Earlier that day...
The Sunnyslope Shelter has been on my list for awhile and I finally had the perfect time to go. After a busy Saturday of hanging at the lake, paddle boarding and hanging out with friends and their kids, Sunday was more low key. We had a relaxing morning and headed out early afternoon, it is just over an hour SE of home. I love how so many things are about an hour from my house, of course stopping to see unplanned things and taking back roads always makes it more than an hour.
We arrived at the location. It was hot, it was on a dusty gravel road, it was perfect. Not much around, a farm or 2 in the distance, a compressor station, and out in a field of wheat, you spot it. A door. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It's impressive and vaguely Hobbit-like. There was no way to access it from the front without trampling the wheat, which I was not going to do. On the other side off a lease road, was a narrow but distinct path through the wheat to the shelter. I didn't feel comfortable walking through the crops. There was also a sign posted next to the shelter reading, "Danger: Reclamation in Process. No Trespassing." I had to zoom in with my camera to read it. My son was disappointed that we were not going to see it up close. This was the first disappointment of the day for him.
|Objects in the photo are farther away than they appear.|
When I first thought about venturing into this underground crypt, I envisioned various creepy crawlies, murderers hiding out and a skunk family waiting to spray unsuspecting visitors. First I noticed the handle and slide lock were covered with webs, meaning no one had opened it recently. Phew. I opened the door as wide as possible to let in the sunlight. It looked safe. It was. Nothing to be worried about at all. It even had a covered skylight. It was cool (temperature cool, but also cooool cool). It isn't very big, only 10'x 12'. I couldn't imagine living in it, but 2 hardy souls did, one during the winter of 1902-1903 and another at various times in 1904.
Below is the history of the shelter, this note is stuck to the inside of the door. I forgot to take a photo of it but found this one at rovinghiker.com. Thanks Internet!
Take a journey with me to One Mans' Castle:
|Stay on the path!|
|Threat level minimum.|
|Nothing flew out..|