Merry Freakin' Christmas
Now that I'm all grown up, I have come to detest Christmas in this country. Perhaps this holiday wouldn't be so bad if it weren't shoved in my face and ears without consent, and loaded with the ugliest kind of consumerism... but I digress. Making Bethlehem PA (AKA "The Christmas City") my destination during this time was not my first choice in escaping the horror show, but that old steel mill was quiet as a tomb, rusting away in perpetual beauty and invading my dreams at night... plus, the hardass security there may have been short staffed, making it possible to get another glimpse of the incredible gas blowing engine house deep in the middle of the plant.
My friend and I didn't even bother sleeping that night, and instead made the drive over find our way inside under the cover of darkness. The mill was so black against the night sky that all the details seemed to blend together into an impossibly giant shapeless mass, formidable and insurmountable. Of course that wasn't the case, and once we clambered up to the top of the elevated rail line and away from the street lights, our eyes could adjust to discern all the wonderful details. One of those details was an endless array of exterior ladders, which very much resembled a giant and dangerous playground for adults. Since we had some time to kill before sunup, we climbed around without too much worry that someone would spot us from below. I was hoping to dangle off the very tip-top of Furnace A for some fun, but the bolts holding the ladder I was using were definitely giving way and I aborted that plan rather quickly. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have picked the oldest furnace there to climb.
We made our way to the gas blowing engine house, but it was once again a shortened trip as security was NOT as lax as I had hoped. Still, it was an awesome sight to see once more. I returned on another night for some fun, before the place turned into a full-on casino, and I've included those at the end of the series.