Saint Sialia Church

A year and a half ago, on a previous visit to Philadelphia, we tried and failed to get into this church. Our consolation prize would be the rectory, in which fire extinguisher hanky-panky would leave one of our party down and out for the night, a victim of suggestive pantomime gone terribly wrong. (She was … Continue reading Saint Sialia Church

Trolley Graveyard

In a ravine in the woods of rural Pennsylvania sits an impressive collection of decaying trolleys and railcars. It is on private property, owned by a man who set out to restore and possibly resell them. Unfortunately, once word of these cars leaked out, it was only a matter of time before they inevitably were … Continue reading Trolley Graveyard

Vandalia State Hospital

The largest psychiatric hospital in the world once operated in a small, nondescript southern town. From its founding in the early nineteenth century, it steadily grew as the decades passed and as the treatments it offered evolved from the primitive to the merely misguided. Ultimately, the idea of keeping the mentally ill locked away en … Continue reading Vandalia State Hospital

Botany Bay

One of the fun things about traveling is discovering how different a place may look in person. This may seem obvious, but with the technology each of us have at our fingertips, we can really familiarize ourselves with a foreign city just using Google images or streetview. Some years back, I used streetview to virtually … Continue reading Botany Bay

A School in the Hills

A prominent hill in a small rural town is the site of a former military academy turned private boarding school. As it is surrounded by a quiet subdivision, we decided to get there before sunrise. In the dishwater gray predawn light, we trudged along a sleeping lane until we reached a cul-de-sac, then pushed through … Continue reading A School in the Hills

Urbex, Colorado Style

I didn’t appreciate what a boon the high country climate is to old structures in Colorado. Back home in the Midwest, the humidity turns old wood to pulp within a generation. But here, intense sunlight combined with the thin, arid, atmosphere combine to merely dessicate abandoments, while leaving them intact and standing. Thus, remnants of … Continue reading Urbex, Colorado Style

Windy Ridge

On our trip to Colorado, we’d read about some ancient pines on a hillside not far from we were staying. The local guidebook made it seem like it was not far from the main road, but a half hour of tedious driving over increasingly rough terrain had us doubting whether we’d read the map correctly. … Continue reading Windy Ridge

High Country Graveyard

With Covid in full swing last fall, my wife Shawna and I were looking for a pandemic-appropriate getaway. We decided on a mountain cabin rental outside of Fairplay (the inspiration for the South Park cartoon series) and spent the better part of the week hiking, driving scenic roads, or bumming around the cabin. Of course, … Continue reading High Country Graveyard