Ohio Defiance

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Cincinnati, Fuck It Tour, Industrial

As angry as I was about Cincinnati and the missed meet, I knew I had to make something of it and give the reeking armpit of the United States a second chance. This time, with my friend actually in the area, and still having a list of places from the meet just a month ago, I thought maybe we’d be able to follow in their footsteps and at least get to see the same places, even if not actually at the meet. The reality was something entirely different though – one place after another that seemed to be promising was actually either well above my level, or well leveled and suddenly a pile of rubble. After lunch we FINALLY had one success, in a paper mill about half an hour out of Cincinnati.

Stay away from the brown acid!

It’s kind of unusual for there to be any of the finished product left in an abandoned factory. But this seems to be it, a giant roll of moldy cardstock or package stock ready to be sent off to the print shop

I found your car… and you thought I didn’t know where this would be? #VCXP3X

Unfortunately, this would be about all the success we’d have on this trip. Our next stop was a grain elevator that was a lot more intact last month when the meet was here… Like this, which used to be the stairway to the top.

Or this ladder, which was a disaster waiting to happen, about a second after I took this picture, the ice shattered.

This place just didn’t want to let me in, but yes, Jason, I know where this is too!

And this, with its fresh set of boards.

Our night explores were similarly dismal, as winter dumped its mixed bag onto us and we couldn’t get into Huedepohl (despite quite a bit of effort and some help from my friend, who can easily climb a fence), or the Bavarian Brewery (which would have required an incredibly sketchy 25 foot climb up a drain pipe). We couldn’t even get into any of the caves in Lexington, wandering around aimlessly for one and finding the other, full of water and treacherous ice.

So we got some beer and acid and wandered off into the woods, and forgot about the scene and the bullshit and humanity for a while, and everything was better.

We woke up much too late Sunday morning, just an hour before I had to be on a bus out of Cincinnati, as the trip took a turn toward the Amazing Race. We ran out of gas on the 71 somewhere in Kentucky, and managed to reach a gas station on momentum and fumes, and when we finally found our way to the station, I made it onto the bus by about 15 seconds! So maybe I have some exploring luck left…

Just after I left Cincinnati, the bus stopped at a truckstop with a Skyline Chili right next to it. The Internet is right. Cincinnati “chili”, shitpuke in a bowl, on top of spaghetti, truly is worse than getting hit by a car, for certain cars and certain bowls of “chili”. Let this be your warning. AVOID AVOID AVOID. 0/10 will not try again.

Fuck Urbex

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Cincinnati, Fuck It Tour

Fuck urbex. Fuck UER. Fuck the scene, or community, or whatever the fuck you want to call it. Fuck all the elitism, fuck the secrets, fuck the dick waving, fuck the trolling. Fuck your meets and their invitations, fuck the forums and their flames and bans. Fuck calling it tourism if it’s easy, fuck calling it infiltration when it’s hard. Fuck fences, fuck security, fuck having to climb into a third floor window. Fuck your drama, fuck trying so hard to leave me out. Fucking shit! Whatever happened to just finding some friends, some beer and an old shitty factory and having a good time? Whatever happened to just having some pictures and showing off the awesome places you’ve been, and taking more friends there next time? Whatever happened to just getting outside for a weekend and spending some time in the woods, hot summer nights and bonfires in the cold? Whatever happened to just going on an adventure? Anyone who thinks I’m making some sense, let’s make plans!

As some of you know, it’s been my goal for quite a few years now to go to a UER meet (or any other similar one, if such things exist). It seemed like this week would be my chance, I found out a few days ahead of time — unusual enough, in its own right — about an event in Cincinnati, and not only that it exists, but at least one of the places where people might meet during the weekend. Now of course I’m not invited to such things, considering that I’ve been banned for over three years, but people seemed somewhat receptive to the idea that I could go and participate in at least a small part of the event, so I planned a trip to spend a few hours in Cincinnati. Normally I won’t go somewhere when the travel time is at least 4 times as long as I’d spend exploring, but this was a unique case, having an opportunity, finally, for this long awaited event.

Unfortunately, in the last hours before I left, things started to turn sour, and by the time I was on the bus to Cincinnati, the outcome looked futile at best. Once I got to Ohio, that had degenerated into an absolute “no”. Even the Starbucks where people might have stopped by to meet me for breakfast was off limits to the meet crowd, but I waited there all morning just in case someone might break the picket line. No one did, of course. And to add insult to insult, I couldn’t even go to Lexington to meet up with my friend, considering that he decided to take a last minute hiking trip in Tennessee.

So there I was, stuck in Cincinnati by myself. You could say it was my own mistake to even try, but really it goes beyond that. The UE scene wouldn’t leave one of their own behind. Yet they took great pride, sadistic joy even, in knowing I came all the way to Cincinnati just to see them, and they could shut me out regardless.

I refuse to explore alone, so trying to get into any places was out of the question, but I still spent the day wandering around looking for anything abandoned, particularly anything abandoned and crawling with explorers. As angry and depressed as I was, I didn’t even bother taking any photos, but I did at least find a few things to add to the map, and a few locked doors and insurmountable fences around what I thought were promising spots. The one thing I never found? Any sign of VCXP3X. Obviously.

When I finally got on the bus out of Cincinnati, it wasn’t a moment too soon. The only positive out of this is, I have some ideas of where to try next year, and I plan on coming back at least once, with a friend this time, to crash this meet in style, seeing as it’s probably the only one I’ll ever get into.

And as I said: I can’t fucking stand the UE scene. Anyone want to put some bullshit behind them for a while and just explore? I’ll go wherever I’m wanted. I’d been thinking about having a farewell tour, spending a week this spring exploring everything I could and just quitting. I know as well as anyone though I won’t quit, even though I’ve been going on for so long about a farewell tour. Look how well it’s worked for Bob Dylan, Elton John, even the Rolling Stones (in 1977)… And at this rate, as hostile as everyone has turned over my Cincinnati doings, I won’t even have anyone left to go with by April, so I’m starting now. I know mine will be about as sincere, but if they managed a comeback maybe so could I?

So, from now on, through as much of this winter as I still have places to go and people to see, let this be the beginning of the Fuck It Tour. Anything I can get to and back from in a weekend, anyone willing to spend that weekend with me, I’ll be there. I’ve hit the bottom, I’m exploring like I’ve got nothing left to lose. Fuck it!