This past Monday, Ariana and I went on a photo safari to an abandoned motel on the east side of town.
Ever since I had noticed the motel, which was across the street from the park where I take Kane, I had been curious about going back to it to explore and take pix.
Anyhow, Monday was the day I finally got around to doing that.
Approaching the motel was a bit difficult. Because it had been in such disrepair, there was no driveway that I could pull into. With the ground being broken up and strew with rubble, I was concerned that I would puncture a tire.
This archway was an easily noticeable feature from the road.
One day, I notice a young couple at the motel. The girl, in her white summer dress, was posing in the archway while her boyfriend or husband took pictures.
Because the sun was close to setting, the mosquitoes started coming out in full force. I was barely at the front of the motel when they started attacking me full force.
That broken door leads to the courtyard behind the front of the building.
It looks like a courtyard now,
but I am sure that it was a big room.
This small section of linoleum is proof that the courtyard was once an interior space.
However, with decades of decay, Mother Nature started taking over.
As with any abandoned building, expect to find graffiti.
Graffiti and decay often lends itself to creating a rich pallet of textures and colors.
This is one of my favorite pix from the series of abandoned motel photos.
Some of the walls in the courtyard had inspirational graffiti.
And it was kind of nice to see graffiti that had a positive message for a change.
Where a ceiling had been, there is now a canopy of leaves.
A doorway leads to the rear of the building,
where I found this odd room sticking out. Was it a bathroom at some point?
There was more to the abandoned motel than what was visible from the road. This stone retaining wall was along side a path, which was once a driveway,
that led uphill to another building out back.
Not being visible from the road, this building was most heavily hit by graffiti artists.
The walls were tagged both inside and out.
With some graffiti, one had to wonder what the messages meant,
while on other walls, the messages were clear. But before, you get the idea that these words are conveying an uplifting thought, think again. (These words are lyrics from a Lil Wayne song. And if you click on the link, you'll see what I mean.)
Some graffiti was creepy, adding to the already creepy vibes of the place.
And some hinted at secrets that no one would ever know.
While not all the walls fell victim to the spray can, they all fell victim to decay.
The ceilings, too, showed great decay.
And in some areas you could see the blue sky through the gaping holes.
There were textures to behold on the ground.
Some areas still had the smallest hints of what the floors could have looked like.
It was not difficult to find artful arrangements of rubble on the ground. And with the sun being close to setting, the lighting was glorious.
After we explored the back building, we discovered yet another building,
with green boarded up windows, a bit more further out.
Walking through these 2 hidden buildings, one could not help but think what a perfect backdrop they would have made for a scary horror movie.
(This is the same view as above, but using a flash.)
One can only guess as to the purpose of this curious hole in the wall.
As with the other buildings, there were plenty of open window spaces
and open areas in the ceiling.
But my favorite part of this building was this beautiful, majorly distressed green door.
I just loved the colors, textures, and lighting.
We would have stayed longer, but we were already losing the light, and the mosquitoes were getting even more fierce.
As we walked down the path to the car, I thought a caught a whiff of a Black and Mild cigar. And with my previous thought being about the horror movie setting of this place, it did not take all that great a leap in imagination to wonder if there were some miscreants in our midst, who were lying in wait, trying to decide whether to quietly let us pass or take us out and chop us into tiny little pieces.
Obviously, they stayed hidden and allowed us to pass.
We're not done yet.
It's story time now.
The day after our photo safari, Ariana showed to her coworkers the pix that she took on her camera. And one of those coworkers told her the story of the abandoned motel.
Whether the story - or parts of it - are true or not, it's hard to say. I was not able to find any information online.
But the story goes:
This motel was known as the Stumblers' Inn. That may not have been its official name, but rather a name that the locals called it. The reason for that name was that there was a bar near the motel. And after the bar would close up for the night, the drunks from the bar would stumble their way to the motel.
Supposedly the city never tore down the motel was because it was considered to be a historical landmark.
And there is a gruesome story associated with the Stumblers' Inn as well.
The story goes:
Sometime in the 50s, a man killed his 5-year-old-daughter in one of the motel rooms.
He would not allow her out of the room, not even when she needed to go to the bathroom. As such, the little girl peed on the floor. When that happened, the father flew into an insane rage and killed the little girl by force-feeding her Tabasco and smashing her against the wall.
Truth or urban legend?
Who's to say.
But one thing I will say is that in the "666" room, Ariana found an old broken doll. And that was the room that gave her the creepiest vibes.