It's the season for road trips and since I am a master of road trip planning, I' thought I'd share a twist. The spook factor. I've come up with some divine creepy itineraries I will share -
Plotting out a trek, I would find 3 cemeteries I want to explore. I would leave at noon, stopping at a beautiful old cemetery, spreading out a blanket, and having a picnic. After, that, I would take a trash bag around, clean up, right the fallen vases of flowers, and leave some flowers on old graves no one attends. Driving on to the next cemetery, I would pull out my sketch book and practice my drawing with lots of mood and atmosphere. I'd pull out my camera and work on making some haunted, creepy photos, and maybe do some grave rubbings. The last stop would be closer to sunset. I'd put on a white gown and pose in haunting ways for some memorable timed pictures as the sunlight is dying. When it turns dark, I would wander the grounds in the dark without any light and dance among the headstones, sit still for a time and see if any shadow people present themselves. Say a peaceful goodbye, and leave.
HAUNTED BED AND BREAKFAST/GHOST TOUR
Thayers historic bed and breakfast
A dream road trip would include a stay at a haunted Bed and Breakfast in a haunted town that has nighttime tours. In Phoenix, I might take the downtown haunted tour and stay at the Hotel San Carlos. In Bisbee, Arizona, I'd take the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour and stay in the Copper Queen Hotel. If I were lucky enough to be in Charleston, San Francisco, New Orleans, Salem, Chicago, or lots of other towns with reputations for haunts, I would plot a trip based on their best hot spots, tours, and haunted hotels.
Rent an RV and go camp near a lonely mountain lake or tour the Oregon coastline in it, parking it in wooded campgrounds where I would walk the woods at night in search of Bigfoot, put out lawn chairs under the stars looking for UFOs, or having a campfire and telling scary stories. Here in Arizona we have a prime RV spot with great view of potential UFOs in a hot spot. Outside of Gila Bend, AZ is Painted Rock, an ancient HoHoKam petroglyphs area with RV park there. There is also a UFO-themed Space Age Cafe in Downtown Gila Bend to get you in the mood. The Marfa Lights in Texas are another fantastic option.
Packing metal detector, shovel, gloves, gold pans, and hitting the streams near gold mines in search of gold, and the metal detector to walk the desert and check for meteorites.
In search of petroglyphs, ancient mounds where giant skeletons were buried, the sites of famous UFO encounters, ghost lights, and other unsolved mysteries make ideal destinations to ponder, learn, walk the land and feel the history.
Photographing and exploring abandoned buildings is a risky business. Always heed no-trespassing signs, do no damage, take nothing, wear masks as most buildings have exposed asbestos, and be cautious. Utilize the natural lighting and focus on parts of rooms or items instead of entire rooms. Get the mood across so people are forced to imagine what the whole room is like by this tiny slice they were allowed to view.
To find URBEX locations, there are lots of sites online, but many do not tell of locations for fear someone will ruin it for everyone. I usually map out what city I'm departing from and what city I'm headed to and look at the map to find the small towns in between. I then go on Google Earth and check them out for signs of abandoned buildings. Old towns that lost industries such as mining, steel and agriculture tend to be real winners in this department.
Ultimately, a road trip for me needs to include spontaneous straying off the main path, curious poking around at abandoned sites, stopping for refreshments and at overlooks for photos. There is no rush on a real road trip, just an unfolding adventure. The company, above all else, makes any road trip awesome.
Here's some albums I enjoy when I'm hitting the open road -
"Only By the Night" by Kings Of Leon
"Californication" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Greatest Hits" by The Eagles
"Cage the Elephant" by Cage the Elephant
"Pablo Honey" by Radiohead
"Diamond Life" by Sade
"The Essential Highwayman" by multiple artists
"The Police" by The Police
"Absolution" by Muse
"Greatest Hits" Foo Fighters