Urban Exploration

Index and background

Urban Exploration, or UE, is an underground (pun intended) activity that is, if not gaining in popularity, at least gaining in organization and visibility. For the basics, history, and so forth of UE, I suggest you check out places such as infiltration.org, uer.ca, or this handy-dandy local press release and see what they have to say on the subject. Additional resources on Urban Exploration in the Twin Cities can be had at the home of the Twin Cities Urban Exploration Cabal, of which I am a probationary member.

My take? UE is the (often illegal) infiltration and exploration of steam tunnels, storm drains, utility tunnels, abandoned buildings, caves, and other similar places that one "isn't supposed to go". There's wonder and beauty to be had, excitement, and adventure... but also the danger of arrest, injury, or illness; strenuous physical exertion, long hours of research and planning, and more in that vein.

I got involved in urban exploration because of the opportunities to photograph drains, sewers, tunnels, and caves, as well as the many wonders of abandoned and forgotten buildings. There won't be any pictures on this site, sorry - Buggrit is image-free, after all - but that's my primary interest. For photos, you can check my photography site at kitzi.com. I don't deny, though, the attraction of seeing, of being places that few people have ever been. That said, few if any of us "get off" on breaking the law; that's just not what we're about.

As I grow older and wearier, I find that a lot of what I want to say I've already said before. So, I'll quote here from an email I sent the local police department a while back:

"We are not terrorists, and we are not criminals. We are not bored teenagers with nothing better to do. We are not vandals, nor taggers, nor stoners. We are intelligent adults, women and men from a variety of backgrounds, fascinated with the hidden, forgotten history, the lost, secret places of our world; we are driven by curiosity, and inquisitiveness; we are fuelled by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, for answers to questions difficult to express with words. We operate by, and take to heart, the credo - take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints. While what we do may sometimes be against the law, we grudgingly accept that fact, but maintain the existance of a moral difference between illegal and criminal that doubtless holds no sway with you.
We have explored the area for more than half a decade without coming to the negative attention of your department. We have skulked in dark places, we have cowered, hidden with fright, and lived in fear of discovery or capture...We have been here, doing our harmless things, and will continue to do so, for...exploration lies in our blood and in our souls."

This is a slowly-growing subsection of Buggrit. The pages are linked below; as elsewhere, newest stuff is to the bottom.

My First Building
The Edge of the World as We Know It lyrics
Wish You Were Here lyrics
My Second Building
The Yellow Warehouse
The Things We Do for Money
Good Samaritans
The Big Hole
A Storm Drain
Landmark Six Press Release

In the News again... and again...
Dumb Luck
Three Men in a Drain
Mistaken Identity
So You Want to be an Urban Explorer?
Exploring the World, Exploring Ourselves

More coming, naturally, real soon now.


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