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Brian Cray - Hitchhikin', Trainhoppin', and Wanderin'

Wanderin' the world, at will, by any means

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Train Hopping Binghamton

Train Hopping Binghamton with the Noodle

Train hopping Binghamton

“Happy Birthday Marien! I hope exploring Castle on the Hill, your first skydive and train hopping Binghamton made your birthday one to remember buddy.”

After spending a few months backpacking around Europe with his girlfriend, my friend booked a ticket back to the USA and took a bus to Rochester, where we picked him up. Arriving Sunday with the intentions of making his first skydive, he waited patiently with anxious urges to jump only to get it pushed back by the sunset. I felt responsible in some way, but I held to my promise and tried to make this the best birthday of his life. Out of all my friends back home in Delaware he was the only one who took the plunge to visit me at WNY Skydiving and with that the story unfolds, a three day escapade filled with adventure, adrenaline, a little doggy and my wife.

With a small trek through the landing area on the drop zone, following the perimeter of the corn, we roamed through the brush. Thistles and corn stalks scratched our legs with the starry night sky illuminating our path as we walked deeper into the woods filled with dry pine needles, neatly stacked wood and dead fallen trees. We propped our tents staking them between the tall trees, their tops swaying from the faint whistle of the wind, as we set up our camps. With four logs positioned in a square I began to add tinder to the fire, kindling it with paper plates and toilet paper. Its flame lit the night sky with an orange blaze, sizzling, crackling and popping bits of charcoal. We scorched marshmallows over it for a midnight snack before dozing off to sleep, its heat fading away into the brisk night, as we drowned in peaceful bliss.

Morning, we awoke to a light drizzle and gloomy sky, with the work-day cancelled we set out for Castle on the Hill, in Dansville, NY. The drive took us through the rural countryside filled with green pastures, endless wheat hills and desolate small towns along back-country roadways. My friend never explored an abandoned building before so I felt excited for him and his first urban exploration experience. We parked the car at the local park and walked half a mile towards the castle on the hill. Decaying since 1971, it stood tall crumbling to the decadent force of nature, which took over a majority of the complex.

Dansville: Castle on the Hill

Dansville: Castle on the Hill

History takes us back to 1798 when Nathaniel Bingham stumbled upon a water source of rich minerals and opened a spa in Dansville called the Dansville Water Cure facility. He practiced Water Cure or hydrotherapy as he believed the water from “Breakout Creek” contained therapeutic properties bringing his theory to life in the year 1854. It flopped without much success and the property was sold.

Caleb Jackson purchased the complex in 1870 naming it Our Home on the Hillside. Both men believed in hydrotherapy, but with his discovery of Granola and his persistent efforts, Our Home on the Hillside became especially popular. It drew legendary icons including Susan B. Anthony and Clara Barton among others such as, Frederick Douglass.

But the building took a turn for the worst with a fire and even after the Jackson Family fireproofed the building, bringing it to a larger scale and spending $200,000 on construction, modern treatments and advancements in medicine and pharmacology surpassed any popular efforts of the water cure philosophy causing the institute to go bankrupt in 1914.

The building continued exchanging hands without prospering until 1929 when Bernarr Mcfadden purchased the sanatorium. The witty yet eccentric business man renamed it the Physical Culture Hotel as his involvement in body building structured the ideal of the resort. The hotel took on roles of a hospital for the ill while maintaining a popular buzz among the wealthy. Celebrities who stayed at the thriving resort indulged in tennis, swimming and starlit views from the roof with dancing and sunbathing.

Dansville: Castle on the Hill

Marien looking down at the rubble from Castle on the Hill

After McFadden’s death the building was reacquired but steadily dwindled to its death in 1971 and now stands there to this day, slowly decaying, brick-by-brick until it will eventually collapse, sliding down the hill spreading its debris across Route 256.

The iron staircase of this 5-story building told a tale of its heyday symbolizing the prestige and wealth of those occupying this hotel. We walked through the dust, and rubble, floor-by-floor peering out windows and creaky doors that dropped off into oblivion. Sections of flooring gave way to decay, and complete rooms crumbled to the ground leaving an empty space full of rusted piping, and brick rubble where parts of the roof fell to its demise. We walked cautiously through the main hallways, distraught about entering any rooms for fear of falling to our demise. Graffiti lined the walls with tags, and evidence of teenage love along with political banter scribbled on the roof, “Feel the Bern” and cryptic messages, “Did you bring the salt?” near the elevator shaft. I did not feel spirits here like I did in the JN Adam Memorial Hospital but our exploration was limited due to the sad state of structural support in the Castle on the Hill.

We stood in plain sight on the roof as we followed the main I-beam across what remained tiptoeing over concrete and brick avoiding any holes or soft spots with serious caution. The view of Dansville cast out below with its stormy sky, a pastel of gray clouds blended with the greenery below making it feel like a picturesque haunted film with us in the center of it. Droplets of tears shed from the clouds touching our skin faintly and we raced out of the building, exiting at a different location to avoid citations. The state of decay made our exploration limited, but we managed to escape the downpour by seconds following a long drive home in rain.

We camped that night like all the other nights, deep in the woods, behind the corn stalks, between the tall pine trees glistening from the fire. It took a bit more effort this time to start a fire, but we kept at it and persistence brought us warmth. The night ended with crackling embers and a cool breeze sending us off into a deep sleep, a sleep only felt in the outdoors.

WNY Skydiving

Marien making his first skydive at WNY Skydiving

With sleepy eyes and the sun poking its light through the pine trees we both woke from a deep slumber, taking several minutes to finally adjust to getting in motion. So what did we do after our trek back to the hangar? We made a skydive! My friend made his first jump and surprisingly did not shit his pants due to his strong fear of heights. My boss yelled, “Welcome to the Jungle Baby…You’re gonna DIE,” as I laughed, with my foot on the step of the Cessna 182. Marien looked shocked with an exasperated look on his face. He turned slightly pale, “Oh Fuck…I’m not gonna die?”

We all situated ourselves in the plane as we flew to altitude and to my surprise my buddy remained calm despite his dreadful fear of heights. My skydive felt like any other jump, but the true joy came from the fear, pure adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment when we hit 10,000 feet. I felt proud of him as I opened the door with a smirk on my face, the relative wind swaying my hair every which way as I pounced off the step into a front flip. I felt proud that he faced his fear and all the feelings he felt would go from fear to a happy sense of accomplish upon the chute opening, which it did from his loud remarks of joy. His freefall, like many others, including myself, involved opening his mouth and yelling profanity.

The experience is like none other. The pure adrenaline upon putting your foot out on the tiny metal step of the C-182 while the wind chills your body sending goosebumps up your legs and arms making your hair stand on its end is incomparable. But then you jump, plunging out into flips and shit, until you get stable in a belly-to-earth position, while the Tandem Instructor pulls the drogue out and the wind rushes all around you, flapping your cheeks at 120 mph. Your eyes tear up under the goggles; your throat dries out from the wind; your heart pounds from the adrenaline and you spend more time trying to look down as you fall to your death than enjoying the experience around you. Then, “POOFFFF,” the chute opens and you scream profane words of joy and excitement. But that’s not where the adventure ends. You still have a canopy ride down to earth and with swift toggle turns and 360’s you find yourself on the roller coaster ride, which you thought you would experience in freefall. Then you land and you cannot believe what you just did…You jumped out of a fucking plane and survived and your life will never be the same. It’s like chasing the feeling you get after your first bump of cocaine. You stand up on your two feet and kiss the earth. This is what it’s like to live. This is living, but there’s more to this adventure. It does not end here.

Dansville: Castle on the Hill

An iron stairwell…

After our skydive, the work-day ended and we found ourselves on the road again with a short trip to Letchworth State Park to check out the immaculate views of the three waterfalls along with the old trestle bridge built in 1875 with hopes of train hopping lingering in the back of my mind. My wife and I grabbed the Empire Pass and drove down to the Upper Falls. Marien and I carried our backpacks with the intention of catching out on a train. I generally knew trains rolled through there on a daily basis later in the evening between 3 PM and 10 PM, but did not know specific times. So we enjoyed the view of the falls with the backdrop of the trestle bridge and active cranes moving about behind it. The mist of the waterfalls splashed against our faces as they continued working on the new bridge. Kelly read a book as we soaked in the precious views waiting for the work-day to end. We paced back and forth with our packs strapped over our shoulders, waiting and wondering when and if a train would slow down around the curve of the bridge. If it would slow down just enough to catch on the fly. Most of train hopping is safety, with knowing which units are rideable and at what speeds you should hop on when catching on the fly, but a lot of it is patience as we found out.

Dansville: Castle on the Hill

Exploring the roof and trying not to fall through…

Kelly left us in the park as she hit the road for the drop zone around 5:30 PM. My original assumption of the train arriving around 5 to 6 PM was incorrect. Marien and I waited along the steep, muddy hill by the tracks. A group of construction workers roamed through the woods surveying the area for trees to trim back, scaring us, as we lay on the hill with an incognito presence. The patience killed us, but it came with every train hopping experience I could think of, so we waited. The workers eventually left as their 8-hour shift came to an end so we wandered around down the tracks, south of the Genesee River. We killed the time by starting a small campfire and eating some beans we packed for our train hopping adventure. Food eaten on the road tasted better, I do not know why, but it just did.

The clock dwindled onward as 6 PM turned into 7 PM and then we started wandering back to the bridge. I looked for monikers and marks of other train hoppers and found one scribbled under the trestle bridge by Tomato back in March of 2013. I knew this spot was hoppable, just when and where was the question. We plopped our asses on the concrete foundation underneath the trestle bridge as it creaked, whistled, and made faint noises, from what we did not know. I sat there perplexed and wary of the lack of daylight. I did not want to catch on the fly in the dark. With a completely bummed look on my face I threw in the towel after 5.5 hours of waiting without any results. We roamed back down the stairs we climbed initially to reach the tracks, and followed a footpath to the Genesee River. A look of disdain crossed both our faces, but a night of wild camping in one of the country’s best parks would not be so bad, so we made the best of it. We skedaddled down the slippery slopes of slate and walked along the banks of the river looking for a spot to camp, free from people and animals, particularly snakes.

9 PM approached and the last bit of sunlight peeked out over the horizon for one last final farewell. Then we heard it! We both looked at each other with a look of excitement as adrenaline pumped our blood. Jumping, jiving and hustling up the embankment by the river we saw a train putting over the trestle bridge with grainers, boxcars and gondolas attached to it. I huffed and puffed with my pack on my back and water jug in hand, running up the steep path towards the railroad tracks. The rustic stone stairwell meandered back and forth, zigzagging to the section of Park Drive which remained under construction as the new bridge was being built. A look of hopelessness pummeled both of us as we sat there huffing and puffing, with our hands on our knees, bent down, and sweaty. We kept at it, but when I looked up the train already passed. “Only 15 cars,” I thought? Normally the freight rolling through there is miles long. Sweat poured off my brow forming puddles beneath my feet. The night sky laughed at us for our futile efforts and now we needed to find a camping spot in the dark. But all hope was not lost, we continued to stake out the bridge, maybe luck was on our side or maybe it was not.

We camped out on the hill and I grabbed his flashlight as my vision adjusted to the darkness unfolding around us. We sat and waited, debating whether we would catch on the fly in the dark, or if we would just camp on the hill and suddenly our choice slowly came to fruition with the loud bellow of a train horn coming from the north of the Genesee River. A look of terror crowded Marien’s face, but he held firm to following my actions.

Train Hopping Binghamton

Train Hopping Binghamton without realizing it…

After a few minutes the train gradually chugged by with it’s bright light shimmering off the main unit. We scrambled down the hill, running towards the tracks and waited. I turned on the flashlight once the conductor approached the bend as to not giveaway our position. The bolts spun too fast on the wheels. So we stood there and waited as a mile of the train passed us by, waiting for that split second decision to hop on a safe, rideable unit. Would it come? We both stood their anxious, stupefied, mesmerized by the sheer size of the freight train slowly gliding by us, its wheels screeching around the bends of the tracks and suddenly our opportunity presented itself. I locked onto an Intermodal Doublestack 53′ T-Well unit traveling a few miles per hour and caught on the fly, climbing the ladder with ease as Marien followed. We set foot on a hotshot ride to freedom as we moseyed over the Genesee River on the old trestle bridge, headed south to the unknown.

That feeling of riding freight came back to me and nothing beat train hopping. I looked over at my friend and a huge smile cast out across his face. I knew he felt the same feeling in that moment. The feeling of adventure, the unknown, and riding into the night without a worry in the world, looking up at the starry sky, appreciating the finer aspects of life around us as we rode through nature on our freight train ride to freedom. I wished time did not matter in that moment, but I knew the adventure was short-lived with my work schedule limiting my adventures and his schedule limited as well. We enjoyed the night sky, the wind hitting our hair, swaying it every direction and the stars smiling down at us, their bright faces illuminating the countryside around us as we made a clear shot to Binghamton in just 4-hours.

Train Hopping Binghamton

Train Hopping Binghamton

The first chance we got we hopped off in Johnson City before entering the train yard in Binghamton. I hung off the ladder and steadily ran out over ballast as to not fall and fuck myself up, he did the same as I shined our only source of light, making sure no signage existed ahead. We walked through the night in a dead city, with no one on the streets and the only sign of life from hip-hop blaring out windows. The train yard always existed downtown in the ghetto, which meant two important pieces of information, walking at night became a bit more dangerous, but at least the Greyhound existed nearby. We huddled up that night by the tracks, shimmying into our bivysacks under a cozy, spacious bush by the abandoned part of town, soaking in a few hours of sleep before a bus-ride back to Rochester. That was how I sent my friend off to Boston on the epic birthday of a lifetime, exploring Dansville: Castle on the Hill, making his first skydive and train hopping Binghamton on his first experience ridin’ the rails.

JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

The inside of the onion dome at the JN Adam Memorial Hospital…this place is even cooler than Dansville:  Castle on the Hill, no fallin’ through the floor here…

So we finally took a day to check out the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital located in Perrysburg, NY. The hospital is located in the small, desolate town of Perrysburg on 300 acres of overgrowth hidden between County Road 58 and its main entrance off Airview Drive. We read much on the web about people getting arrested so we took extra precaution, but for a Friday afternoon for a few hours, we did not encounter unwanted attention by the police.

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital from above

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Walking through the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital with the wife…looking forward to checking out the rest of Abandoned New York

Where did we park? We hit up the Perrysburg Diner across from the Spoon Saloon and ate a few sandwiches, which ended up giving us both explosive defecation. So I do not recommend eating there, but if you park around lunch time and look inconspicuous, you have a clear approach down the roadway to the entrance. Watch out for patrol vehicles that randomly drive down the access road to catch trespassers. If you hear a vehicle approaching just hop in the overgrowth and lay low until it passes. We did not have much trouble finding the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital, however, we did have a difficult time gaining entry to the complex, well Kelly did.

So if you are one of those people who does not enjoy hopping tall fences with barbed wire, then the alternative route is gaining access through holes or parts of the fence you can crawl underneath. From the main road on Airview Drive if you head left past the main entrance you will see a beaten dirt path that goes up to the fencing. Behind you stands a tall smoke stack and a building enclosed in barbed wire fencing with a bunch of huge gears and machinery and in front of you stands the rest of the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital. As of July 2016, we found two access points through the fencing here, one involved pulling up the fence and crawling underneath and the other involved squatting and crawling through an open hole. I do not recommend bringing bolt-cutters anywhere when trespassing as you will get automatic burglary charges for breaking and entering, however, if someone else does the work for you then use these entrances for entry and remember your whereabouts in case you need to make a run for it.

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Heavy Machinery???

Why was this my favorite exploration spot? Sunlight shined throughout the building with a warming feeling, while we experienced cold chills in the dark and creepy crevices of rooms cast away from any daylight. A flashlight was not necessary, but I wish we brought one to explore the darker rooms. Watch out for the floor in some places as it’s very easy to fall through the decrepit, brittle flooring after years of decay. The earth has taken over much of the complex with roofs and flooring falling inward, paint peeling from every wall-face and ceilings caving in with nothing but dust and debris dribbled across the remains of the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital.

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Theater anyone?

The experience felt similar to my other urban exploration adventures such as The Rosewood Center, and Forest Haven Asylum, but it maintained its uniqueness in many ways. The place looked abandoned in a day, where they left everything behind. We found Ritalin articles from the 1960’s, old toys and dolls, wheelchairs, light fixtures in pristine condition, and other knickknacks. Bolts, gears, engines, all lay on shelves collecting rust from oxidation over the years. Graffiti inked the walls like a series of cryptic tattoos, with numbers, German phrases and excerpts from Dante’s Inferno, but the most appealing aspect of the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital lay within its rooftop. We gained access to the roof through its stairwell leading to the fourth floor and I must say my eyes embraced the immaculate beauty cast below. Clusters of pine trees marched on in an endless parade matching their dark green colors with the light blue horizon as a series of cumulonimbus clouds painted the sky, dancing above us. I thought of the people who lived here in the past, spending their whole life in the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital, and dying, or taking a brief stay. My nose wrapped around the freshness of the air and my eyes around the splendor of the hospital’s surrounding. At least JN Adam embraced the idea of fresh air, and peaceful views to help boost the spirits of the patients here, whether suffering from tuberculosis or another illness, the architecture and design definitely considered this tranquility.

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Toxic Toys for girls and boys…

We ended our exploration with a brief trek through the theater doors and the center building, shaped similar to an onion dome. Without getting into much description I will leave this for your own exploration. Maybe you will feel the spirits while you wander through the complex, or embrace the history of what took place in these rooms, sinking your eyes into the artwork that once was. Enjoy and stay safe!

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Rooftop views of the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

RTA Subway System the Graffiti Within

RTA Subway System – Abandoned Rochester

For the better part of the summer last year along with this year I normally wander around Western New York by foot or bicycle.  Last year I used a $5.00, 7-speed, cruiser from a garage sale until I popped a tube and someone stole it from the airport.  Then I borrowed a mountain bike from an older woman whom I became friends with at the Village Inn.  Her kid barely used it so I traveled around exploring the abandoned parts of Akron until we shut down in September.  This year I came prepared and bought a Schwinn from Walmart for a little over a hundred dollars.  I put about 400 miles on it so far roaming around Medina, Waterport, Albion, Batavia, Hamlin, Perry, Mount Morris, Elba, Byron, and Rochester.  Recently, one of the pilots, Craig, crashes at the airport from Saturday to Tuesday instead of dreading a long drive back to Fredonia.

DCIM102GOPRO

Court Street Entrance to RTA Subway System in Abandoned Rochester, NY

If you have ever stayed or lived in an airport hangar then you know when work gets cancelled the last place you want to be is the airport.  My buddy, WizeHop, from StP, sent me directions to the RTA Subway System in Abandoned Rochester, NY a while back and told me it was worth checking out if in the area.  I put it in the back of my mind for the end of summer on my bicycle ride home, but, today seemed like the perfect day to go.

DCIM102GOPRO

Looking out over the Genesee River

My favorite places to explore carry a lot of history with them, such as, asylums, industrial plants, hospitals, etc.  So researching more about the RTA Subway System made me antsy to check it out.  I hitched a ride with Craig and we drove to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester, NY since the one entrance to the RTA Subway System sat beneath this building.  We parked on the street and spent an hour exploring the unknown RTA Subway System, which surprisingly remained completely open for anyone to access off of Court Street.  Walking down the Genesee Riverway Trail path we climbed a small ladder and walked across a wooden bridge.  Light shined in from across the Genesee River through the concrete arches.

I squinted as I looked ahead.  I supported most of my weight on the steel beams using the steel handrail to guide my path as I slowly drug my feet forward.  Not being able to see definitely hindered my ability to climb and made me use better judgement.  As we walked across the bridge water cascaded beneath us through each individual arch flowing out to the river.  Graffiti lined every piece of concrete wall including the concrete pillars supporting the RTA Subway System.  Art prospered here and with each step we took further into the subway bloomed like a variety of pretty flora.  Some graffiti remained incognito from the raised water level hiding their true beauty, but as we walked deeper into the subway pieces flourished over every tunnel wall.  Some really great talent colored the walls of the abandoned RTA Subway System.  Three dimensional tags popped out of the wall in every vibrant color imaginable.  Octopus, bats, and mythical creatures filled the empty space between the words.  The most memorable piece burnt into my mind was the artist who spray painted a “Pepsi Cola Cap” in red, white and blue.  The precise detail and coloring made it almost surreal.

So enthralled by the masterpieces covering every inch of wall we almost stopped.  However, we continued to walk deeper into the tunnel towards the pitch black entrance of the subway due to the thrill of the unknown.

I reached in my jacket and pulled out my headlamp.  Craig walked behind me following in my footsteps as I led the way through the complete darkness.  Occasionally, sunlight peeped in through the dark tunnel casting its rays through windows, drains and cracks.  We poked our heads into empty sealed off stairwells lined with graffiti, which in olden times led back to the streets of Rochester.  Despite the RTA Subway System lacking security it remained fairly clean, free of most trash and lacked home-bums.  We wandered for about two miles and I noticed structural engineers sporadically placed steel support trusses throughout the tunnel.  This tunnel closed back in 1956, but hopefully this was a sign of restoration or at least preservation of a crucial part of Rochester history.  As we walked a bit further, light illuminated the exit of the tunnel, which put us out on Broad Street by the freight trains.  Baby car-seats scattered across the ground near the exit.  I did not know what to think, a practical joke or abandoned children lying dead somewhere?  We never found out and rushed back down the streets of Rochester to beat the meter.  I plan on cycling back out this way to stake out the freight yard and catch out to wherever the train may take me.

DCIM102GOPRO

Inside the RTA Subway System looking out over the Genesee River

Abandoned Growers Cold Storage Co.

Waterport Urbex – Abandoned Growers Cold Storage Co.

Waterport Urbex

Exploring an old factory off of 279 – Waterport Urbex

Alright, so I’ll be the first to honestly admit that Western New York sucks, but the country has it’s pluses, Waterport Urbex. I have no idea why anyone would want to live here and raise a family. The brutally cold winters, rain and scattered clouds make it a miserable place to live, but that’s just my opinion. I am only here for a few months each season to work packing parachutes. This season we moved to Pine Hill Airport in Albion, NY. Technically it’s an 8-mile drive from the city of Albion, but needless to say I am in the Town of Barre, which is full of abandoned barns, buildings, and quarries, both vacant and occupied by active heavy equipment.  Here is a recent adventure towards Lake Ontario in a small town called Waterport.

I set out yesterday towards Lake Ontario, specifically Lakeside Beach State Park. There and back is exactly 34 miles. Most of the grades are relatively flat, but some of the narrow, one-way, draw bridges have steep grades where I walked up them, pushing my bicycle beside me as I looked out over Eagle Harbor and Waterport Pond.

The complete desolation and lack of cars made the ride peaceful and relaxing. I pedaled by multiple fruit orchards, farmland and abandoned barns, but the building that stuck out the most in my mind was right off Waterport Road on Route 279 where I dipped into Waterport Urbex. Next to a field of semis and a government building, stood a crooked, dilapidated, vacant factory…or so I thought…

Waterport Urbex

Stairway to Heaven…I wanted to check out the basement but without a flashlight this place sketched me out.

I literally walked around back and pulled my bicycle in through the faded brown back door. The musty aroma of mold, moist dirt and freshly sprouted ivy tickled my nose. I propped my bike up against the window and locked it tightly. Not that anyone was going to steal it, but you never know what you’ll find in these places or who you’ll find “dead or alive!”

I shuffled away from the door and my eyes stuck on the opened lockers in the corner of the room. I pressed my finger against the gray door whisking away the dust in a single stroke until gently hearing a creak whistle at the hinges. I approached the next room to see electrical panels dismantled, cords dangling from the ceiling, old, rusted gears, steel beams, flakes of asbestos, broken filing cabinets and metal piping scattered across the floor. I just stood there and pondered why this place shut down and how long it remained abandoned? I walked up the steps into the next room to see a few old tires piled up next to the wall. An old elevator dangled by steel cables sat crooked on the ground floor, inoperable, full of random debris.

I tiptoed towards the red spiral staircase and stopped, noticing it twisted up two more stories and down into a pitch black basement. The other rooms on the interior remained dark and the only spawn of light came from holes in the shell or walls of the decaying building. I grabbed onto the spiral staircase, my fingers clasping rough rusted metal, pieces flaking off with each move up to the next floor. My eyes wandered around the room, first at the graffiti sprayed across the walls, and then at the exposed re-bar dangling from the corners of the concrete ceiling.

A door perched open with the letter “G” printed in big, bold, black lettering followed by a scribble of “UNIT” in red spray paint. To the left of it someone outlined a stick figure with Afro hair dancing and to the right of the door depicted a tall wine glass that was half full or empty. I looked inside and all the rooms remained completely black, with only tiny pinholes of light shining in from cracks in the building. I decided to walk of the rickety set of stairs and climb a ladder that barely hung on the wall to the roof the building.

Waterport Urbex

Rooftop Waterport Urbex

Now the roof made for a nice view over most of the road. The first room I climbed into held some sort of heavy, green, gear next to an old electrical panel. The weight alone of this made me confident that the wood flooring would not buckle beneath me sending me 40 feet to my death.

Western New York is a haven of much urban blight through areas like Rochester with the RTA Subway System, to the myriad historical silos of Buffalo, with abandoned squats, homes and barns in between.  Some of my favorite parts of Abandoned New York include Dansville:  Castle on the Hill and JN Adam Memorial Hospital to name a few.  Explore. Wander.  Live Free!

Waterport Urbex

Abandoned Grower’s Cold Storage Co. in Waterport, NY

Kanyoo Swallow?

Albion NY

More urbex in Albion, NY. I’ll get a story going later on, but here are pictures from my recent exploration around the airport.

So basically I purchased a whip from Walmart for $125.00 like I stated before in my previous blog post and ended up taking her for a spin to Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. If you haven’t been there and are in the area I would recommend checking out Kanyoo Trail and Swallow Hollow. Yes, if you combine the names Kanyoo Swallow Hollow it sounds like a porno, but the scenery is pretty epic. There are an endangered species of warblers there among Canadian Geese, and snapping turtles. I actually ran into a snapping turtle on my way back from the park. Those guys may be slow, but if you tap them to see if they’re alive they move like lightning and go into ninja attack mode. Fucker almost bit the toe of my shoe.

Aside from that there are a few marshes to check out in the preservation area. I preferred Ringneck marsh out of all of them. It’s definitely a great spot to chill, relax and go fishing. You can walk around most of the marsh as well. The water is pristine dark blue and filled with fish.

       

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