Thursday, January 31, 2008

This Upcoming Week

Hey folks!

Mouser Week IX is upon us this weekend, so Franklin, Jacques, Goxkok, Jasper and Hollers will be headed out en masse to Perkins on Sat. to meet up with the rest of the TC gang and watch the awards ceremony and hopefully participate a few times during the coming week of explorations around the Twin Cities.

A solid week of exploration awaits! Stay tuned for harrowing tales and amazing sights!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ADM Grain Elevators

Hey people. The exploring crew is back and dressed warmly for this brutal Minnesota weather. It was a bit warmer the other day (relative to the chilly past few days) so we decided to get our asses into gear and get out and explore. The freezing cold and our epic toe-freezing of the Lucky 13 / Saint Anthony drain sort of deterred us from water involved explorations.

But, the call of the grain towers proved to be too strong. Even though it was balls cold outside, we go ahold of Franklin and picked his sorry ass up at his house. Adventures ensued:

Jacques and I drive over to the SuperAmerica to fill up his struggling gas tank.

We slam our doors shut to fill up gas and buy rockstar, and realize shortly after that WE FUCKING LOCKED JACQUES KEYS IN HIS CAR! Dammit! We shamefully called up the only other person with a key (his mommy) and she drove over, pissed, and opened the car for us. We got in, and drove off to the West Side to pick up our buddy.

Franklin Delano Nothing was waiting ever patiently for us, and wasted no time in hopping right in. We motored off to Minneapolis along University Avenue and spent at least 10 mins looking for a parking spot suitable for Jacques behemoth of a car.

Parking finished, we looked in front of us at the gigantic building (this picture borrowed from e is for ericka on flickr)
We evaded a simon delivers truck and crawled in a small hole and entered a smelly, dark and grain-encrusted building. We were in! Explored the majority of the first floor, which ended up being mostly control rooms, electricity, lockers and bathrooms. Some cool pictures ensued:

Here Jacques poses with some rusted out and decrepit machinery shit. We guessed it was some electrical switch station, and found one station identical to this one for every silo. Some more poking around led to the discovery of some gigantic electrical stations. Switchbox upon switchbox spanned all the way down this hallway.

We followed the hallway to a section of old offices and pawed a bit through the empty desks and found a VHS Tape and nabbed it, thinking it might be something cool or at least, weird. Our exploration of the first floor ended at the end of the long hallway which ended at a set of stairs that led into the basement with a prominant sign warning us of some crazy gasses that probably dont exist, but still... we didnt want to fuck with crazy gases. Here, Jacques poses with another switchbox near the ladders.

We headed up a narrow staircase that climbed all the way up to the top of the grain towers, at least a dozen flights in a tiny shaft with sporadic windows. It was the upper levels of the towers that were really interesting, and sadly, this is where my camera batteries finally gave out against the brutal cold... so you cant see the pictures.

The upper level included some sketchy stairs, many ways onto the roof (not dark enough to go out yet) and some cool spaceship-like hallways that led to other rooms on the roof. The kicker though was a long passage that spanned the whole upper-floor that gave access to the top of each silo.. we walked along this area from one end of the elevator to the other, tripping balls as we peered over into the silos, hundreds of feet down to their cement bottoms. We definetly tossed a plastic bottle over the edge, and it took at least 8 or 9 seconds to get to the bottom.

There was no way back down on the other side, so we headed back to the sketchy stairway down after poking our heads outside on the roof: turned out to be way too cold in the wind so we'll come back another day to get photos of D-Town mpls. Here's one last shot of the upper hallway as we head back with the light boosted a bit:

We exited the way we came, out the little hole and into the night to go grab McFuckingDonalds on the West Side before watching that VHS we got:

Turned out to be an insurance claim tape: water had spilled onto the train tracks, effectivy freezing the train cars into place. ADM i guess spent thousands trying to free the railcars and used this tape to document their spending. The footage was just a worker with shitty camera angles filming workers trying to free the train from the ice with some awkward commentary. Maybe we'll have a screening of this blockbuster film someday: keep checking back ;)

-GoXkok, Jacques and Frankling Delano Nothing