Monday, September 24, 2012

Abandonment Issues: Holocaust Abortion Tour Houses (East Meets West 2)

The Holocaust Abortion Tour (East Meets West 2)
Photo courtesy of rockandrollfreak

jerm IV
Photo courtesy of rockandrollfreak

 A few weeks back, the long awaited East Meets West Tour finally took place. Dallas and I made our way west to meet with fellow explorers doom vs. & rockandrollfreak, and a joyous time was had by all whilst cruising the open roads and exploring such sights as the Westinghouse boiler, Esther Lee's House and The Cat Lady House, just to name a few.

Yesterday at 6:00 am, as the sun peeked over the horizon, Dallas and I hit the road yet again for East Meets West 2. Entering Milton, I sent a text to rockandrollfreak stating that the race to doom's apartment building was on. Soon after, I got a text in return: "Guelph bitch." Just then I looked up at the Guelph sign. Pointing at the car ahead of us on the 401, Dallas joked "Wouldn't it be funny if that was him?" Hilariously enough, out of the thousands of cars on the highway that morning, it was him. We laughed hysterically, all three of us, and throughout the very long day of exploring, the laughs never stopped.

After picking up doom, and hopping into one car together, we began the second leg of our journey, continuing further west toward the shores of Lake Huron, following the route that doom had meticulously prepared for us. It was somewhere near Stratford that the second East Meets West tour was given it's name. Deep in a corn field south of the highway, a massive billboard read 'HOLOCAUST ABORTION'. We zoomed by too quickly to ascertain any other information or context about the billboard, but just like that, the tour was instantly and unanimously named The Holocaust Abortion Tour.

It wasn't just a car full of explorers, it seemed more like stand up comedians on the road from venue to venue. We joked and laughed endlessly throughout the day. From climbing monkey elves to post apocalyptic holocaust abortions. And from metal music mockery to the obligatory barrage of Trailer Park Boys quotes. And of course, some knee slapping references to some fellow explorers. If laughter is the best medicine, then we we were all fully healed yesterday.

Just as topics of conversation shifted, the bi-polar weather changed moment to moment above us. Black clouds rolled in and out, continually revealing and concealing the bluest of skies. Rain poured down in the far off distance around us and occasionally we would drive through quick patches of downfall. Some of the houses planned on our itinerary had been demolished, but rainbows came and went, revealing pots of gold in the form of fresh finds. One of those fresh finds was a house worthy of it's own post, and will therefore not be present here. CFB Clinton and a gorgeous pioneer schoolhouse were also explored but will be posted at a later date. A few times, the building anticipation and excitement approaching a fresh find deflated quickly as entry proved fruitless or interiors were just plain boring. That brings us to the other four houses that were worthy of photographing and sharing explored during the 16 hour day that was The Holocaust Abortion Tour.

Special thanks to my friends Dallas, Doom and Rock for another wonderful adventure.

*Group photo courtesy of rockandrollfreak

Welcome to The Holocaust Abortion Tour, please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.

Goderich God Rich House (Goderich, ON)


The Goderich God Rich House was not on the agenda, it was one of our fresh finds, and it did not disappoint. Bibles and hymnals were found throughout the home, some piled in boxes, others resting on counter tops, more torn into hundreds of pieces on the floor of a second storey bedroom. Wallpaper was peeling in every room, in one case fallen from the ceiling and completely covering the door frame to a bedroom, until I tore it down to reveal the nastiest stench of raccoon shit dusty stale air trapped inside. Spider webs clung to window frames with nothing to prey on, and window sills were graveyards for winged insects. God clearly hasn't been here in a while.




















With all four of us back outside, content with our own documentation, I put the stone back in front of the door where we had found it, and we hit the road again.

Stairway to Nowhere House (Goderich, ON)


Doom had told us about the Stairway to Nowhere House. He told us that it was in an advanced state of collapse, holding on for dear life. And he told us that no one had ever been crazy enough to go upstairs. Of course, all 3 of us men together, we went upstairs, not straying from the top of the staircase.









And then I went back upstairs again, and pushed myself to do the unthinkable and traverse the collapsing floorboards. Stupid, maybe. Worth it, yep. Dallas snapped a great image of me nervously shooting up there, and I added it below.






I survived the walkabout of the second floor, and breathed a sigh of relief when I was back on solid ground. Again, we hit the road.

Stairway Stone House (Belgrave, ON)


The Stairway Stone House in Belgrave has been on my list since I first saw Doom's images of it's gloriously beautiful staircase many months ago. The staircase is most definitely the highlight of this old stone house. The home is completely empty and most of the rooms are bland and boring from a photographic standpoint, but I did enjoy traversing the collapsing veranda out back leading to the basement.





In the blackness of the basement, a noise hummed, a sump pump maybe. A raccoon scurried. I hopped back up the stairs two at a time.




The narrow second staircase in the rear of the house and some empty bedrooms kept me busy while the rest of the crew took turns shooting the main staircase.




And then it was my turn to shoot the most beautiful staircase I've yet to encounter in an abandoned homestead.









Back outside, under the watchful eye of this cow, we hopped back into the car and continued on our journey.

Wroxeter Westlake House (Wroxeter, ON)


The days explorations wrapped up at the Wroxeter Westlake House. Many Westlake family members had carved their names into the red brick outside the front door, alongside dates going back over a century. The highlight here was the kitchen, complete with antiquated appliances and bottles and utensils in cupboards and drawers. But it was too dark for me to snap any quality images in the kitchen, as I don't use a tripod. Why don't you take a look around?


















This hereby concludes the first portion of The Holocaust Abortion Tour, we hope you enjoyed your ride.

I would be remiss not to add that some quick research later revealed that the Holocaust Abortion billboard could be attributed to an American based Pro-Life group and their misguided attempt to somehow equate abortions to the holocaust. I do not support this argument, or this cause. For the record, I am pro-choice. The title of the tour was decided on unanimously by all four explorers participating, for the simple reason that it had an impact on the day from a comedic perspective. I've received some negative feedback about the title, and if it offends you, I'm sorry. But no, not sorry enough to change it.

Continue on the Holocaust Abortion Tour with us, come on in to the B. Donnelly House in Lucknow, Ontario.

East Meets West 3 isn't set up yet, but it is an inevitability. Stay tuned.

click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES


Chris said...

As always so envious of your travels! Love the God Rich home, an unexpected find with a ton of treasure - like hmyn books. How freaking cool.

Quetzletted said...

That was wonderful. Looks like a great time, and some amazing shots came out of it.
I really enjoyed the whole experience, but, as usual I liked the written aspect especially.
Just a question though Jerm, why don't you use a tripod? My guess was that they can be clunky and easily get in the way, but what's the actual reason?

Unknown said...

Thank you both very much for the kind words. Quetz, yeah, I just seem to manage without one. I like the freedom to maneuver and climb like a monkey and tripods just tend to get in the way. I like to find ways to utilize the environment for longer exposure shots, such as moving an object into place to stabilize the camera in those rare times that it is needed.