Updated: Sep 13
Chapter One: The House that Time Left Behind
Mississippi, a land of tales as deep and intricate as its deltas, lay stretched out in front of me, revealing every now and then an uncanny spectacle of abandonment. The first to greet me was a rural home; a relic of a world long past, nestled away in nature's cloak. As my Jeep rumbled down the dirt path, the silence was interrupted only by the occasional chirp of a distant bird.
The house was buried in its own story, each vine and weed seemingly desperate to keep its secrets hidden. The carport, once a bustling spot of life, now lay in a muddle of discarded furniture and orphaned car parts. An old minivan peeked out through the tall grass, its once gleaming surface now a canvas for nature’s relentless march.
Hesitantly, I approached. Each door stood ajar, inviting yet foreboding. The interior was a testament to the relentlessness of time; floors, once solid and supportive, had given way, dragging down with them remnants of human life. The living room was a pit, recliners and furniture swallowed by the gaping maw of rot and decay, as the fireplace stood tall, a silent spectator to the house's slow descent into oblivion.
The kitchen was a surreal landscape. Appliances bowed under invisible pressures, yearning to join the depths below. Yet, curiously, the sink held on, a defiant structure held up by its plumbing against the weight of time.
As I tiptoed down the corridor, the bedrooms were chambers of chaotic memory. Each room was a cacophony of possessions. Beds, once a place of rest, now lay buried under heaps of forgotten treasures. TVs, boxes, trinkets of a bygone era. My hockey days served me well, allowing me to navigate the slanting hallway with a nimbleness I hadn’t expected.
Exiting, the outdoors greeted me with fresh air, replacing the musk of forgotten years. I set up my camera, framing the house in its melancholic splendor. Each shot, a captured echo of a story yearning to be told.
With my heart heavy and my SD card full, I retreated to my Jeep. But this was just the beginning. As the engine roared to life, I set my sights on my next destination, a church shrouded by nature. And though it sat just off the road, it felt worlds away. The mysteries of the Mississippi wild awaited, and I was ready to uncover them. Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/collapsed
Chapter Two: The Sanctuary and the Silent Sermons
The sun was casting long shadows on the old Mississippi highway. The gravel crunched under my Jeep's tires as I approached what seemed to be my next subject: a church that seemed to merge seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness. Such was the extent of its overgrowth, I might have missed it entirely if not for the whisper of intuition.
Drawing closer, the essence of desolation became palpable. Here was a sanctuary, not of worshipers, but of memories and whispers of days gone by. The church's architecture was modest, perhaps even quaint. It might have once echoed with hymns and laughter, but today, it stood in silent testimony to the passage of time.
Pushing the creaking door open, I was greeted by a tableau of disarray. An armoire, which might have once held religious texts or garments, lay toppled before the pulpit – perhaps a final act of defiance or mere accident. My eyes were drawn to the corner where pews, compacted together, bore the weight of scattered boxes and garments, reminiscent of a hurried exit or the last attempt to preserve memories.
I ventured to the back, discovering a kitchen, which had seen better days. The detritus of years lay scattered, with a ceiling that appeared to be in surrender to nature’s will. With each step, the wooden floor creaked, as if sharing its own tales with me.
Returning to the sanctuary, I climbed the modest stage and positioned my camera to capture the pulpit. As the viewfinder met my eye, a sudden fluttering stirred the thick air. I looked up to witness a lone bat, perhaps the church's only active member, navigating the room's musty ambiance. As it took refuge in the kitchen, I realized I wasn’t entirely alone. Another bat clung to a corner, its tiny form deep in slumber, seemingly at peace amidst the decay. After capturing a few more stills, each a chapter in this church’s unwritten history, I made my way out, leaving behind a place where nature and structure coexisted in melancholic harmony.
Back in the Jeep, the old highway beckoned. With the church now a part of my memory and captured in my lens, I was ready to unearth more tales from the forgotten corners of the South.
Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/kingdom-seekers
Chapter Three: A Stranger in Strange Surroundings
The rumble of my Jeep's engine accompanied by the gnawing hunger in my stomach prompted me to scout for a place to break my fast. And there, amidst the sea of never-ending road and wilderness, stood a humble diner. With an exterior that spoke of years and a history unspoken, it beckoned to me like a desert oasis.
Stepping in, I couldn't help but feel like a fish out of water. It wasn’t just the diner’s age-old aura; it was my attire. Decked out in full explorer's gear – Under Armour boots built to tackle treacherous terrains, protective cargo pants, and a long-sleeved shirt which I wore with sleeves rebelliously rolled up despite the blistering southern summer. The cherry on top? My Indiana Jones-esque hat, which I swear made the John Williams theme play faintly in the background of my mind.
As I settled into my chosen table, placing my hat, brim up, beside me, I couldn't ignore the curious glances thrown my way. The locals, probably unaccustomed to someone of my garb, whispered and exchanged glances. But none of that perturbed me, for right then, my only concern was addressing the grumbling in my stomach.
The waitress, a kind-faced elderly woman, moved with the graceful efficiency only years of service can teach. Before I knew it, a glass of unsweet tea sat before me. A quick scan of the menu and a classic ham & cheese sandwich seemed just right.
With a brief window of downtime, I instinctively reached for my phone, hoping to share a snippet of my day with the world. But alas, technology had its limits, and the remoteness of my location was a challenge even for the most advanced cellular networks.
Amidst bites of my sandwich, I caught the inquisitive gazes from neighboring tables. It's strange how the simplest gestures can bridge divides, and so with a mouthful of sandwich, I met their stares with a warm, muted smile and a small nod - a universal greeting of goodwill.
By the time I left, the diner's allure wasn't just about the food; it was the taste of a simpler, timeless world. Digging into my pockets, I was grateful for the crumpled bills, perfectly fitting the old-world charm of the diner. Outside, the sun cast golden hues as I revved up the Jeep, my heart and stomach full, ready for the road's embrace once more.
Chapter Four: Echoes from the Silver Screen
The open road ahead held promises of the long-awaited hospital in Louisiana, a place that had eluded my entry time and time again. But as is often the case in adventures, the destination isn’t always the only allure. En route, an old, somewhat concealed structure demanded my attention. Nestled amidst the woods, it whispered tales of a bygone era.
Making my way through the dense underbrush, I approached the house, its silhouette reminiscent of the 1920s, a period I had come to recognize through countless explorations. The porch seemed to groan with age, its planks either absent or on the brink of surrender. Cautiously, mapping my steps to the more robust support beams, I reached the entrance.
Inside, an empty expanse met my eyes, but not a desolate one. To my left, the main room was a dramatic scene – the floor and ceiling having caved in, leaving a lone fireplace, almost like an art piece, isolated and contrasting against the devastation.
Venturing further, a pleasant surprise awaited in the bedrooms: walls adorned with movie posters from a relatively recent era. The comedic face of Adam Sandler in 'Waterboy', the action-packed duo of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in 'Rush Hour', and the mischievous grin of Ben Stiller in 'There's Something about Mary'. These posters painted a narrative of their own, perhaps of a young adult’s refuge or a cinephile's sanctuary.
The kitchen, in contrast, harked back to the original era of the house. A singular counter ran the length of the room, a relic of design from days long past.
As I retraced my steps through the woods, heading back to the road, I cast a final glance at the house. It stood as a testament to the blending of eras – the architectural design of the early 20th century, with a dash of 90's pop culture. Like a time capsule, it stood, slowly being claimed by nature, a piece of America fading, yet immortalized in my photographs and memories. Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/movie-posters
Chapter Five: The Abandoned Infirmary and its Silent Stories
The ghostly shadow of the long-forgotten hospital loomed over the town. An emblem of bygone days, it was a beacon for adventurers and urban explorers like me. Each circumnavigation of the facility was akin to flipping through pages of a mystery novel, each corner holding the potential of a plot twist.
Today, fortune smiled as I glimpsed a door ajar. The sight quickened my pulse, a sensation only fellow explorers can truly fathom. Chuckling at my own enthusiasm – this peculiar blend of giddiness and gravitas – I geared up and set foot in the medical relic.
A staircase awaited, reminiscent of a prologue, leading to stories untold. My footsteps echoed, the anticipation palpable. As I emerged, the remnants of a once-functional floor greeted me – an old whiteboard still bearing traces of daily routines, dangling ceiling tiles, and scattered debris painting a vivid picture of the hospital’s last days.
The patient rooms, mostly barren, held onto vestiges of entertainment - vintage televisions, stubbornly clinging to their mounts, stood as silent witnesses to countless hours of patient solace. A dated newspaper from 2008 lay on a windowsill, frozen in time, its headlines hinting at events from a world fifteen years ago.
The surgical wings beckoned next. The empty surgical suites, though devoid of their original utility, held an uncanny allure. But the jewel in the crown was the discovery of those surgical lights – immaculate, glistening relics of medicine, their magnificence juxtaposed against the dilapidation surrounding them. For me, they weren’t just fixtures; they were stories, illuminating countless life-saving procedures, hopes, and prayers.
Venturing further, the reception areas and the main entrance presented themselves as canvases for framing the perfect shots, capturing the essence of an institution that once buzzed with life.
Outside, as droplets began to punctuate the silence, I took a moment to capture the hospital's exterior. Standing there, the rain gently washing over me, the hospital’s grandeur and desolation blended in a poignant tableau. A silent sentinel of the past, its fate now rested in time's hands, a chapter waiting for its inevitable conclusion. Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/surgical-lights
Chapter Six: Respite by the Lake
With the sights and sounds of the deserted hospital still fresh in my mind, the Jeep roared back to life, guiding me across the state line once more and into the familiar landscape of Mississippi. My destination: Natchez State Park, a haven of serenity and the perfect spot to rejuvenate before the next leg of my exploration journey.
My first pitstop, a quintessential grocer, presented the tantalizing prospect of a classic American meal. Armed with hamburger essentials, I found myself drawn to a picturesque lakeside campsite. The shimmering waters of Lake Natchez beckoned, and the allure was simply too strong to resist.
Setting up camp always carries with it a sense of ritual. The familiar hum of the propane stove, the sizzling aroma of burgers cooking, and the methodical organization of the Jeep's interior for a night's rest created a therapeutic rhythm. The transformation of the Jeep into a mobile bedroom was an art, born out of countless nights on the road: a symphony of rearranging equipment, folding seats, and ensuring a semblance of privacy.
With dinner's aroma still lingering in the air, I settled into a foldable chair, allowing the serenity of the lake to envelop me. The stars overhead cast their glittering reflections on the tranquil waters. The night's warmth was noticeable but not overbearing, adding to the ambiance of a peaceful summer evening.
The calm of the park was a stark contrast to the excitement of my journey, serving as a gentle reminder of the importance of pausing and relishing the quieter moments. Tomorrow promised another adventure, another mystery waiting to be unraveled in the heart of a Mississippi city - an urban exploration quest for an abandoned medical facility.
For now, though, the rhythmic chirping of crickets, the occasional splash in the lake, and the tapestry of stars overhead provided the perfect backdrop for reflection and anticipation.
Chapter Seven: Nature’s Embrace
Awakened by the gentle kiss of the sun, the aroma of fresh coffee was a comforting embrace. It was a ritual, that steaming cup, helping me bridge the gap between the restful slumber of the night and the anticipation of the day ahead.
However, before embarking on the day’s primary quest, Mother Nature had her own plans, presenting an impromptu sight worth capturing. The kudzu, a verdant conqueror, had claimed the side of the highway, a testament to nature’s inexorable march. The view was breathtaking, a vast blanket of green draped over every inch of space. It was as if time had stopped, and the world was wrapped in nature’s embrace.
But the kudzu wasn't the only sentinel. At the edge, seemingly standing guard, was a cottonmouth. Frozen in a stoic stillness, it seemed almost regal, a tribute to the mysteries of the wild. It was an enigmatic sight, one that demanded to be photographed. The reptile’s tranquil stance, juxtaposed against the vibrant kudzu, created a tableau of nature's contrasting dynamism and stillness.
Further along, a pond stretched out, not shimmering with the familiar glint of water but rather enveloped in a thick green quilt of algae. It seemed almost surreal, as if the world had decided to paint itself in various shades of green for my morning.
With nature’s spectacle committed to my camera, the call of the road was irresistible. Behind the wheel again, I felt the familiar hum of the Jeep and the accompanying excitement. The abandoned medical facility awaited, and with it, the promise of another chapter in my adventure.
Chapter Eight: Depths of the Abandoned
The hospital stood like a relic of a bygone era, echoing its silent stories. I had waited for seven long years, and now, as if in a dream, its gates beckoned me. I entered, my heart aflutter, marking my path with a glow stick – my beacon in the vast maze of the forgotten.
The structure was much larger than it had appeared from outside, with labyrinthine passages and unexpected underground floors. The patient beds, scattered and abandoned, seemed like ghostly remnants of the lives once intertwined with the hospital. It's intriguing how the very sight of an empty bed can evoke such palpable feelings of melancholy.
But nothing could have prepared me for the elevator shaft. A yawning chasm of dark uncertainty, it played tricks on my mind, urging me to glance over my shoulder, half-expecting some sinister presence. The camera's captured image of the abyss only intensified the eerie vibe.
Wandering further, I stumbled upon remnants of a lab – a poignant tableau of unfinished business. The surgical suites, though, were bare, starkly contrasting with the previous hospital's glory. And then there was the ICU, with its quirky fold-down toilets – a touch of the bizarre amidst the derelict.
Yet, the real enigma lay underground. It was as if I was descending into the very soul of the hospital. The erstwhile reception room hinted at erstwhile celebrations, while the sudden shift to the cold, institutional green tiles signified something more somber. The morgue. A place that once held the secrets of the departed. Its open metal chambers were like gaping mouths, waiting to divulge tales of the long gone. But the piece de resistance was the autopsy table. As I set up my shot, darkness played its cruel trick, plunging me into an impenetrable black. The LED light's battery died. Now there is dark, then there is dark in a morgue in a basement underground. In that fleeting moment, I felt an unsettling kinship with the very essence of the room. Emerging from the underbelly, the daylight felt surreal, as if I had been submerged for eons. The church, standing in mute testimony to countless prayers, remained inaccessible. But that didn’t dampen the elation. For this exploration was everything I had hoped for, and more.
Gearing up for the next journey, the cool comfort of the AC felt like a reward. The hospital might be abandoned, but the memories I made were very much alive.
Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/hallowed-halls
Chapter Nine: Echoes of the Past
The long road ahead took me back in time, to memories that felt both distant and achingly close. The Susie B Law House, once a majestic structure, had transformed into an ashy relic overlooking Lake Washington. Its crumbled walls and remnants spoke of bygone eras, of laughter and life that once echoed through its corridors.
My footsteps, once accompanied by the excitement of my young daughter, now pressed down on a carpet of ashes. The stillness was palpable, a stark contrast to our previous ventures where every corner, every brick held potential for discovery. My heart ached at the thought of what was lost. The towering chimneys, which once stood as proud sentinels, now stood as solemn witnesses to the house’s tragic end.
The fluffy ash underfoot felt like I was treading on the very soul of the house, each step unearthing memories. I captured the remnants of its former glory: door knobs, ornate bricks, and bathroom fixtures peeked through the ashy blanket. Thoughts of how the house met its demise filled my mind. Could Mother Nature have been the culprit? But the misplaced columns suggested otherwise. Evidence of a darker intent.
Sending the drone skyward gave a bird's-eye view of the devastation, a painful juxtaposition of what once was and what now remained. The stately columns, which once graced the front door, lay discarded in the tall grass. Their absence from their original spot on my previous visits hinted at a sinister play. Were they trophies for someone's home? And now that they lay discarded, it only added weight to the heavy suspicion of foul play.
Down the road, Holly Manor stood – a picture of desolation. Its structure, now even more decrepit, still held a haunting charm. The newly cleared land around it did little to enhance its appeal, especially with the metal balconies now missing. Such artifacts couldn't have disappeared on their own. Both houses, in their own unique ways, narrated tales of decay and possible human interference. How many more such relics lay scattered, awaiting discovery or, worse, destruction? The day ended with a mixture of nostalgia and sadness, pondering upon the transient nature of things and the irreversible touch of time.
Full set of photos of both locations 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/mississippi-homes
Chapter Ten: Hidden Cotton Tales
Lake Washington's shores stretched infinitely, a serene companion to my journey of discoveries. But as with every path less traveled, the road around the lake held its own surprises.
As I drove, a unique structure caught my eye—a round Cotton Storage House, standing as a testament to the region’s cotton farming legacy. The peculiar design with its 16 pie-shaped rooms intrigued me. It wasn't just a storage house; it was a glimpse into the past, an ingenious solution of a bygone era for storing one of the most valuable commodities of the South.
Engrossed in capturing its vintage beauty, I was startled when an older truck rumbled to a stop nearby. The driver, an elderly gentleman with deep-set eyes and a weathered face, had an air of curiosity about him. His faithful canine companion sat in his lap, head tilted, eyes observing my every move.
The man, it turned out, was the guardian of this relic. Rather than being wary of my presence, he graciously invited me inside the compound, ensuring I got the best angles for my photographs. The only catch: the gate, which held back his wandering horses, must remain secure. His trust, based on nothing more than a brief encounter and shared appreciation for the structure, felt heartwarming.
As I ventured closer, the Cotton Storage House revealed more of its secrets. Each pie-shaped room stood silent, whispering tales of bustling activity, of cotton pickers, and of traders who once thronged the space. There was a rustic charm about it, a raw authenticity that modern structures often lacked.
I found myself wondering about the countless seasons of harvest it had seen, the hands that had built it, and the stories it might tell if its walls could speak. Each click of my camera attempted to capture not just the physical, but the soul of the place.
As I prepared to leave, the old man shared tidbits of its history, anecdotes from his youth, and the importance of the house in the community's past. His stories painted vibrant images of the building's heyday, adding layers of depth to my photographs.
Driving away, the Cotton Storage House in my rearview mirror, I couldn’t help but marvel at the unexpected encounters and hidden tales that lay waiting in the most unassuming places. This round structure, seemingly out of place in the modern world, stood as a silent reminder of times gone by, of innovation and the indomitable spirit of the people who once thrived here.
Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/cotton-storage-house
Chapter Eleven: Crossings and Welcomes
Roy's Store had the typical look of a small-town convenience store - faded paint, wooden awnings, and neon signs. But inside, the atmosphere was warm and lively. Locals, comfortable in their camaraderie, chatted animatedly, their voices intermingling with the vintage radio songs playing softly in the background.
As I entered, I was hit with an aroma mix of fresh bread, fried foods, and coffee. Picking up a snack and a cold drink, I could sense the eyes of the store’s patrons on me, a newcomer. But it wasn’t a feeling of intrusion; it was curiosity mixed with a dash of friendly welcome.
"You new around these parts?" an elderly gentleman with a crinkled smile asked, his accent thick and rich.
"Just passing through," I responded, sharing a brief account of my journey.
The residents regaled me with tales of the lake and its beauty. They spoke with passion about their community, painting a picture of bonfires, summer picnics, and fishing trips. Their stories were so inviting that I felt a pang of regret about not having more time to spend in the area. The mention of renting cabins by the lake added to my ever-growing list of things I hoped to come back to.
Outside, the sun shimmered on Lake Washington, highlighting the cypress trees along its banks. Their knobby roots and draped Spanish moss had always been subjects I'd admired in photographs, and I wished I could linger to capture some images of my own.
But my journey was afoot, and Arkansas awaited. Leaving behind the sparkling waters of Lake Washington, I headed west. The road was smooth, accompanied by stretches of fields, forests, and quaint towns. The mighty Mississippi River appeared before me as I approached Greenville. It had always amazed me how this river had shaped the destiny of countless communities, acting as a lifeline, a barrier, and a witness to centuries of history.
Crossing the Mississippi is always an experience, a transition between worlds. On the other side lay Lake Village, a picturesque town in Arkansas. The feel of the place was different yet familiar, carrying the charm of the South.
I had a purpose south of Lake Village – an old school, abandoned and rich with tales of bygone days. And as the evening sun cast long shadows on the road, I couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement about the next chapter of my journey.
Chapter Twelve: Forgotten Hallway of History
The school, veiled in overgrown brush, had clearly been forgotten by time. The immediate reminders of possible snake encounters made the heart race a little faster, especially after the morning's unexpected visitor. And as I stepped past that vintage wooden desk, a pang of nostalgia hit. It was a clear indication that this place once bustled with activity, with students fervently taking down notes, and perhaps passing little secrets around.
The corridor was a gateway to the past. One of the rooms opened up to reveal a treasure trove of old books, their worn-out spines and pages still holding the knowledge and stories of yesteryears. A few steps ahead, in a rather unsuspecting closet, was something I had never come across in all my travels - historic voting records. The clerks and judges of a time long gone had signed off on these, their signatures a testament to the community’s active participation in democracy.
A particularly moving moment was in that dimly lit room with the chair placed near the broken window. Setting up my camera, I captured a still of myself looking out of that window. It wasn't just a photograph; it was a connection to this place, a tangible proof of my journey through time.
However, as the golden hour approached, the reality of the setting sun brought my thoughts back to the present. The day was winding down, and I needed to set up camp soon. Recollecting a conversation from a fellow traveler about a campsite nearby, I decided to head there. It promised a peaceful night's rest, preparing me for the next leg of my adventurous road trip.
Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/ross-van-ness
Chapter Thirteen: Nightfall and Nostalgia
At Poverty Point Reservoir State Park in Louisiana, I found a quiet spot to set up for the night. Without any cold food, I had settled for fast food on my way in, especially because the park was under a burn ban which meant no campfires. The restriction slightly diminished the classic camping feel, but I made do. As darkness blanketed the park, I immersed myself in reviewing the day's photographs, the constellations overhead providing a serene backdrop. The Jeep was my fortress for the night, illuminated subtly by rope lights connected to my Jackery. By 9:00 PM, weariness set in.
Ensconced in the back of my Jeep, I drifted in and out of sleep to the hum of a portable fan, drawing power from the Jackery, ensuring I remained comfortable throughout the humid night. The dawn chorus stirred me from my slumber earlier than most campers around. Quickly getting dressed and packing up, the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafted over from the neighboring campsite. A kind family, only just emerging from their tent, generously offered me a cup. Although it was a tempting offer, I politely declined, expressing my gratitude.
The day was ripe with potential as I started the Jeep and began my journey. It wasn't long before an unexpected sight caught my eye: an old, abandoned gas station, silently narrating tales of a bygone era.
The faded charm of the gas station took me on a journey through time. Its retro lighting, reminiscent of the 1960s, beckoned me to step inside and discover the stories hidden within its walls. The door, slightly ajar, creaked softly as I pushed it open, revealing a mural that immediately captivated my attention.
Painted with the utmost precision, the mural depicted a serene swamp scene — the silhouette of cypress trees reflecting in the water, a hunter poised in anticipation, and the most surprising element, a taxidermied turkey, masterfully positioned as though caught in mid-flight, trying to evade the mural's hunter. The juxtaposition of art and reality in such a setting was both eerie and fascinating. This unique blend of painted scene and real object was not something I had often encountered during my travels, making it all the more special.
Outside, remnants of a bygone era lay scattered around. A brick cooking pit bore witness to countless barbecues and gatherings. Nearby, a jar with a faded label caught my eye — it was Zatarain's, a signature spice mix that had once given countless meals their zest and flavor. This jar, still full, was a testament to the vibrant life that once surrounded this place.
Feeling a mix of nostalgia and wonder, I took a few more photographs, capturing the essence of this unexpected gem. Eagerly, I hopped back into the Jeep, anticipation bubbling within as I wondered what other surprises the road ahead might have in store.
Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/wild-turkey
Chapter Fourteen: Echoes of Healing
The sun cast a muted light on the medical facility, its unremarkable exterior betraying no hint of its history or the treasures it held within. From the outside, it seemed just like any other abandoned structure — windows clouded with dust, paint peeling off in patches, and nature slowly reclaiming the space.
But the open door at the back whispered of untold stories. Stepping inside, I was instantly overwhelmed by a time capsule of memories frozen in time. Every room, every corner, told a tale of urgency and purpose. The hum of machines and the bustling of nurses seemed almost audible as I navigated the corridors.
The stark contrast of the surgical room took my breath away. Stainless steel instruments lay scattered on trays, a patient bed positioned in the center, with overhead lights poised to illuminate a procedure that never concluded. The sterility of the room juxtaposed against the chaos of abandonment sent shivers down my spine.
Yet, the most heart-wrenching sight was the children's operating room. A tiny bed, fit for the smallest of patients, stood silent beneath a specialized surgical light. Nearby, an incubator – once a beacon of hope for many – now stood desolate and forgotten. The walls, devoid of the usual colorful murals, resonated with an uncanny stillness.
Adjacent labs, still equipped with centrifuges, microscopes, and test tubes, stood in readiness for the next sample that would never come. Offices, filled with paperwork, pens scattered on desks, chairs askew, seemed as if they had been vacated in haste.
The eeriness of the scene was palpable. How could such a vital institution be deserted so abruptly? What stories did these walls harbor? The weight of the untold narratives, of lives saved and lost, of moments of despair and hope, pressed down on me.
With every photograph I took, I felt an increasing reverence for the place. It wasn't just an abandoned building; it was a repository of countless memories, dreams, and struggles. As I exited the facility, I couldn't help but feel that I had just walked through a sacred space, a testament to the fragility and resilience of human life. Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/forgotten-infirmary
Chapter Fifteen: Whispers of History and Nature's Grandeur
The sun shone with a soft, golden hue as I approached Winter Quarters Plantation, its storied past palpable even from the road. The majestic facade, bearing the scars and tales of time, stood firm and unwavering. The place resonated with history, especially given its unique status as the last remaining plantation from the Civil War era that sheltered federal troops.
As I parked, an old sign caught my eye. It proclaimed the plantation was closed for repairs, though the sign itself seemed as aged as the mansion. Time seemed to have its way with the place, yet it held its ground. Despite the apparent lack of restoration, the well-maintained lawns spoke of care and dedication. A man, humming to himself, was diligently mowing the grounds, collecting errant branches in his path.
Approaching the building, I felt a mix of awe and melancholy. I've always been drawn to places that breathe history, and this plantation was no exception. Its walls had witnessed countless stories, many of which remained untold. While the idea of exploring such a relic was tempting, there was a part of me that hoped the Winter Quarters Plantation would never be left to ruin, that it would always be cared for and remembered.
Eager to capture more of the surrounding beauty, I drove towards Lake St. Joseph. As I approached, I was met with a spectacle of nature – an expansive lake, blanketed in lily pads. These weren't your typical lilies. These were gargantuan, like nature's own trampolines. The calm water mirrored the sky, punctuated only by the verdant lily pads.
Setting up my drone, I hoped to capture this natural marvel from the skies. The drone hummed to life, soaring over the lake, offering a bird's-eye view of the lily blanket. But as technology sometimes does, it betrayed me. An abrupt SD Card failure cut my recording short. Disappointed but not defeated, I made a mental note to return, armed with a new SD Card, to capture the essence of Lake St. Joseph once more. The road ahead beckoned with promises of more adventures and discoveries, and I was more than ready to embrace them. Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/winter-quarters
Chapter Sixteen: Echoes of Bygone Days
The town of St. Joseph welcomed me with its quiet charm, roads devoid of the usual hustle and bustle. The early hour combined with the tranquility of a Sunday morning wrapped the town in an almost ethereal silence. The closed storefronts looked like they held stories from times gone by, waiting for the right moment to share them.
As I strolled down the streets, a familiar sight caught my eye - an old church I had seen on my previous visits. Every time I had passed it, I'd felt an urge to document its slowly decaying beauty. This time was no different. Overgrown vines wrapped themselves around its aged bricks, adding to the melancholic appeal of the structure. With each step around the building, my camera captured the church's character, from the stained glass windows that had seen better days to the weathered wooden door that stood firmly against time.
While engrossed in my photography, I felt the curious eyes of a family from a neighboring porch. Their gazes were both watchful and inquisitive. Breaking the momentary silence, I greeted them with a smile and a nod, receiving warm smiles in return.
With a parting glance at the church, I moved on, heading towards the town of Waterproof. Memories of my past visits floated back as I sought to confirm the presence of some old structures. To my relief, time had not yet claimed them, and they stood tall and proud. Full set of photos 👉 https://www.lykinsfilms.com/st-joseph
With images of the trip replaying in my mind, I steered my car home towards the coast. The familiar sights of Natchez welcomed me as I opted for the scenic route, choosing to meander through the backroads. Every turn offered a new vista, and the journey became as memorable as the destinations I had visited. As the sun began its descent, painting the sky with hues of orange and purple, I reached home, grateful for the day's adventures and the memories I had made.