Abandoned New York, Akron
I ended up getting blackout drunk at the Village Inn last weekend, and met a few older women who I’ve been hanging out with recently after work. Carol let me borrow her son’s bicycle to explore Abandoned New York for the time being until I leave at the end of the month, which is completely awesome. I made a few skydives in the past few days because of open slots on the plane and life really could not be any better. As boring as Akron is everything is turning around slowly toward greener pastures. I’m saving up a ton of money working for the next month. I already paid off my AFF and coach jumps for my Basic “A” license and have moved on to saving a few grand towards South America or China. Just waiting on my passport and other options to open up before I solidify my plans. Anyway, with all of that said, I spent the day packing my ass off and finished up on the drop zone around 4:00. Darrin and I finalized plans for the end of the month so it looks like we will be leaving September 27th for Cross Keys, NJ and getting some jumps in over the course of a 3-day period. I’m hoping to get in 15 jumps total or 20 jumps to get my numbers up around the 50 mark. Anything will help at this point to reach my goal of 200 so I can start flying wingsuits and preferably take an FJC Base course in Twin Falls, Idaho. I spent the rest of the sunny, cloudless day roaming the streets of Akron. I grabbed some grub at Nick’s Deli and hit the road for a 16-mile adventure. The 8-miles there felt like a breeze despite my lack of exercise over the past few months. I pedaled and lolly-gagged along the bicycle path until hitting the main road. Climbing hills of any grade suck using a mountain bike, but my limited options gave me no other choice. Either that or stay cooped up in the shitty trailer on the airport for the rest of the beautiful day and that just was not a viable option. I turned in off a main road across from a jail and adjacent to a correctional facility.
My heart pumped faster and faster as I approached the abandoned asylum. Half of the building still running and the rest of it vacant and dilapidated. Unsure about which side remained running, I decided to set my bike down near a basement window and scope the place out a bit before proceeding with my urban exploring. I noticed cars all parked in the lot beyond the rusty, white water tower so I deducted that half to be off limits. The other end looked more run down and completely desolate. I peaked in a few windows and noticed dusty walls with paint chips spread across the floor as if small crumbs of white popcorn covered the tile encroaching on the hallways. I remained incognito and casually walked over to the nearest sturdy pipe that ran parallel up the wall of the abandoned building.
This pipe, about four inches in diameter and 30+ feet long curved right to the top of the roof. I climbed 15 feet before no problem when I scaled the walls of the high school down the street, but this became a different challenge. The pipe appeared less sturdy and spanned a greater distance. I didn’t waste time contemplating it. I clasped the pipe in both hands and propped my feet against the wall climbing like a spider up the face of the brick. Every five feet I took a break on the mounted bolt plates holding the pipe against the wall of building until I reached each window pane. When I almost reached the top I needed to make a quick decision.
The last ten feet was not bolted into the brick wall so the pipe dangled freely. I yanked a few times on the pipe to solidify the sturdiness of the other anchors beneath me. The pipe did not budge. Without thinking I scaled the final ten feet and curled all of my fingers over the top of the roof, pulling myself onto the 3rd story. I looked out below and noticed a police car entering the area and immediately ducked down as to not be seen. After two minutes I poked my head out and realized he drove onto the correctional facility at the other end of the parking lot. I spent the rest of my time exploring the rooftop of the insane asylum. Ladders continued to go up making a 4th and 5th story. At this point, the adrenaline wore off and the fear of being caught subsided. I climbed the next three ladders, a shade of brick red smeared across my hands, seeping into each crack and crevice of my fingers. A creepy locked door loomed over the city of Akron with an empty room full of blue curled up paint chips scattered across the floor.
I tried propping the door open without any luck and proceeded to climb the final ladder. The view, simply spectacular, my mind at peace, and body calm. I sat up there for a few minutes soaking in the scenery below.
Fields of green and a sky of blue, with the tiny evergreen trees and buildings beneath me. I felt on top of the world, as I always do, when scaling buildings. This felt different. I never climbed a building this tall or one that sat on a semi-vacant lot. I limited my time on the adventure since I did not scope out the area much prior. However, I did end up entering the building. I noticed doors on the 1st floor remained locked to keep out home bums and other trespassers, but most people don’t scale 40 foot tall roofs to explore vacant buildings. Me being an exception accessed the inside of the building from the rooftop.
I jiggled the handle of the door and sure enough, it popped open. But fuck, to my surprise the light shimmered on and freaked me out. On all my adventures into abandoned structures, never once, was electricity still running. I walked down the stairwell reading signs saying, “DO NOT OPEN, FIRE EXIT, ALARM WILL SOUND!” Normally, without electricity that issue does not matter. However, I did not want to push my luck so I backed off. When I approached the end of the stairwell another light shined in through the glass door. This made me turn around and find another way out. Maybe I entered the wrong building, I thought? I decided to get the fuck out of there. I didn’t notice cameras or any alarms that sounded, but maybe I triggered a silent alarm. I know from previous visits past this site that it is guarded at night time, but most people during the daylight don’t have the gonads to do it. I ended up down climbing the same pipe, which felt much easier than the climb up. As soon as my feet touched the ground I grabbed my bicycle and jolted for the nearest road. On my way back to the airport I noticed two antennae. One sat 150 feet tall and the other looked more like 300 or 400 feet. Man oh man, what an adventure those will be next week. The sun sat perched slightly above the horizon and an hour or so of daylight remained. I decided to leave the other adventures for another day. After all, I needed to go off the beaten path through fields and woods to access them and I did not have the proper equipment. The day rocked! May the coming weeks be full of thrill and the unknown as I explore other parts of abandoned New York. Peace!
As I continue to work and explore the remnants of the past through urban blight and exploration, a few places come to mind worth exploring in Abandoned New York. I highly recommend checking out the RTA Subway System in Abandoned Rochester if you have the opportunity. As well as taking a look at Perrysburg, NY and Dansville, NY respectively and exploring Castle on the Hill along with the JN Adam Memorial Hospital. If you have any other suggestions on locations in Abandoned New York please feel free to leave a comment. My wife and I are always open to exploring new locations and graveyards.