear my head and de-compress a bit. So I made sure to add a rain coat, a shower cap (for my camera), umbrella, rubber boots, and some old floor mats to wedge under my tires if I got stuck.

My furthest location was three hours away and I wanted to hit it first and the others on the way back. I expected this first location to be ripe with photo and exploring opportunities. It was a large old school that was comprised of four main buildings and a couple of smaller ones, the athletic field was still there, overgrown, but still with goalposts and bleachers and such. So I set out around 4:45 am to hopefully get there around 8:00. The skies were a blanket of grey. So was my mood. I was pretty bummed about the weather. With just a flat grey sky I was not excited about any exterior shots.

This community and the surrounding areas grew quickly over a century ago, but that quick growth along with severe droughts depleted the underground aquifer, follow up with the depression and the boom towns quickly became bust towns. The area I was in is currently a cheap place to live for farm labor and people that work in larger neighboring areas. This town had an abundance of abandoned buildings, houses, and businesses. A good place to visit to explore for a day on its own. The school I was visiting closed down in 1999.

I pull up, park in front like I own it and hop out.

First I am excited to see that the gate was open and not chained. This was similar to a high school I went to, where all the classrooms exited into a central courtyard as opposed to hallways. There were two buildings of classrooms to the side, and in the top spot was what I can only assume was a auditorium/cafeteria?
Clowns to the left, jokers to the right.
(FYI there were no clowns, this would be an entirely different post if there was.)
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

This is the outside near where I parked. A little worried already because google earth did not show the doors and windows boarded up.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

From the cntral building looking towards the front gate. I bet this place was nice when it was kept up.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

Now dissapointment set in. Every single door was welded shut. Some had rebar welded across them even. Damnit.
I can not fit through that window in the door either.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

But, my camera did, so I took shots through the windows that were busted out.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

So I am fairly disgruntled at this point. Besides the windows in the door, there was a wall opening that looked more like a murderous glory hole than anything else, this is where I would picture the clown on the other side of the hole with a lawnmower blade or something waiting for my head to poke through. I was not going to fit through the hole anyway, so I kept my head out as well.

At least at some point someone was nice enough to set out an old typewriter for me to photograph.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

And of course there was the required lonely chair.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

OK, well there was another, older building behind this "new" addition, lets go check that out.

Why hello there!
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

What do you have inside?
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

Answer, a lot of poop.

Walking up the stairs was a land mine of human excrement. Ugh. The rooms that were still boarded up at one time housed lots of bats. Though the bats were gone, the twelve inch thick pile of guano was not. The other rooms were littered with empty food cans, several backpacks, and many many articles of clothing. We are a mere 30 miles from the Mexico border here. I had expected that these spots would be used by people who were coming to the US as temporary camp sites. The evidence supported this theory. But why y'all got to poop on the stairs man? Seriously, giant hole in the floor right over there. Perfect place for a poo.

Anyway, this place was pretty trashed. The floors were a bit worrisome in a couple of locations for me, I did not venture far upstairs. Because I am fat, and old, and falling hurts.

Lets go look at the football field.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr


OK, school is out. Down the road was an old American Leigon that looked like it could stand a visit.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

Someone was nice enough to leave a door open this time!
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr


OK, down the road to the next town. Another town that went from boom to bust and now boasts a truck stop that I got some questionable food at, another old abandoned school, and an abandoned hotel.
I bet that Hotel was nice back in the day. From some signs around the property, it looks like the owner tried to hop on the one of the semi recent oil booms and had been renting rooms out to oil field workers, and opened a bar downstairs. Currently chained and locked tight. Upon reviewing some photos I took, I think I totally overlooked an entrance point.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

Part of the school building peeking out behind the garden.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

The old gym was the only place that I could get to, and if it is any indication of the rest of the buildings there is not much to see.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

Was that it? Pretty much, there was an old church, another old hotel, and a cool hamburger sign.
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr
12-16-17 by Road Extx, on Flickr

At this time it was around 1:30 in the afternoon, and I was on schedule to eat at a BBQ joint I had read about. This was unlike any BBQ joint I had been too, there was no order here station, this was a sit down and order from the menu type place. More like a BBQ restaurant, fancy. But I was hungry, so I sat. Two other tables came in right behind me. Both of those table had their orders taken, I sat for five more minutes without a glance from the waitstaff before I left.

This was the last stop for me. I had set out for a relaxing day, I was disgruntled through the whole trip. From the dead deer carcass I ran over, to the weather, to the poop, and not being able to get into my main spot, to now this fancy BBQ joint. I was more wound up and pissed off than I was before I left the house. In total I drove 460 miles, most in the rain, and had some crappy truck stop chicken strips. When I got home I looked through my photos and hated all of them. I almost deleted all of them. I went back through them the next day and found a few that I could live with. All in all though, this was my least favorite road trip I have taken. There were about ten more stops I had planned, but I figured I would save those for a better day. Perhaps even drive way the hell out there some day to get better shots of visited locations.




[last edit 12/18/2017 10:38 PM by NeuroticMatt - edited 1 times]

Lola AB 


Location: YEG
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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 1 on 12/18/2017 4:25 PM >
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For what it's worth, I like the pics! I think the typewriter is my favourite. I hear you though. I've had a few trips like that and it's especially frustrating when you are putting in the miles to get somewhere. I think it's probably the nature of the beast. We win some, we lose some or chalk it up to a live and learn and cross that location off the list.

P.S. Now I want BBQ!




2Xplorations 


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Tyrannosaurus Wrecks

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 2 on 12/18/2017 5:32 PM >
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If that's lame Ive been doing this wrong

You should ad those to the DB nice locations man




Explorer Savant and winner of 2 UER Lifetime Achievement Awards

dundertits 


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Cave Cave Deus Videt

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 3 on 12/18/2017 7:18 PM >
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Posted by 2Xplorations
If that's lame Ive been doing this wrong

You should ad those to the DB nice locations man


seconded looks pretty good to me!!




Kabbalah is an undramatic tradition that requires great patience and stability. One of the reasons for this tempo is that everyone has to mature his potential gradually and thoroughly at his natural pace. In this way his life's work unfolds at the right moment in his own and the cosmos's time.
Z.B.S. Halevi -- Kabbalah
tunneldude 

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 4 on 12/18/2017 10:15 PM >
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I would remove the "For SALE/ RENT" sign with the contact phone numbers to keep this location private. Great photo set I must say!




Keeping active within the URBEX Community. If you have to ask then I think you might be headed in the right direction....
tunneldude 

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 5 on 12/18/2017 10:16 PM >
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I misspoke. I would remove the photo with the "For Sale Sign" lol




Keeping active within the URBEX Community. If you have to ask then I think you might be headed in the right direction....
4Valhal 


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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 6 on 12/18/2017 10:44 PM >
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Any day spent escaping the realities of life by exploring (or attempting) some cool places and snapping some photos is by no means a fail.

That place would definitely be gorgeous cleaned up. I like the pics, and especially like what you did with the interior shots considering how limited your access to the school was.

And I also appreciate the write up to go with it. Well said

As for the poop stairs I just want to apologize...




Never climb after somebody with ulcerative colitis. -Steed
MisUnderstood! 


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W/MyOwnEyes

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 7 on 12/18/2017 11:53 PM >
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Enjoyed your explores and the write up. My favorite shots are the typewriter mentioned above already and the one through the glass window. I would have been beside myself with not being able to access the Hotel. I hope you can return there another time and find a way in. Surely it would have some cool shots of the lobby possibly with old room keys and nasty unmade beds with moldy walls.
Your trips are never lame and we all enjoy what you bring to the table. Thanks!




A place of Mystery is Always worth a curiosity trip!
Pear 


Location: Austin, TX / Nashville, TN
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You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 8 on 12/19/2017 7:07 AM >
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I've had this place on my map for a while, nice to see some photos of it. Great set and nice locations.




NeuroticMatt 


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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 9 on 12/19/2017 3:34 PM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Posted by Lola AB
For what it's worth, I like the pics! I think the typewriter is my favourite. I hear you though. I've had a few trips like that and it's especially frustrating when you are putting in the miles to get somewhere. I think it's probably the nature of the beast. We win some, we lose some or chalk it up to a live and learn and cross that location off the list.

P.S. Now I want BBQ!


Thank you, glad you liked them. I was fairly excited about the typewriter.

Posted by 2Xplorations
If that's lame Ive been doing this wrong

You should ad those to the DB nice locations man


Posted by dundertits


seconded looks pretty good to me!!


Thank you both, I figured to add the school, I was thinking about adding a couple of others, but the location would be the whole town, or what was left of them. But I want to get more pics.

Posted by tunneldude
I misspoke. I would remove the photo with the "For Sale Sign" lol


I remedied this. I had censored the photo but uploaded the wrong one. Thank you for pointing it out.

Posted by MisUnderstood!
Enjoyed your explores and the write up. My favorite shots are the typewriter mentioned above already and the one through the glass window. I would have been beside myself with not being able to access the Hotel. I hope you can return there another time and find a way in. Surely it would have some cool shots of the lobby possibly with old room keys and nasty unmade beds with moldy walls.
Your trips are never lame and we all enjoy what you bring to the table. Thanks!


Thanks! I have high hopes for the hotel one of these days. There are a few other spots near there that warrant another trip. I was just tired of being rained on, so I'll be back for sure.

Posted by Pear
I've had this place on my map for a while, nice to see some photos of it. Great set and nice locations.


There are a lot of places in that area that look interesting. I passed up lots of places that I did not stop at because of a schedule I was trying to adhere to. I plan on a return to spend more time around there.




Dee Ashley 


Location: DFW, Texas
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 536 likes


Write something and wait expectantly.

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 10 on 12/20/2017 6:24 PM >
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You’re one of those perfectionist types, aren’t you? I’m guessing this due to the fact this post is probably in the top 15% of explore posts made on this site, yet your title makes it sound like you owe us each a cookie for subjecting is to this wretched and unworthy addition! Quite the opposite is true, and your narrative is very engaging. This post reminds me of Peptic Ulcer’s posts, (and that’s very much a compliment).

I love the light in those “older building” photos behind that first school. I’m curious about the cornerstone. It looks like it says 1812(?) but that seems awfully old for that style/structure so I might not be reading it clearly. Do you remember what year it said?

I had a very similar experience in your neck of the woods only a couple weeks ago. I drove seven hours to Laredo to watch it rain. And rain. A place that sees less rain on average in a year than I saw in 2 days. Even the flea markets were closed and stupid me, I forgot to grab my damn passport, lol. I wasn’t too disappointed about that part. I used to live in Mexico, yet in its current state, I’m even not comfortable on the Mexican side of most border towns. But damn, I at least wanted the option to cross over to the other side! Anyways, my point is two fold: I was near you (sort of!) a couple weeks ago, so *wave*, and I know how discouraging that feeling is that you have described to well in your post. It’s kind of like a special occasion, a sacred time, and it’s the disappointment that only unrealized expectations can bring upon us. A shitty feeling indeed. It’s easy to say, “change your attitude,” “it’s what you make of it,” blah, blah, bullshit, lol.
My mood shifted a little when I was half way to Houston and all that rain started changing over to snow. I got to stop at a location I’d been chomping at the bit to see and the snow really made it photogenic. Sadly, everything was almost empty on the inside, but taking photos of a large, well-preserved farm covered in snow in Corpus Christi made up for that. The rest of the trip didn’t pan out either. Two locations were now active and one was just torn to shit, but my snowy farmstead did at least give me something to post on Flickr (and here when I get around to it).
Lastly, I have one bit of advice from someone that literally has a zillion billion gazillion photos; go back through them in a month or two and see what you see. You’ll almost always be surprised at what you find with a fresh perspective. It (almost) never fails.

Awesome post, I enjoyed it greatly and look forward to your next adventure.
Dee




I wandered till the stars went dim.
NeuroticMatt 


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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 11 on 12/21/2017 9:08 PM >
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Posted by Dee Ashley
You’re one of those perfectionist types, aren’t you? I’m guessing this due to the fact this post is probably in the top 15% of explore posts made on this site, yet your title makes it sound like you owe us each a cookie for subjecting is to this wretched and unworthy addition! Quite the opposite is true, and your narrative is very engaging. This post reminds me of Peptic Ulcer’s posts, (and that’s very much a compliment).

I love the light in those “older building” photos behind that first school. I’m curious about the cornerstone. It looks like it says 1812(?) but that seems awfully old for that style/structure so I might not be reading it clearly. Do you remember what year it said?

I had a very similar experience in your neck of the woods only a couple weeks ago. I drove seven hours to Laredo to watch it rain. And rain. A place that sees less rain on average in a year than I saw in 2 days. Even the flea markets were closed and stupid me, I forgot to grab my damn passport, lol. I wasn’t too disappointed about that part. I used to live in Mexico, yet in its current state, I’m even not comfortable on the Mexican side of most border towns. But damn, I at least wanted the option to cross over to the other side! Anyways, my point is two fold: I was near you (sort of!) a couple weeks ago, so *wave*, and I know how discouraging that feeling is that you have described to well in your post. It’s kind of like a special occasion, a sacred time, and it’s the disappointment that only unrealized expectations can bring upon us. A shitty feeling indeed. It’s easy to say, “change your attitude,” “it’s what you make of it,” blah, blah, bullshit, lol.
My mood shifted a little when I was half way to Houston and all that rain started changing over to snow. I got to stop at a location I’d been chomping at the bit to see and the snow really made it photogenic. Sadly, everything was almost empty on the inside, but taking photos of a large, well-preserved farm covered in snow in Corpus Christi made up for that. The rest of the trip didn’t pan out either. Two locations were now active and one was just torn to shit, but my snowy farmstead did at least give me something to post on Flickr (and here when I get around to it).
Lastly, I have one bit of advice from someone that literally has a zillion billion gazillion photos; go back through them in a month or two and see what you see. You’ll almost always be surprised at what you find with a fresh perspective. It (almost) never fails.

Awesome post, I enjoyed it greatly and look forward to your next adventure.
Dee


Thanks for the kind words. Point taken, next time I will have cookies.

[lamejoke]Does this site allow cookies?[/lamejoke]


Funny enough the weekend that was your trip was supposed be when I went on mine, but our heater decided not to work for the one day of the year we want it to and Saturday was the only day the service guy could come, between 8am and 5pm of course. So that is why I ended up going when I did. lol I hope to have a couple more day trips in the upcoming week.

If you were going from Houston to Corpus or vice versa, or even Houston/Laredo, you were within one mile of my house at some point. lol Next time you are down this way let me know and I can at least recommend a good place to eat!

You made a heck of a drive from your area to Laredo. I commend you on that! I am also relieved to hear you forgot your passport. From what I have heard the border towns are trash these days. I have a few friends who spend time deeper in Mexico and they say it is great there, a whole different place. I have two other buds that sometimes drive from their homes in Oklahoma to where their ministry is based at in Nicaragua, I've asked to tag along one of those trips some day.




SaladKing 


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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 12 on 12/22/2017 1:06 AM >
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That typewriter looks to me like an SCM Deluxe Secretarial with an extra-wide carriage. In its heyday it would've looked similar to this:



Poor thing's taken a hell of a beating.




rosindia 


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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 13 on 12/23/2017 2:18 AM >
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Wonderful images. I drove back roads from Louisiana to Pennsylvania last month and sympathize with bad weather. However, I have grown to love cloudy skies and how they can make some colors show more. As always your images are amazing....




Dee Ashley 


Location: DFW, Texas
Gender: Female
Total Likes: 536 likes


Write something and wait expectantly.

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Re: Lamest trip ever. Picture and word heavy, sorry.
< Reply # 14 on 12/23/2017 8:08 AM >
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Posted by NeuroticMatt


Thanks for the kind words. Point taken, next time I will have cookies.

[lamejoke]Does this site allow cookies?[/lamejoke]


Funny enough the weekend that was your trip was supposed be when I went on mine, but our heater decided not to work for the one day of the year we want it to and Saturday was the only day the service guy could come, between 8am and 5pm of course. So that is why I ended up going when I did. lol I hope to have a couple more day trips in the upcoming week.

If you were going from Houston to Corpus or vice versa, or even Houston/Laredo, you were within one mile of my house at some point. lol Next time you are down this way let me know and I can at least recommend a good place to eat!

You made a heck of a drive from your area to Laredo. I commend you on that! I am also relieved to hear you forgot your passport. From what I have heard the border towns are trash these days. I have a few friends who spend time deeper in Mexico and they say it is great there, a whole different place. I have two other buds that sometimes drive from their homes in Oklahoma to where their ministry is based at in Nicaragua, I've asked to tag along one of those trips some day.



I ended up going to Laredo to visit my roommate (she was on an extended work-related trip down there) kind of impromptu, so I decided to make the best of it and throw in some good explores. The weather was so nasty I didn't even bother to try to get inside, but have you ever checked out that hospital in Laredo? It piqued my interest, but looks like it's been more or less trashed, but that's just a guess based on the fact almost all of the windows are bashed out.
I lived in Mexico way back in 2005 or 2006 and loved it. But you're right about the border towns vs. the inner parts of the country. It seems like the border towns have always been crappiest, but that disparity has gotten much more pronounced since the cartel wars and such. The only thing I really heard about to beware of when I lived there were the police, the Federale in particular. Hard to believe it was over ten years ago!

EDIT: I'll definitely message you next time I'm down there. I should have this time, but didn't initially have any intention of even going the way I did, but the snow kind of convinced me to change course at the very last minute!



[last edit 12/23/2017 8:11 AM by Dee Ashley - edited 1 times]

I wandered till the stars went dim.
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