I got the pulsatin' rhythmical remedy (busychild424) wrote,
I got the pulsatin' rhythmical remedy
busychild424

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Ok, I've got a story. I'm practicing on you guys.

There's a church camp down in Cowley County about an hour from where I live. It's called Camp Horizon. It's close to Arkansas City, which is right by the Oklahoma border. It's called Camp Horizon because it sits at the top of the Arkansas River bluff, one of the few geographical features within hundreds of miles of my house.

Down at the bottom of this bluff is the Concrete Factory. In the 1800s, an investor secured a bunch of money from East Coast investors and came here to build a concrete factory. Problem was, he had no intention of building anything. He was going to take the money and run. Suddenly, he received word that the investors were coming out to check on his progress. So he quickly built the foundations for a few buildings. After the investors left, he ran. The foundations are still there. Still there, with huge trees growing in and out of them. Really freaky designs. One building is a wall that's probably forty feet high, in a big rectangle. No way in or out except to crawl through the tunnel that goes underneath the length of the building and crawl through the hole in the ground/floor in the middle of it. Another has a wall that is about five feet high, but when you crawl up on that wall you look down into the rest of the building, and it's a good fifteen foot drop, so the bottom of it is like a basement level, well below ground level. No roof or ceiling though, but there is a grid of concrete supports that runs criss-cross across the top of the building, so you can climb up the five foot wall and then balance your way across the beams.

In any case, I knew about this place years ago, and I decided to take a couple of my friends down to see it one afternoon. It was February, but it was pretty warm that day. So we went down there to check it out. We had to sort of circumnavigate a closed gate to get there, but we improvised and got it done. As we pulled in, I noticed that the road had a pretty substantial dip in it. I debated trying to drive the car through (a truck could have made it just fine), but decided not to. We walked the rest of the way in. Later, I decided I wanted my car stereo closer to where we were hanging out, so I went to pull the car the rest of the way in. About half an hour later, my friends came looking for me and found me trying to dig my car out of this ditch. I had managed to drive it in in such a way that it was suspended by the front wheels and rear bumper, and my rear drive wheels while on the ground did not have enough weight on them to get the car moving. We pushed and dug and pulled and spun tires for hours until we finally gave up. We climbed to the top of the bluff, onto the property of the camp, and walked to the lone house on the camp property. Of course, this was the owner. We borrowed a shovel from him and went back down to dig the car out. Still no luck. Finally at about 9PM we decided it was really getting cold and that we were going to have to find some sort of solution. My friends didn't live with their parents at the time, but I did. We climbed the bluff again and walked into the camp office, which was unlocked and empty. I called my parents and told them I was staying the night at a friend's house. Why didn't I just ask for help? Well, I was tresspassing and I was an hour from home. I was pretty sure I'd be in trouble. Then we realized how hungry we were. We looked around and really had no option, as our presence needed to remain as much a secret as possible. There was only one thing to do: break into the mess hall. We broke down the back door and left all the money we had (which totaled less than five dollars) on a table with the broken lock. We unscrewed the hinges on the folding doors that separated the eating area from the kitchen and crawled over the serving counter. We found cereal and milk, bowls and spoons. We ate, but remember, we're still trying to conceal our presence. So we replaced the milk and cereal, and even went to the trouble of washing, drying, and replacing the dishes. We re-attached the folding doors and left. At this point it was about 11 PM and we were pretty tired. We walked over to the dorm buildings, and they were unlocked as well. We unscrewed the padlock that was over one of the closet doors and found pillows and blankets. We used those on the cots in the dorm and slept for the night.

We awoke the next day to hear voices outside the building. We'd slept later than we'd intended, and had not expected to hear people. I looked outside the window, and there were maintenance workers all over the place. We didn't take the time to fold the sheets or pillowcases or return the candles to the mess hall. We waited for a break in traffic and then sprinted for the lip of the bluff. We made it without being seen. When we got back to the car, we decided that we had no choice but to use my friend's AAA card to call a tow truck. Right about then some hillbilly in a pickup pulled up. He wasn't very friendly, but he said "I'll get a chain." Two hours later when he hadn't returned, we decided to call AAA. It was determined that G would stay with the car in case chain man returned, and C and I would walk the mile or so to the main road where the nearest house not owned by a person who also owned the property on which we were trespassing was. When we got to the end of the access road, C stayed where he was at the gate and I walked the rest of the way to the house. When I turned around, I saw a sheriff's cruiser and C getting into it. I didn't bother trying to play it off or run, I just turned back around and went to the car. I got in the backseat next to C, and in the front seat was the owner of the property, the guy who we'd borrowed the shovel from. He was unreasonably nice to us and told us the story of the concrete factory. We went down and picked up G from the car, and then the officer told us he had to take us into Ark City to question us. Fine, we thought, at least someone knows we're here and we might get out of here.

He sat us all in the break room (I'm guessing) at the station, which I thought was odd as it gave us ample time to get our stories straight. Given the circumstances, we decided to just tell the truth. He questioned us, one at a time, and when we were finished he politely informed us that we were all under arrest for Burglary, Theft (we ate the cereal and didn't give it back), and Criminal Entry. This floored us, as we had expected some sort of assistance from the guy, not an arrest record. So he drives us another 20 minutes away to the county seat, Winfield. We get placed in a jail cell which seriously looks like it's straight out of the old west. Bars and the whole deal. Things were not going well at all. Then a guy came around the corner looking like Boss Hogg in tweed and informed us that his name was Waldorf and that if we wanted to go home any time soon, he was the man to talk to. He was a bail bondsman, which at that time meant almost nothing to us. What we understood was "sign here and you can go home". So of course we eagerly signed and were released. Waldorf was kind enough to drive us back to the car and to call a tow truck out there, which was already there when we arrived. I drove everyone home and when I went home I went straight to bed.

When the D.A. saw the charges, she said it was the most ridiculous charge she'd ever seen. She required us to pay $50 (between the three of us, so it came to about $17 each) and to do 8 hours of community service there at the church camp.

A few months later we did just that, spent a day raking leaves and hauling tree branches around.

Two days later I went back to the camp for a scheduled retreat with a church I was attending at the time. "I see you made it back!" the owner said to me.

Here are pictures of the camp.

I guess I'll have to condense that to get it into five minutes.
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