|Pump House by Night|
entry by xrahy
6/24/2004 2:59 PM
THD, Thirsty, xrahy, and friend
The four of us walked down the road bathed in the orange glow of streetlights. The woods to the left were dark, the light from the condos on the right twinkled through the trees. It was warm, no breeze to blow off the humidity, the sky was blank, expressionless. We arrived at the fence and entered the open gate, our feet crunching on the gravel under foot. We crossed the bridge over the brown, rain-swollen canal and listened to the roar of the second canal as it spilled over the locks.
The gothic stone building loomed large as we approached along the edge of the second canal. The windows were all securely boarded up and the doors locked with steel angles and multiple padlocks. We stopped briefly along side the building as I looked around and down towards the swampy edge of the canal. This was going to be difficult I thought. Climbing with wet, muddy shoes is never easy.
We slipped over and down the edge of the canal wall where it met the side of the building using whatever footholds we could find. The rocky over grown piece of dry land quickly gave way to mucky overgrown brush and then only water. Boots got wet as we tried to stand on way too small branches and negotiate our way around the corner and back onto drier ground. The ground on the other side was covered in dry sticks that cracked like bones with each step, echoing loudly against the stone and across the water.
I was first up the sagging chainlink barrier and then onto the stone ledge, which was steeply angled so that with each step your feet would slip off, almost sending you down into the pile of sticks or maybe onto the sharp metal poles holding up the chainlink. Reaching for the boarded up windowsill, also angled, and grasping the edges of the window was the next challenge. The window frame has significantly weathered over the last 130 some years, almost to the point where you expect it to disintegrate in your hands, as you trust you life to it. The hole at the top is 20 or so feet above the ground, certainly enough to hurt if you fall, and too small to really comfortably fit through. After exerting some genuine effort, I dropped down the other side into the pitch-black interior, hoping nothing had changed since I last visited. I climbed back up the inside, wedging my feet front and back against the stone and coached the next person up and in.
We wandered through, up and down, in and around for a while as I cursed my lack of foresight in not putting fresh batteries in my headlamp. I climbed down into a rusty intake pipe to the end before realizing that the air was incredibly stagnant and nasty. I hacked and wheezed my way back out and rejoined the group. Eventually, We decided we had seen enough and looked for an easier way out, considering the difficulty of the entry. No such luck, so we repeated the entry process in reverse. I did manage to fall off the ledge and into the pile of sticks, nothing bruised but my ego.
[last edit 6/24/2004 3:20 PM by xrahy - edited 1 times]
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