Good Scares near the Great Lakes

Day 77 / Mile 9085.

So against advice I was given for my safety and well-being, I rolled from St Louis towards the Great Lakes.  Chicago has a long history of mafia, especially because of the famed Al Capone.  I wasn't worried about the mob, it's just a different environment than the sleepy beach towns of Southern California.  Then you have Detroit, the entire city filed bankruptcy last year and the place is half abandoned or burned down.  That place actually had me on edge, especially for a skinny white hipster dude in a mini van with California plates... some laws of nature you just don't tempt.  But I'm either stupid or brave, or both, and went for it. 

 Another random state motto.  Lincoln was a great person and made a lot of good change in America, but the rest of the sign is just, meh. 

Another random state motto.  Lincoln was a great person and made a lot of good change in America, but the rest of the sign is just, meh. 

 I was full of energy and the 1st thing I did when I got in town was Chuck Norris roundhouse kick that tower.  HIYA!

I was full of energy and the 1st thing I did when I got in town was Chuck Norris roundhouse kick that tower.  HIYA!

 I went by Macaulay Culkin's house, but he couldn't have visitors over because he was HOME ALONE!  

I went by Macaulay Culkin's house, but he couldn't have visitors over because he was HOME ALONE!  

 Surf was up at Lake Michigan, but you'd need a 10mm suit to deal with these arctic temps.

Surf was up at Lake Michigan, but you'd need a 10mm suit to deal with these arctic temps.

 The artist who lives here knew he couldn't make a good fountain, so he just aptly named it.

The artist who lives here knew he couldn't make a good fountain, so he just aptly named it.

 The Bean is a classic "selfie" location in Chicago.  There were dozens of people here smiling at their cellphones and others were just staring at the reflection like they were on acid.  Anyhow, here's my self-portrait.  ...see the tripod & camera in the reflection?  That's how I do it.

The Bean is a classic "selfie" location in Chicago.  There were dozens of people here smiling at their cellphones and others were just staring at the reflection like they were on acid.  Anyhow, here's my self-portrait.  ...see the tripod & camera in the reflection?  That's how I do it.

 After cruising the city in the sub-zero temps, I met up with  Nick Lipton  for some pizza and beer.  He was a true gentleman and let me camp out at his warm apt for the night, thanks buddy!

After cruising the city in the sub-zero temps, I met up with Nick Lipton for some pizza and beer.  He was a true gentleman and let me camp out at his warm apt for the night, thanks buddy!

 Yeah, so are a lot of other states? 

Yeah, so are a lot of other states? 

 This church is in Gary, in a not so comfortable neighborhood.  Since it was getting late I only shot the exterior of this place, way too dicey to jump the fence in the dark. 

This church is in Gary, in a not so comfortable neighborhood.  Since it was getting late I only shot the exterior of this place, way too dicey to jump the fence in the dark. 

 I doubt anybody is attending services next week.  

I doubt anybody is attending services next week.  

 Day 79 / Mile 9240.  I hit a pure Michigan blizzard going North.  The streets were cold and slick, but my coffee was hot for hours thanks to my  Stanley  thermos.

Day 79 / Mile 9240.  I hit a pure Michigan blizzard going North.  The streets were cold and slick, but my coffee was hot for hours thanks to my Stanley thermos.

 Bro, like dude, this is such a bummer man...

Bro, like dude, this is such a bummer man...

 On Valentines Day I went into a Dunkin' Donuts for a treat, and came out to this on my window!  Nobody was around to claim it though...

On Valentines Day I went into a Dunkin' Donuts for a treat, and came out to this on my window!  Nobody was around to claim it though...

 The Snurfer was 1st thing invented to be snowboarded, made by Sherman Poppen back in 1965.  A decade later Tom Sims, Burton, and others started developing the toy that we call a snowboard today.

The Snurfer was 1st thing invented to be snowboarded, made by Sherman Poppen back in 1965.  A decade later Tom Sims, Burton, and others started developing the toy that we call a snowboard today.

 Here in Muskegon, Michigan they honored him with this monument.  Thanks man, I wouldn't be typing this today if it wasn't for you!

Here in Muskegon, Michigan they honored him with this monument.  Thanks man, I wouldn't be typing this today if it wasn't for you!

 The most phallic building in the world.

The most phallic building in the world.

 My last girlfriend told me I should visit this town, so I checked it out.

My last girlfriend told me I should visit this town, so I checked it out.

 The first spot I checked out in Detroit was the Heidelberg project.  For a couple decades a local man has been attempting to transform a run down inner city neighborhood into a more welcoming area.

The first spot I checked out in Detroit was the Heidelberg project.  For a couple decades a local man has been attempting to transform a run down inner city neighborhood into a more welcoming area.

 He's done some fun stuff with the block.

He's done some fun stuff with the block.

 Unfortunately not all the locals want the extra attention, and arson has leveled 80% of the homes over the years.  I was quick to avoid those who didn't want the tourists here.

Unfortunately not all the locals want the extra attention, and arson has leveled 80% of the homes over the years.  I was quick to avoid those who didn't want the tourists here.

 He keeps trying and trying though.  At least somebody is!

He keeps trying and trying though.  At least somebody is!

 In downtown is the historic Michigan Building.  The place was locked up tight, but I bribed the guard with a cigarette to explore around.  He was confused why I wanted to go in, but didn't get paid enough to really care.

In downtown is the historic Michigan Building.  The place was locked up tight, but I bribed the guard with a cigarette to explore around.  He was confused why I wanted to go in, but didn't get paid enough to really care.

 The theatre area is all abandoned and sometimes used for parking on the lower level, but is sketchy since it's falling apart from neglect and age.

The theatre area is all abandoned and sometimes used for parking on the lower level, but is sketchy since it's falling apart from neglect and age.

 The 3rd floor theatre was amazing, totally amazing. 

The 3rd floor theatre was amazing, totally amazing. 

 You probably remember  this movie  a decade ago with Eminem.  It's a rough area just like in the movie.

You probably remember this movie a decade ago with Eminem.  It's a rough area just like in the movie.

 You ain't getting any closer than this...

You ain't getting any closer than this...

 ...but good enough for this pic at the old train station!

...but good enough for this pic at the old train station!

 Day 82 / Mile 9530.  Not all of Detroit is scary and depressing.  Belle Isle was gorgeous with the fresh fallen snow. 

Day 82 / Mile 9530.  Not all of Detroit is scary and depressing.  Belle Isle was gorgeous with the fresh fallen snow. 

 I had to run around a little bit and enjoy not being nervous looking over my back every other second.

I had to run around a little bit and enjoy not being nervous looking over my back every other second.

 This abandoned church, yeah, I was on edge.  

This abandoned church, yeah, I was on edge.  

 I prayed that nobody was going to rob me or worse. 

I prayed that nobody was going to rob me or worse. 

 This town is struggling, it's sad to see people having to live in homes like this.  

This town is struggling, it's sad to see people having to live in homes like this.  

 Lots of this, everywhere.

Lots of this, everywhere.

 There are dozens, if not hundreds of burned homes like this. 

There are dozens, if not hundreds of burned homes like this. 

 Yes, even though I sometimes sleep in a Walmart parking lot and get woken up by snowplows, I'm thankful for this life.  

Yes, even though I sometimes sleep in a Walmart parking lot and get woken up by snowplows, I'm thankful for this life.  

 Day 83 / Mile 10,105.  Ohio!  

Day 83 / Mile 10,105.  Ohio!  

 Since I felt like a veteran urban explorer at this point, I thought I could handle the abandoned Central State Insane Asylum.  Let's go down in that dark basement...

Since I felt like a veteran urban explorer at this point, I thought I could handle the abandoned Central State Insane Asylum.  Let's go down in that dark basement...

 The place was really cold and super creepy. 

The place was really cold and super creepy. 

 I honestly didn't enjoy exploring this building.  About 10 minutes after I got this shot, I actually kinda ran out like somebody was chasing me! 

I honestly didn't enjoy exploring this building.  About 10 minutes after I got this shot, I actually kinda ran out like somebody was chasing me! 

 To end this story  on a lighter note, I went to this waterfall that you can drive behind, but the dang thing was frozen into icicles!  haha, it was only a hundred miles out of my way, but you know what they say, "It's all about the journey, not the destination"!  

To end this story on a lighter note, I went to this waterfall that you can drive behind, but the dang thing was frozen into icicles!  haha, it was only a hundred miles out of my way, but you know what they say, "It's all about the journey, not the destination"!  

It's really cold here.  It's so cold the fresh water tank in my camper is frozen solid, so my sink doesn't work.  I'm also running the furnace all night so I'm going through a lot of propane and it's really hard to find around here to fill up. The cold is also sucking the life out of my camera batteries after almost each shoot.  Knowing that the East Coast is getting hammered right now, I'm changing my route and going to rolls backwards and head straight south right now.  I'll get to the Gulf of Mexico and then head east to Florida, go North to Maine, then work back to this point and cross down to Texas and be back on route.  I just need to thaw out a little bit!