So we finally took a day to check out the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital located in Perrysburg, NY. The hospital is located in the small, desolate town of Perrysburg on 300 acres of overgrowth hidden between County Road 58 and its main entrance off Airview Drive. We read much on the web about people getting arrested so we took extra precaution, but for a Friday afternoon for a few hours, we did not encounter unwanted attention by the police.
Where did we park? We hit up the Perrysburg Diner across from the Spoon Saloon and ate a few sandwiches, which ended up giving us both explosive defecation. So I do not recommend eating there, but if you park around lunch time and look inconspicuous, you have a clear approach down the roadway to the entrance. Watch out for patrol vehicles that randomly drive down the access road to catch trespassers. If you hear a vehicle approaching just hop in the overgrowth and lay low until it passes. We did not have much trouble finding the JN Adam Memorial Hospital, however, we did have a difficult time gaining entry to the complex, well Kelly did. So if you are one of those people who does not enjoy hopping tall fences with barbed wire, then the alternative route is gaining access through holes or parts of the fence you can crawl underneath. From the main road on Airview Drive if you head left past the main entrance you will see a beaten dirt path that goes up to the fencing. Behind you stands a tall smoke stack and a building enclosed in barbed wire fencing with a bunch of huge gears and machinery and in front of you stands the rest of the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital. As of July 2016, we found two access points through the fencing here, one involved pulling up the fence and crawling underneath and the other involved squatting and crawling through an open hole. I do not recommend bringing bolt-cutters anywhere when trespassing as you will get automatic burglary charges for breaking and entering, however, if someone else does the work for you then use these entrances for entry and remember your whereabouts in case you need to make a run for it.
We started slimming down for van life in the fall. I am unsure of our exact plans. I am waiting to hear back from the BBC in regards to a documentary. Then we will go forward with our whereabouts. It looks like we might push back South Korea and instead find temporary work that provides housing so we can hike the Appalachian Trail come March. But really, I have no idea. Van life is a big step for me and my wife.
For me, it’s adding more possessions in my life. For her it’s getting rid of them. She started the first phase of van life by moving out to New York with me for the summer and living out of a closet. She struggled leaving possessions behind. First with throwing away old clothes and selling electronics, but slowly we progressed to a closet in the hangar. With just a mattress, dresser drawer, a few shelves and rig racks for hanging clothes it’s the next step towards a stress-free life, a van life. Although we still need to buy a van, she is slowly realizing the important necessities of life, which will make it easier to purchase a van in the future that suits our needs. I just want a cheap, work-van for like $2,000 to $3,000 equipped with a mattress on a wooden bed-frame, with storage space underneath, a shower pole for hanging clothes, 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat for our bathroom and a mini propane stove with cookware for food, not to mention a 5-gallon outdoor shower.
Over the past month of June I worked a mere three or four days with actual Tandem numbers aside from the occasional sport pack. The murky weather, low ceiling, squirrelly winds and rain made me lose my mind. I hate being stuck. I start to get emotional, but my spirits changed after a short trip to Letchworth State Park.
I mentioned hitchhiking Letchworth State Park to a tandem instructor at the drop zone and his home happened along the way. Quickly closing the last few containers I ran to my room and packed up my backpack, grabbed some tubes, and a jug of water. Then I put my bike in his trunk. He gave me a lift to Geneseo where I followed 63 South until I noticed signs for Letchworth State Park. Hitchhiking to Geneseo shaved off much allowing me to arrive in the park well before dark, however, the entrance deceived me, much like last year. 14 miles to Letchworth Falls put a damper on my mood, but I pedaled the small grades, while walking up the steep ones, as the sun slowly snuck away beneath the horizon. The mileage did not seem like much, after all, just years prior I pedaled 2,600+ miles from Delaware to Colorado, but my body took adjusting to long distance bicycle touring. My knees ached, quads spasmed, and legs locked from lack of potassium. Much of the hills I waddled up like a penguin, leaning on the handle bars as I pushed Virginia Red along, with her little bell and cheap frame glimmering in the light.
I hitched two rides the next morning, one to Segamat and the next to Labis. My map labeled every city in Malaysia in both English and Malay. For the rides where people did not speak English I merely pointed where I wanted to go on the map. We shook heads signaling, “Yes” or they pointed to another destination and if it was south I went with it. This stood true for Labis since the gentleman who picked me up did not speak English. He dropped me at a bus stop where I faded into a brief nap over too much bread and water. I woke up on the stiff concrete bench looking up at the sky, beyond the tops of palm trees and between the skies I locked onto a lattice radio tower, pondering the view from above. I held my own freedom in the palm of my hand, and with that known, the possibilities became endless.
The night sky dispersed after a few hours of walking into the radiant sunrise. A revitalizing breeze cooled my skin in this time, but shortly after the sunrise I sought refuge in the shade, stopping at a small food shack in a village outside of Muar, on my way to Pagoh. An old, Malaysian gentleman stepped out from behind the counter offering me a stool to sit in as he plopped down onto a bench. His chubby cheeks drooped as he looked down into his box of cigarettes, the red and gold capturing my eyes. They read, “Gudang Garam” an Indonesian brand he exclaimed. My olfactory glands reminisced in the plumes of smoke. The aroma reminded me of Cloves with their sugary, herbal fragrance. He pushed one towards me and from that day forward I became a social smoker in Southeast Asia seeking out the sweet taste of these cigarettes, but always falling short. We talked about Malaysia and its friendly, outgoing people I met along my journey south. I told him how I loved the food, the coffee and trekking through the jungle seeing new wildlife foreign to the Americas. He reached over and grabbed the keys to his motorbike looking me in the eye with a sparkle about him. His gray parted hair waved below the brim of his helmet tickling his eyes and then he handed me a spare helmet. The muffler buzzed like a loud chainsaw as we cruised down the back roads perpendicular to Route 1. I did not know our destination, but held on tight until we stopped in a driveway at the bottom of the hill. Coconut trees flourished in the man’s back yard and he leaned over asking me if I ever ate a fresh coconut straight from the tree. Before the words exited my mouth he pulled out his knife, stripping one of the many trees. He carved out a square hole in the thick, hard exterior shell and handed it to me. I tilted my head back tasting its sweet nectar in every gulp, and cooling my body off substantially as it gathered in my belly. He mentioned the benefits of Coconuts on my travels. As I researched more, I found they were ideal in oral dehydration and rich in nutrients acting like carbohydrate-electrolyte infused drinks. He handed me a spoon to eat the endosperm along the walls of the coconut and once finished I felt more full than I ever imagined. But surprisingly it regained my vigor and endurance unlike the sluggish feeling I normally feel upon overeating.