The same weekend that we did the Oberman building, we also got a tour of the Lipscomb feed mill, former home of Houn' Dawg dog food, courtesy of Sertile.
Anne, Sertile and one of his friends, and myself met up outside the mill that afternoon. Sertile had had some dealings with the people that owned the mill, and they had agreed to let us come by and wander the place as long as we gave them copies of our pictures afterwards. We checked in with the secretary, and one of the guys doing renovations on the mill unlocked a few doors for us, then we were free to wander the premises on our own.
We started by checking out a large open area where they were cutting into some silos. The whole place was being turned into a rock climbing gym, so it made sense. Anne, Sertile and I went up a ladder and crawled around in a small space near the silos, but it didn't really go anywhere.
After that, we wandered over to another area where an inoperable manlift stretched several stories above us. A manlift is basically a big vertical conveyor belt with places for one person at a time to stand as they ride it up, but we'd already been told the power had been disconnected. Fortunately, there was a ladder there as well, so Anne and I climbed up to the next few floors while Sertile and his friend went around to meet us another way. There were a few rooms up above full of old equipment and mill dust, including one room with several pigeon eggs and a two dollar bill.
We eventually made our way to the top of one of the buildings, where Anne and I took turns climbing an unstable metal structure that rose up from the roof. It was eerie, because you could feel the structure sway in the wind as you stood on it. The view was insane, though.
Next, we walked from there through a covered bridge sort of thing that connected two of the buildings. We emerged on a different roof, where they were in the process of dismantling everything in sight. They had brought up a cutting torch, and most of the old pipes and metal pieces had been cut into small sections for easy removal. It killed me, because there was so much old junk there I would've loved to have had.
When we were on our way back down from there, we found a second manlift. Naturally, I couldn't resist monkeying with it, and this one actually worked. We also got to have one of those patented "Oh Shit" moments when I turned on the manlift and couldn't immediately figure out how to turn it off again.
Of course, now that I knew the manlift worked, there was no way I was leaving the mill without riding it. I went down first, followed by Anne, and then Sertile rode it after that. It was so much fun, I even rode it up and then back down again.
We all ended up in the basement at some point after that, where there were several small rock climbing walls. They also had molds and big buckets of goop where they were making the climbing grips that went on the walls. Sertile told me people had mistakenly seen it before and thought it was a meth lab, and it did look a little odd if you didn't know what it was.
When we were done down there, we were just about ready to take off. We'd seen about all there was to see of the mill. So, we headed up to the ground floor, locked the doors behind us, and thanked the secretary for letting us take our little tour. It was nice to actually have permission to explore something for once.
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Here you can read about White Rabbit's day-to-day explorations and adventures.
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