Archives for: December 2005, 28

12/28/05

Permalink 11:16:02 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 882 words   English (US)

mfa mill climbing

A few weekends back, I spent a night climbing my fluffy cotton tail off at the MFA mill.

There was one particular section of it that I still needed to photograph. There was a small structure on the roof of some silos that I'd put off exploring. The reason I'd kept putting it off was because the silos and the roof of the silos were completely cut off from the rest of the building. The only way to access them was to climb an approximately ten story ladder on the outside of the silos right in plain sight of everyone.

I snuck up to the silos and realized that the bottom rung was about three or four feet too high for me to jump up and grab. Fortunately, there was some electrical conduit mounted to the side of the silos that I would be able to climb like a rope up until I could reach the ladder. Not fortunately for me, there were two large trucks with men inside idling in the parking lot nearby, as well as heavy traffic on the nearby streets. I was about to find out how fast I could climb a ladder.

I grabbed the conduit and scrambled up the few feet until I could reach over and grab the ladder. When I had my hands on it, I started hauling ass up. I barely remember climbing it, but fear of being caught was a great motivator. When I reached the top, I pulled myself up and flopped down onto my back. I'm in excellent shape, but I was huffing and puffing like crazy from that little stunt.

When I had finished resting for a few minutes, I went inside the little building on the roof and started poking around. Most of the windows were broken out and there was plenty of debris on the floor. There were also small hatches in and outside of the building that let you look down inside the empty silos. The biggest surprise, though: there was an elevator inside the building!

It took a little figuring out, because there was no power for the electric door opener, but I found manual way to open the elevator. It was just a little cage for taking people to the bottom of the silos, but it was still surprising. I hadn't figured there would be much worth seeing down there.

Next to the elevator, there was a hatch with a ladder going all the way down to the bottom. I stood there for quite a while trying to decide if I really wanted to subject myself to another gigantic ladder climb. Probably two ladder climbs, actually, since there likely wasn't any way out from the bottom. As much as I didn't want to, I decided I needed to see and photograph whatever was at the bottom.

I took all the pictures I needed of the building on the roof and started climbing down. Thankfully, there was a place about halfway down to stop and rest, which also had a door that exited straight out the side of the building into nothingness. I took a few pictures and continued on to the bottom.

The chambers below the silos were among the filthiest places I've ever been, and I've seen some real doozies. It was pretty obvious nobody had been down there for a long time. There were cobwebs everywhere, like curtains hanging from every available object, as well as a thick layer of dust on everything. It didn't take long before I was covered in cobwebs and filthy.

I wandered around underneath the silos for a while. There was an individual chamber underneath each silo, as well as a ladder that allowed you to climb up to them. I climbed up into one of them, but that was enough for me. It was just as filthy up there as it was below.

In one of the chambers, the floor was covered with an extremely fine white powder. When I stepped on it, a cloud would puff into the air. It looked like I was walking on the moon or something. It was fun, and I took some pictures of the dust erupting from under my foot. But before long, the whole place was filled with white powder floating through the air, and the crap started getting into my lungs. I don't know what it was, but it was making it so I couldn't draw in a full breath.

Not wanting to climb the ladder back up to the top, I looked around for a way out, but there was none. I bit the bullet and started climbing, stopping at the halfway point again to rest. Up on the roof, I again stopped to rest, because I was going to have to go back down the ladder on the silo as quick as I could.

When I was ready, I started speeding down the ladder. I was pretty tired, though, and I still couldn't breathe right. I ended up stopping halfway down the ladder, even though that was a really bad idea. Plus, someone pulling into a nearby parking lot definitely saw me hanging there, but I just smiled at them.

Eventually, though, I reached the bottom, ran back to my car, and headed on home.

Underground Ozarks Blog

Here you can read about White Rabbit's day-to-day explorations and adventures.

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