Up and Over
The massive Kirkbride asylum loomed above us, its broken windows dark and forbidding; the sheer size of it seemed formidable for some reason. What it must have been like for a countryman to arrive at this imposing structure in 1854! An equally daunting structure stood between us and this rotting beauty though; a glossy black fence which encircled the abandoned complex. It wasn't your run-of-the-mill chain link fence though - no, this was about 22 feet high, and the links were so close together, you couldn't squeeze your fingers or shoe tips for a grip. As well as being "anti-climbable," the top 5 feet were curved outward to impede one who would even attempt a go at it. It was something you'd see at a newer prison, but made to keep people OUT of the structure. I often wondered how much this barrier cost to build.
It had a weakness however, which was the gate, conveniently placed around back. Here, there were spaces for the gate hinges where one could grasp the posts, and the top curve was omitted from the design. It wasn't an easy climb by any means though, and a friendly boost helped some of us over the top. Unfortunately the Department of Mental Health police whipped around the corner after 3 of us went over, spotting the booster and causing the rest of us to scramble for a hiding spot in the ruins. I was stuck behind a concrete pylon, the narrowness making me almost needing to stand on my backpack to fully conceal myself. Luckily, the mesh was so think that it was difficult to see into the property. There was some yelling as our less fortunate companions retreated into the woods, and a clanging of the lock on the gate. Thankfully the guard didn't enter, and I was able to access the building after I heard the SUV speed away on the patrol road which encircled the building.
A wave of relief came over me once inside; this old place was a real maze, with many places to hide in case things went south again. The twisting corridors led to incredibly beautiful scenes found in this historic building; the architecture and vivid colors made Taunton one of the most enjoyable hospitals I've been in.