Urban Exploration on Christmas Eve / by Rebecca Tillett

 Las Cruces, 1999

Las Cruces, 1999

In the late 90s, when I was maybe 15, 16 years old, my friend Amanda and I would traipse around the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico looking for haunted cemeteries and abandoned buildings. I'd recently inherited a lovely Canon film camera that belonged to my dad, and photographing these things had become my first real passion. In fact, I still have a beautiful mid-century television I ganked from a falling-down house SW of Cruces in 2002 or so, (undeniably breaking the urbex golden rule; never steal from the sites being explored, and leave everything as it was prior to arrival, but I was young and naive and my heart was aching to give the beautiful television a home)!

 Las Cruces, 1999

Las Cruces, 1999

 Las Cruces, 2004

Las Cruces, 2004

So what is it about urban exploration that's called to me for so much of my life? I think I've always loved the questions that come packaged with each place, the stories concocted by the things left behind. I know that every home I've ever explored was once lived in and loved by somebody. I know that there are beautiful and ugly and tragic and very human stories inside every wall that I've yearned to hear.

And sometimes, if you listen closely enough, you will.

After several years of putting my passions on hold for school, I've been eager to embrace them again, and on Christmas Eve, Mike and I decided to drive up to the SE corner of Wyoming for some rural urban exploring. We explored an old home, dubbed the Trophy House, and an old (and ridiculously creepy) missile silo. Time well spent, even if the temperature did drop to 30-something once the sun went down and I was sure my fingers were going to fall off. (Thanks for the challenge, Wyoming!)

Way WAY more of this to come in the future.... (click any photo to see it bigger, and credit's due to my partner, Mike, for snapping some beautiful shots of the missile silo.)

Trophy House


Atlas Missile Silo