Friday, June 01, 2007

Land of the Lost

Woke up with a hangover -- thanks for the Jameson shot, Fidel! -- but in a change of pace, didn't handle it in my normal way (putting pillow over head, ignoring need to get out of bed, weeping) and sweated the damn thing out. Yeah, that's right. I'm Ernest Hemingway here.

I've long sort of known of an abandoned water works covered by foliage somewhere around town, but until recently didn't bother to look it up. When I did, surprise surprise -- it's in a park, and seemed completely accessible. So this morning, I trooped out to Mason Mill Park to see the old Decatur Water Works.

And ... it's not so easily accessible. Mason Mill is a mixed-use park -- I figured it was just hiking trails and such, but there's tennis courts, a senior center, etc. The trails themselves are something of an afterthought, and not well marked -- and the one map I found was kind of inaccurate.

After a couple tries, I found the trail I wanted -- had to leave the park, go down a dead-end road, head through the vegetation, cross railroad tracks, and plunge into the jungle. Then, the water works is a bit off the main trail -- so I just muddled around 'til I found the ruins.

Photos are below -- click on 'em if you'd like larger versions. Obviously, I'm not the only person to discover them. I'm not sure if they're officially off-limits or not -- given their crumbling nature and lack of barriers, I imagine authorities would prefer you not poke around. Plenty of people do, though, judging by the graffiti and garbage.

Some more info on the water works, including why they're so abandoned, can be found here -- and reading into it, it appears they actually don't mind if you check it out. A relief to be on the right side of the law for once.

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