This Great Dead Town

(Part 4 of my Detroit/Cleveland adventure) Highland Park itself, if possible, managed to be even more desolate and Detroiter than its Detroit surroundings. After a local financial crisis bankrupted the town in the late 90s, Michigan took it over, and consolidated its government functions, leaving what was probably once a proud municipal square to decay: city hall, courthouse, police and fire stations surrounding a deserted square. OK, you got me this time Guilty as charged! (These cells lock. I don't know what we would have done if someone didn't helpfully leave the keys, and a sign, right outside there!) I…

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And You Shall Say, God Did It

(Part 2 of my Detroit/Cleveland adventure) Our next destination, Detroit urbex tourists as we were, had to be the Packard Plant! There is nothing like it around... over a million square feet of giant, dead factory space with nothing in it but some vagrant homes, a precariously perched RV or two, and the best graffiti in the Midwest. Only one thing could stop us: Optimus Prime! Only one thing did stop us: Optimus Prime, surrounded by a film crew and attendent security. Oh well, looks like we got a sneak peek at Transformers 4... soon to be in theaters for…

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Secret Passages Bank

I'll admit it: this isn't technically urbex, we had permission to be here. This beautiful abandoned bank will be transformed over the course of the next 8 days into a venue for ArtAwake 3, a one-night art and music exhibition in a forgotten part of the city. Until then, though, it's one hell of an abandoned building to explore! How about a giant vault door? Or a ceiling covered in frescoes? This would never happen in the Recession Unique view of the Times Square Building One beautifully complex cable

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Further Down the River

These Soviet-era apartments are on their way out; no big loss for the city, they all look exactly the same anyway and go on for at least 1/2 mile All that remains of some sort of Erie Canal infrastructure The historic Genesee Brew House The bridge that carries bike route 1 and the main drains across the river into Irondequoit Your writer, in a cage The destination: a cave entrance, deep into the river bank One soaking wet climb up to the drain section of it! The exit... beautiful daylight!

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Apollo 12

I said I was looking for adventure -- it didn't take me long to find it! I climbed Mt Marcy (5348', highest point in New York State) last weekend with my scout troop. Lesson learned: mountains are big! It was an epic experience, even if it's an experience that a certain someone doesn't believe I could ever do, despite the photo evidence! I should have known from the start that this was a bad sign, that not many people go this way. The beginning of the hike was flat and easy enough, about 5 miles to Calamity Pond, where we…

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In The Beginning

I should have seen the signs for a while, maybe I even did see it; summer of 8th grade year, getting absolutely covered in poison sumac, and all I did was apply to be a CIT at my camp, come back for four weeks of it. Then once I got there, it was almost a calling, teaching wilderness survival. It came naturally to me, I felt like it was useful knowledge I'd need someday. Sure, I could have avoided a lot of deerfly bites specializing in basket weaving or rugby, but I couldn't stop learning the ways of nature. Then…

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