1. The Cake-Colored, Crumbling Church
This fading, pastel-colored church just outside Lexington caught my eye because of its decadent beauty. The light, almost cake-like green and pink stand out as wonderfully refreshing to the eyes under the hot Oklahoma sun. It is the visual equivalent of drinking a cool glass of water. I don't think I've seen a building quite like it. I took a quick look around it, and quickly decide that it is certainly abandoned. All the doors and windows are boarded off and locked. I wonder what happened, that would make a congregation abandon such a unique house of worship. I'd like to return to this building, before it meets whatever final fate awaits it- renovation, demolition, or a slow, discouraging collapse into rubble and ruin.
2. The Impulsive Excursion on the Explorer
This is complementary to the story of my maiden voyage on the $25 inflatable raft that I wrote about here. Take a look for some context. I'll still be here, just for you, when you get back.
After securing my Explorer raft on the not-quite-defunct boat ramp, I followed the trail through the woods and to its conclusion. I was rewarded spectacularly.
3. Meditative Meanderings on a Melancholy Marina
On lake Eufala, in Arrowhead State Park, there sits the derelict Area 51 Marina Bar & Restaurant. Funny enough, I was directed there by the park volunteer staffing the visitor center. The place was quite obviously abandoned, and had been so for some time, but somehow the park volunteers don't know that.
I was really looking forward to a cold beer, but my disappointment was offset by having this quiet, eerie corner of the lake to myself. I say eerie- I think that the more recently a building or site has been abandoned, the eerier it is. Perhaps it's because it seems like the occupants could return at any moment, or because whatever caused their initial exodus could still be present.
Exploration inside was thwarted by locked doors, though a spiral staircase outside leads to a rooftop terrace. I'm a bit too exposed up there for my liking, so I return to the decking below. I sit on the dusty old patio furniture, under the expansive shade of the deep roof, and I make myself coffee on my tuna-can camp stove. All around me is the serenity of the blue lake water tinged talc-y white, its aqueous song punctuated only once by a passing boat. I watch, wait, and relax.
I finish my coffee and head home.
...sees much and knows much