It was the third time for me to set out in search of the Hume factory. The first time was on our inaugural haikyo road trip- we hit up Kappa Pia Theme Park and the Volcano Museum by day and searched for the Hume factory by night. It was pouring it down and we ended up climbing over a fence into a whole different factory, one that turned out to be live, with motion sensor security lights and big humming grids of transformers. Fail, but a great bit of adventure. The second time was solo, I hoped to tack it on as a chaser to the Shrine/Castle I went to a month or so ago. Fail due to train constraints and fading daylight. This time it was first on our list, and stood no chance of escaping exploration.
So, a factory. I’ve been to factories before, both fairly modern, fairly ancient, and fairly demolished. There are certain things that you don’t want to miss, certain things you have to climb on, and certain experiences you ought to have. Here’s a loose checklist-
– Rusted heavy industrial equipment (check- huge wheel, lots of chains, hooks, conveyor belts, chutes)
– Old safety manuals, time-sheets, notebooks, etc.. (semi-check, while searching for an Allen key to fix my tripod)
– Busted open fuse-boxes (check)
– Archaic control panels crammed with dials, levers, and complex LED flow charts (check)
– Vantage points to look down on everything and feel like a sniper in HALO (check)
– Cement towers and chutes (check)
– Anything with a workman’s ladder attached (check, several walkways onto the roof)
– A brief scare from a real or assumed security guard potential (check, though they turned out to be gardeners trimming trees in the adjacent factory block)
We climbed in over a big concrete block, pow-wowed briefly in the main warehouse, and agreed to meet back in an hour. The warehouse had a lot of stuff hanging down from the ceiling (chains, control switches, hooks) and a lot of stuff on the ground (long trenches, mostly) but at first not a lot to explore. I climbed a walkway and hunted out a controller’s box. I stood in a corridor of hanging electrical wires and thought- “huh, neat.”
The whole factory block was comprised of a huge open yard with a big yellow A-frame loading crane, the main massive warehouse, and the concatenation of cement chutes and storage/cooling vats lumped together beneath the cement tower.
That’s one thing I don’t get about cement. Does it need to be carried on a lot of conveyor belts to become cement? Every cement factory has a tower structure with a lot of roller chutes where the cement would slurry down, dropping invariably into big conical vats. Perhaps in these chutes they are adding materials, making the cement? The first factory I went to had the chutes coming down a cliff-side, and I thought maybe it was just a delivery system, from the top of the cliff down. Now it seems it’s a necessary part of the process. Hmm. It gets heated up, fired up the furnace, then cools as it comes down the chutes? That’s just a guess.
I moved into the second half of the warehouse and met in sequence the two other Mikes, who both warned me of impeding security guards who turned out to be tree cutters. My tripod broke, so I spent a while searching piles of garbage/tools for an appropriate Allen key. No such luck. I eventually found one later in the Volcano Museum but it was the wrong size :(..
Up a ladder.
I was on the roof.
I walked with maximum stealth along the roof for a while. It later turned out though that the others, who were still inside the warehouse, clearly heard the ninja-like footsteps overhead and assumed it was me. Ach, what a shame to be so predictable.
From the roof I had to climb into the cement tower through an open window. I went to the top, wow, what a view! I tried to draw a bead on someone with a pretend rifle but nobody presented their head to me. I took a picture of a stool. The air smelled of birds nests.
Top floor of the cement tower.
At the bottom Mike and Lee were confabulating and gossiping like a pair of old fish-wives. I left them to it, preferring to climb up the rickety cement chutes. I did that. It was quite scary, teetering with only a thin metal netting between me and a long fall onto machinery. I escaped unharmed though.
The next post is probably the long-awaited return to the Volcano Museum.
You can see all the haikyo on this site in the Ruins/Haikyo Gallery.
To top off this post, I’d like to ask for a little feedback in the form of a quick poll on the following two photos:
HDR hanging controls
Straight hanging controls
If you’d like to explain your vote in the comments below that would be most appreciated.