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The Mill, Phoenix, AZ

I live in Tempe, AZ which is part of the central part of the Phoenix metro area. I did a limited exploration of a place called the Mill. Itís a hundred year old flour mill that was the business that basically started this city, therefore it is of great historical significance to the area.

Here it is. It comes in two parts

The first floor of the tall one is where I explored.
Comparisons have been made

Here is the problem with trying to explore this place; this historical building sits at the head of the hottest strip in all of Phoenix, is at the foot of a small mountain giving people an easy view from all around, and it is a block away from a police station. If you go during the day, people are sure to see. If you go at night, people in the city that never sleeps will see flashes from a camera on the inside from the outside. What to do? I decided to go at just before sunrise. It will have the lowest volume of people and the most concealing of light. This place is also fenced off and padlocked at each door that isnít welded shut.

I went this morning, parked my car a few blocks away and walked there wearing all black. Once I got close I put on a hoodie and a cold mask to conceal my identity. It sounds lame but it is right next to a hotel parking lot and they also had lots of expensive lights there recently for Christmas. I got there and the fence was too tall to jump, so I cut a hole in it and went through. The first door I tried to force my way into that was conveniently on the back end of the mill, was welded shut. I went around to the side and found a door that was chained shut. I spent a minute exposed to the street, cutting through the chain. I got in. Oh crap! Of all things I forgot my flashlight! And itís almost pitch black in here! I had to resort to using my flash guide on my camera to give a dim enough light to see where I was going. Here is some of what I found.

Going down?

Going up?

It was scary seeing nothing, taking a picture, and seeing everything in a brilliant flash for only an instant, and then darkness again. Anyone remember the first Saw? The part where the photographer was going around his house looking for an intruder using only his flash? It felt just like that, only this place was way creepier than that guyís apartment.

After not getting too far I realized that the only way to get further was to climb a ladder in a five story elevator shaft in the dark. I was way too scared to try it so I started packing up to leave. I heard steps just outside and froze. I was in the dark and therefore couldnít be as easily seen so I slowly peeked out. It was a freaking paper bag! It sounded JUST like footsteps. I stepped out and relocked the chain on the door. I didnít break the old lock so all they would have to do is beak my lock and put their old lock back on, no damage. Except for that chain link fence! In hindsight I should have tried harder to jump it. I stepped around the back and squeezed through the fence. Just as I walked onto the strip a large truck passed by, the driver looked at me. He pulled into the parking lot and parked as close as possible to the Mill. Now there is construction going on a mere dozen feet away from it and there were already two other guys there working when I left. He could be working with them and he could have just looked at me because thatís what drivers do when they see pedestrians. But Iím scared that someone saw me and reported it, and maybe he is like the grounds keeper or something. I suppose if someone reported me they would have dispatched one of the dozens of cops that were a block away; Iím feeling pretty paranoid right now though.

I didnít get beyond the first floor of one of the building and I didnít have time to take decent pictures but it was a crazy awesome experience though.

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