Monday, April 18, 2011
Abandonment Issues: Land O' Lakes Motel (Under Destruction)
Urban Exploration Travel, that's what we've been doing lately. It's hit and miss. For example, you can drive for countless hours out to a prospective destination, your heart-rate rising as you get close, exuberant nervousness, excitement, and then nothing. It's gone. You can drive seven hours to Montreal to a classic spot like Malt, and not get in. It's sealed. You need to regroup, internet hawk, GPS navigate, check your notes and keep your eyes peeled.
Abandonment hunters, strapped with cameras and untamed curiosity.
Last weeks adventure took us from Toronto to Montreal, with perspective exploration or scouting stops in Perth, Smiths Falls, Ottawa, Anjou, Sorel-Tracy, Kingston, Belleville, Port Hope and Oshawa. A common theme emerged: it was the moment, the right now. Certain places that have been accessed easily by others for long periods of time, were sealed tight upon our arrival. At other locations we seemed to stumble upon a "small window" of opportunity that wouldn't exist in the moments before and after. A restaurant in the aftermath of fire. A handful of gas stations, with prices reading well below the cost of gas for this trip. A giant factory complex, that has clearly been a club for illegal rave parties. A hospital that we had to scale and a prison that ain't nobody getting into. But nothing was more timely than our approach to our first planned explore early last Wednesday morning. If not for GPS, we would likely have driven right passed it, as only three rooms were remaining of the Land O' Lakes Motel at the moment we stopped by in mid April of 2011.
As the excavator pulled up mattresses and televisions amongst the rubble and dropped it into the dump truck, workers stood around their pick-up trucks like a herd of sloth’s, in full protective gear. White plastic, respirators hanging from necks or resting on the hood.
I had to try, I thought, and I did.
I slammed the car door and walked straight up to what remained of the building, camera in hand. They just looked at me, silently. My wife ninja IX walked about the property, a beautiful blonde diversion. Like deer in headlights they watched me climb the pile of rubble and enter the lopsided unstable building full of asbestos, or they watched her. Flabbergasted by the fact that no one stopped me, it took a second to snap out of it, lift up the camera and start shooting. I didn't want to press my luck or get injured in the remnants that were already very unstable floors before the rest of the building was torn off the side, so I made quick work of what was left of the inside, and exited.
Upon exiting, they smiled at me, all of them, with those 'what the fuck is this idiot doing' grins stuck on their muted faces. But none of them spoke, not until I asked when they started tearing her down. Monday. How long has she been abandoned? Over ten years. By Friday, she'll be gone, one of them added.
And we pulled over again at the end of June of that same year.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES