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Location DB > United States > Texas > Cleburne > The County Hospital > A metaphor less traveled

Story Info
Mon, Oct 31st, 2005
posted by Explorer Zero
A metaphor less traveled

I had been driving by this place for years. Never paid that much attention to it really. Although I always explored like most normal kids did I didn't learn about "urban exploring" until much later in life. This type of abandoned building wasn't even on my radar until I started pursuing u.e. as a sport.

I remembered seeing it locked up, fence all around and drove down here from Dallas just for the purpose of getting in. I didn't even know if that was possible. From the street it didn't look too promising. Sure I could climb over the fence or crawl under that gate but there was a couple hundred cars going by every hour during the day and I wanted photo opportunities so I chose an arrival time to beat the morning rush hour.

Luck was on my side like so many other times exploring, around back was a discrete gap in the security fence where the hospital fence met a neighboring clinic's fence. Just big enough for a big guy like me to squeeze through. The clinic was just opening up and cars were coming in one right after the other so I parked like any patient would closer to the clinic than the fence but around the side out of view of the front door. No time for tripods this would be all handheld.

I waited for the activity to slow in the clinic parking lot and scurried over to the fence. First thing I noticed was a door open, to the basement, a basement half full of water. Ok save that though in case nothing else was open. More good fortune would smile on me that day because I found a dry way in. Once inside I could slow my heart rate and breathing to something remotely normal. Sure I got a rush from this stuff its not Ft. Knox but its still good sneaky fun and I was craving the buzz.

The cool damp interior before me, it awaited with all the smells and sounds befitting a large institutional abandonment. Graffiti and other items told me I was not the first one in since it closed, Hell it really looked like it may have been closed for decades. There was some partial demolition of the interior, fixtures and hardware had been removed. Every now and again I would stop to listen and check behind me to see if anyone was following. That's a creepy damn feeling if you've never experienced it to hear footsteps behind you in a place like these that we seek out. I had an eye out for bums too this looked like prime hobo habitat but not many 'bos would've found that design flaw in the fence I think to myself as I sneak on.

Satisfied nobody was on my trail and Cleburne PD wasn't running code 3 onto the property I relaxed a little more. There was almost no sound except my own foot steps and the traffic on main street buzzing by at 45mph. The layout was fairly predictable, the architecture and artifacts weren't all that interesting but just being here when I wasn't supposed to be here was reward enough. I spent over 2 hours just wandering around. I contemplated this new hobby I had embarked on and calculated what it would cost me IF I was caught.

I was reminded of Robert Frost's poem and realized I was indeed on a road less traveled.

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