Youve heard the term sleeping with the fishes – well Ive got a new one for ya – sleeping with the pigeons. A few nights ago a seemingly normal night of UE turned into something altogether new.
Nel, Controleman and a couple of other local Francophone* explorers invited me out last weekend to try out a new entrance to an otherwise sealed set of silos. Right away we had complications as one of the explorers couldnt fit through the first gap in the fence and try as we could there didnt seem to be any other way through for him. So we bid him farewell and proceeded to climb the girders up into the silos…
Silos are always impressively large, but as you explore you come to realise that one set of silos is usually much like another so even though they were interesting and fun they werent necessarily anything to write home about. While on the roof taking photos someone, I think jokingly said that we should stay until sunrise on the roof. Nobody objected, and so, oddly enough, just after midnight, not having planned it at all we all settled in for the night on the concrete floor a hundred feet above the ground. I initially tried to sleep a level above the rest, figuing that the upper levels were less dirty (trash falls down afterall).
I managed to get an hour or two of sleep in on the concrete though all I remember is a lot of thrashing around to try and get comfortable. The others told me they came up at one point and shined their lights directly on me – I have no recollection of this so I mustve gotten some sleep. Finally I got up, so cold that I was shaking uncontrolably and went down to join the others. It was only a degree or two warmer down there so we relocated to the warmest location we could find, the electrical room. Unlike the rest of the silos the electrical room had no windows and was made of solid concrete instead of a combination of concrete and metal siding. In the inky blackness of the tiny room we managed to sleep another three or four hours until six am as the sky was just beginning to glow warm orangy tones on the eastern horizon.
And so we watched the sun rise from the upper levels of the silos, snapping photographs and stretching our aching limbs, celibrating our victory over the cold, hard night. We explored in the golden morning rays, snapping photographs and looking at the machinery that was cold and sickly looking the night before, warm and radiant in the morning light. It was tiring, but well worth it. We left the silos around nine am so were inside very nearly twelve straight hours. We went for breakfast, and who should join us but our big chested friend from the night before. Desole.
Im sad I hadnt brought my DSLR or my full sized tripod for photos, but I got a few acceptable shots. Controleman as usual made some amazing captures. Im just glad I had the experience. Sure a blanket or even a jacket would have been nice, but a camera bag makes an okay pillow and if you cant take it, well, find another hobby.
Photos later, when I get my computer setup.
* Exploring in French is all well and good, except for one thing – whispering. Sometimes doing UE its important to be quiet, but Ill be damned if I can tell the difference between a tenir ca and a tabarnac when theyre whispering.