Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Infilnapolis, Day 2: Winona and Other Horrors

The morning began with a hangover in a far corner of the Radisson Hotel, amidst a debate of who is going where.  Given the nature of the hobby, there's safety in numbers, but a group as large as 30 is in itself reckless, so we split up.  A majority chose to descend upon Indianapolis coke.  Trap, Warbird, DJCraig and myself head out for Winona Memorial Hospital, joining with another 4 along the way.

The hospital has only been abandoned since 2004, but has already fallen victim to scrappers despite efforts to keep it boarded, and is now slated for demolition.  We entered through a very well lit hallway, that lead into a series of doors and dark hallways, once lit by florescent tubes, now a pitch black maze.


 In a word, Boom

 Near the emergency room ambulance bay.

 The upstairs hallways are much brighter, and here the mold is noticeable.

 Jeanne, Aug 2004

 On the 4th floor was where the operating rooms were.  The whole corridor was completely dark with the exception of the office area, that had skylights.  Here we had already come across many signs of activity in the building.  The staircase up from this point was completely covered in thousands of plastic spoons, a tactic homeless people, and drug manufacturers alike use as an alert that someone's nearby.  If this wasn't disconcerting enough, we heard someone whistle in a hallway outside the room.  Our group of 8 split into 2 groups of 4.  Thinking it was a member of our group, I called "Marco," to see who was there.  A deep voice that no one recognized shouted "Rick?!?"  Immediately we fell silent, all thinking "Who the f**k is Rick?!??"  We as a group investigated, to find that our visitor had apparently left, still not entirely sure it wasn't one of our friends messing with us.

Upon coming to a broken window leading to the roof, we ran into Orangedrink, one of the other 4.  We split off, and went another floor up, then climbed the ladder even higher to the next rooftop.  It was about 85-100 throughout the hospital with no moving air, so we stuck around on the roof for a while enjoying whatever breeze we could get before going back down.

 After about 20-30 minutes, Orangedrink and I make our way back down from the roof to meet back up with everybody, and continue to see what the rest of the hospital had to offer, since it was but 2 o'clock.  It was while snapping this picture I got this text message from Trap. "There are people in the building.  You guys need to leave."

I called him and he confirmed that there were at least 3 very large sketchy looking men in the building, and they had left.  Apparently every one had already left, and it was just Orangedrink and myself.  The choice to leave came immediately.  We both packed up our gear tight in case we had to do some running, and creeped through the building with soft feet through the dark corridors, stopping in a couple rooms along the way to hide and listen, and upon hearing no signs of anyone, continued, completely lost in the dark.  We knew we were getting close as we wrapped around the emergency room lobby.  

We finally made it into the first hallway, upon turning inside, came face to face with 3 huge guys all holding hack saws.  They stopped, surprised at us, as were we. An awkward silence persisted, until Orangedrink said, "Hey we're just photographing.  We're on our way out."  I followed with "Yeah we can't find the exit.  Do you know where the heck it is?"  One of them said "Yeah man, right over here," and we all left, and split up.  Us back to the car, them to another section of building.

    After regrouping at a nearby cemetery, we made our way to a local pizza place to meet the up with the other 20 or so people to eat, and discuss where we've been, and what happens next.  The plan was hit up a local Sheraton hotel pool, conveniently located 8 stories up on the roof come dark.  Those of us who were staying at the Radisson hotel returned to kill time and chill.  It just turned out that most of that time would be spent on the rooftop, that had a pretty great view of both Indianapolis and the Indianapolis airport.

Night fell, and we traveled caravan style to the pool, a mere football field away from last night's adventure.

 After the pool closed, we'd hate to break the rule of staying after hours, so we headed back to the Hotel we actually belonged to in hopes of continuing the good times, once again, on a rooftop.

Be sure to check back to see the dramatic conclusion of the trip, where we finally make it to the holy grail, Indianapolis Coke.

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