Busted in Bama

I got a random text from Geo last week, asking if I wanted to go to Birmingham to do some exploring. I just got back from PA and getting ready to go to Detroit the following weekend, but sure why not. Birmingham is one of those places that always produces locations. I’ve been there three times to explore and have only been to one location more than once. This trip was all Geo. He had a handful of places I’d never even heard of before. The first, some sort of girls correctional center. This was one time that I really wished I had worn pants (or brought a machete). We basically made our own path through the dense brush and finally hit some pavement. The first building we see definitely seemed like a prison building. It was mostly cell-like rooms. The last building was a chapel that was pretty boring and had the worst clock tower ever.

chair cells bathroom weed desk yellow cell doorway library safe room piano chair chapel skylight  desk padded room clock tower

The next stop was a hospital that ended up being pretty huge. We grab some fast food, then as we’re looking for parking, we see an obviously abandoned school. After seeing a marked-car driving through the hospital, we decide to stop by the school first. The school wasn’t bad. It was pretty dilapidated, but luckily the roof was in tact because it started raining like crazy for like 30 minutes. We let the rain calm, then walked over to the hospital.

stair monster hallway graff classroom open classroom table hallway gym boarded classroom hallway

As I mentioned earlier, this place was massive. It looked like several buildings built at different times and put together to make a hospital. We made our ways through a lot of the first building, but it was mainly empty and relatively new. We got to the roof to take a quick shot of the star up top and decide to just take off to go to a power plant. As we were looking for a way back to the car, I noticed a small morgue, so we stopped there real quick before we took off.

desk hallway gurney gurney side morgue hospital room patient room star

The last spot we stopped was an old power plant from World War II times. I was warned that it was pretty closely watched and once we got there, it was easy to see why. There were a couple businesses next to it and that’s pretty much it. When we drove by, everyone we saw just stared at us intently. Like the idiots we are, we find a place to park and walk up the back way and try to find a way around a barbed-wire fence. Unable to find a way around it, we go over. I gracefully do a parkour-like roll in the grass and collect myself. We try to stay low and cross a bit of a field until we get into a small building at the bottom of a huge conveyor. As we’re contemplating our next move, we hear a gas-powered golf cart/gator thing driving up. I’m immediately having flashbacks of Chicago and thinking how great of an idea it would’ve been to just leave when we didn’t find an easy way around the fence. It was very clear these guys knew we were there and basically exactly where we were. We still try to hide like morons. I hear their vehicle stop and they start walking around the building. I watched as one guy walked up to a window behind me, glance in, and keep going. For about 2 seconds, I started thinking maybe they’d go look elsewhere, but no, he walks right back to the window and looks me right in the eyes. He just said “c’mon out” so we just get up and walk out. It sucked pretty bad, but I was at least pretty certain I wouldn’t get a gun pulled on me. The first thing the guy said was they catch people there all the time. They take the equipment and call the cops because it’s federal property. For a half-second, I was going to politely tell him to call the cops, but he wasn’t getting any of my equipment, but I thought better of it and kept my mouth shut. Good thing I did, the guys were pretty cool. One guy was a walking encyclopedia on the place. He was full of interesting information and had an intelligent answer for every question we had. The best answer he gave was after I asked him, “so do we just need to wait for the cops to get here?”. He said “not today” and actually walked us over to the building. He said we couldn’t go in, but we quickly found ourselves on a full power plant tour, with the greatest guide ever. This guy didn’t work here or any power plant like it, he learned how literally everything there works by studying the blueprints. He also said no photos, but still let us snap a few while inside. He went from telling us he was going to take our equipment, to telling us crazy stories about fist-fighting crackhead scrappers and busting a film team of about 9 people repelling from the ceiling, wearing helmets and masks and shit. It actually ended up being a great way to finish our trip.

turbine guages machine electrical electrical guages office power plant  machinary stairs

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