Welcome to Kelly Butte, a place guaranteed to give you the creeps.
Why so creepy?
If you believe that shadows of past events linger on in the present, this place is a goldmine.
Start with an extinct volcano.
Add a prison labor camp.
Switch the labor camp for an infectious disease ward.
Add an underground Cold War bunker. Abandon it.
Then, list the whole place on Google Maps as a 'natural area.'
Who's still up for a hike? :)
I didn't know any of this information when we went there. Inspired by live your own adventure advocate Polly, we picked this place at random one December day. It looked like a nice, green blob of park on Google Maps. (I read the "if you ever need a place to dump a body" review on the way there, but decided to not tell D that until after the hike.)
The park was deserted. The gate at the bottom of the hill was locked, but it was afternoon, so we walked around the gate. Massive piles of barkdust filled the parking area at the top of the hill.
There wasn't a clear walking trail anywhere, only a thin little path that wound into the trees.
The forest around us was absolutely still and silent. Sometimes, we would get a quick glimpse of the cityscape surrounding the hill, but most of the time the view was just ferns, moss, and wet leaves. Once, we came upon a towel on a branch, laid out to dry. Another time, it was a clearing marked with the om symbol and a suspicious plot of freshly-turned earth.
Finally, the trail opened up and began to slope downhill. We turned around at a government "No trespassing" sign.
Back at the parking lot of barkdust, we poked around a few other places. Not much turned up: graffiti, two teenagers, and a single syringe stuck into tree bark. Fun stuff.
|Possibly part of the entrance to the bunker?... the city finally bulldozed dirt over the entrance 10 years ago.|
It's only now, sitting at home, that I learned the history of this place. (Sources here, here, here, and here.) It was a creepy walk with only my imagination to interpret it, let alone historical fact... but still, I wish there were a way to check out that sealed bunker!
Would you run toward a place like this? Or away?