Trip Report, August 14th, 2011
August 14th, 2011
We started our day by stopping in Ardoch to photograph an elevator that Rat’s been checkin’ out for awhile. All the excitement hit us at once… two little yapper dogs came running out into the road and ran in circles around the car. It was all Rat could do not to run over ‘em. Then, when he came back from shooting the elevator, he realized his phone was missing. He must have dropped it somewhere in the tall grass around the elevator.
So, I repeatedly called his phone, while Rat played Marco Polo with his Samsung. He finally heard it ringing and dove into the weeds like a huntin’ dog to retrieve it.
Where is a video camera operator when you need one?
Stardust 17, or the Strand Twin Theater in Grafton was our next stop. As you’ll see from the photos, all but a few of the panels are gone from the screen. All of the window speaker units are gone. We got photogrpahs of the concession stand, and what seems to be the old ticket window. After taking these photos, we really want to go to a drive-in movie… even if just once more.
We proceeded to Veseleyville–and while it was a beautiful and very small town, we didn’t see anything abandoned and elected to continue on without stopping.
We arrived in Conway, and we were thrilled. To the person who suggested this on our Facebook page, thank you! A lot of great photos to be had. We found an overgrown park dedicated to a local veteran in 1989, now nearly invisible in the trees behind some kind of hall or community center. There was a huge church that someone was using as a residence, too. All in all, a really great town to photograph.
Since our track took us through Fordville, we took a few shots on their main street. Not a near-ghost town, but a couple of cool shots.
We trekked up to Cavalier county to get some more in-depth shots of Nekoma and the accompanying military installation. Nekoma was as expected with a few good photos to be taken on their main street. We were surprised to see Nixon’s Pyramid rise up out of the horizon when we explored the north edge of town. You can see it from a couple miles away.
After some indecision over whether we should just drive in through the open gate of the installation, we decided we had not come this far to be timid. We went into Nekoma Safeguard Complex and spent about a half hour taking photos before a quite angry man arrived in a black pickup and sternly told us to take a photo and leave. So we did. Hope you enjoy the photos.
We did not see a no-tresppasing sign on the way in–it turns out there was a sign. We saw it on the way out. But in our own defense, it was on a gate, and when the gate is open, the sign is obscured behind a fence post. We just didn’t see it. Apologies to the property owner, we just took some photos.
We spent so much time in Nekoma, that we decided to cut Whitman from the itinerary and proceeded straight to Bartlett. The roads along this stretch are really bad due to the wet spring. Bartlett was intriguing… very small, perhaps a handful or fewer residents, and quite overgrown. We thought it reminds us of Sherbrooke, or Lincoln Valley due to the degree with which nature has overtaken the town.
Our last stop of the day was Doyon, and that turned out to be a bust altogether. Doyon is a nice little town with no abandoned structures of note.
Now, I’ll get going on adding the galleries… check back for tons of new photos over the coming days. — Troy