This excursion was the closest I have ever been to getting caught...
LilRedCat, Fedge and I decide to hit the old convent in North Toronto, see what there is to see. LRC and I have scouted it a few times before, to get the lay of the land. Since it is in a dense residential neighbourhood, it took some thinking to decide how we would approach it. The double fence around it also posed a significant problem, as going over two barriers in full view of a street of rich folks is bound to draw attention.
We had decided that one corner offered a good way in, step over one and then around the other, or so it appeared. Problem was, this corner bordered right on someone's property, maybe 10-20 feet from their house. Sunday morning seemed a good time, likely people were reading the paper or at church, not much activity.
We arrive and notice that the house across the street is having an open house, making it easy to park the car nearby, among all the others checking out these people's house. Figuring that confidence is the way to go, we boldly strode up to the barrier and over and around. It was at that point we discovered that the house bordering the entrance had a dog. A barking dog. An incessantly barking dog. An incessantly barking dog that must have attracted the attention of the home owner, though at the time we did not know this...
We figure that we will act natural, in case anyone can see us on the grounds, as the front area is very exposed. We start shooting the outside of the building, making it look like we are supposed to be there and are doing nothing wrong. Slowly, casually, we make our way around, looking for a way in. We find one in a secluded corner, where we are safe from neighbourly eyes.
Inside is very cool, as the pictures show. We wander around the chapel and start exploring the darkened hallways behind it. Looking out one window, angling myself just right, I see a car pull up in front of the gate. Dark blue Impala with a stripe down the side. Security, lovely... I see the passenger side window go down, the one facing the convent. He leans way over, as if listening out the window. He is also scanning very carefully with his eyes, looking and looking, trying to find something amiss. Luckily I am in the dark, behind a thin window, seeing him almost sideways through the window. No way he can see us.
I tell Fedge and LilRedCat that we had best go, better to be caught outside the building than inside, so we had back to the way we came in. We mill about, wondering what to do, waiting for this guy to come around the corner and see us. We are also somewhat trapped in this alcove, thinking that any movement out of it will have us seen.
We shuffle along the side of the building until we get to the old part, where we are again protected from view. Again we start shooting the outside, pretending to be up to nothing, just taking pictures of the old convent. We keep working our way around behind the building, thinking we could keep the building between us and the guard. We could get to the other side and then scoot out the way we came in, while he is busy somewhere else. When we finally get to the side closes to where we came in, Fedge scouts around the corner, but does not have the clear view of the gate where I saw the car. No way to know if he is still there or not.
We figure we will just go back the way we came, back around the building and if he is there, we simply deal with it. When we get back to the area with the entrance to the building, we realize that there is no one around. I figure we might as well go back in and look out the same window, since we know that we can see what we need to from there. Back into the chapel, around through the dark hallways and to the window. Looking out, I see that the car is gone.
Whether or not he ever got out, or how close he might have gotten to us, we will never know. But we breathe a sigh of relief and continue our exploration for an hour or two, still keeping an ear out and looking over our shoulders. Every noise made us freeze, just in case.
Then we found all the "homes" within the convent, which created another set of problems. Who else might be in here with us? What sort of people would they be? Never did bump into any of the residents, but it did keep us on edge the whole time we were there.
That is the closest we have come to being caught. It is also one of the most tense explorations I have been on, due to the security guard and the apparent residents. I enjoyed the adrenaline rush myself, but would prefer further trips be a little more sedate.