I’ve mentioned before that I love watching urban explorer videos on YouTube and how, if I weren’t deathly allergic to black mold, I would love to explore abandoned buildings.
Recently, I was watching a video from Sidestep Adventures where they explored what was left of an old railroad town aptly named Junction City.
I was captivated by a beautiful house that was slowly being consumed by time and nature. Looking it up on Google, I found out that it was only 3 1/2 hours from Savannah.
My friend Jazzy who had gone with me to check out Strathy Hall Cemetery said she was interested in going with me, so we quickly made plans.
We also decided to bring our skates because how cool does skating around a ghost town sound?
Since roller derby has been canceled this year due to COVID, I’ve really missed road trips with friends. An entire day catching up on life with one of my dearest friends was exactly what I needed.
Jazzy and I are just the right amount of cautious and chaotic. That’s why I knew a photographic exploration of central Georgia would be fun.
Along the way to Junction City, we spotted other places to check out. As we were driving past a cotton field, we saw what appeared to be an abandoned train depot. Both of us got excited and decided to find the road that led there.
As we pulled up, it appeared to have been used exclusively for crops. Jazzy and I walked around the outside taking pictures and video. I decided to walk around the side facing the railroad tracks.
It was obvious that the depot and the train tracks hadn’t been used in ages. I hopped from ballast to ballast along the track, carefully avoiding rotten wood in order to take more pictures.
As I was taking pictures, I thought to myself that I hoped there weren’t any snakes hiding in the tall grass. That’s when a large cat jumped from a hiding spot in the overgrown grass and darted under the depot scaring the absolute shit out of me.
The depot was shut up rather well, but there was one spot where we were able to stick our cameras inside to see what was there. It looks like it’s farm storage now.
As we were driving through another small town, I noticed a church that looked like a castle. At the same time, Jazzy noticed a tank. Both of us were squealing with excitement, so we stopped to take more pictures.
Reynolds was an adorable little town. Near the church there were several homes that appeared to have been built in the 1920s. We also noticed an antique shop across the road and decided to stop there on our way back.
As Google maps led us into Junction City, we saw a railroad trestle. Stopping to take pictures, we spotted an abandoned car and house. Curiosity got the best of u,s and we decided to check it out.
The home was locked up except for one door that was cracked open slightly. I was dying to get a better look at what was inside and thought I would just stick my head inside, but when I tried to open the screen door in front of it, it was locked.
I was able to smell the mustiness inside the home and was briefly taken back to my great grandparents house. Like this home, their house hadn’t seen many updates since the 70s. I imagined old telephones sitting by empty beds, a box of Corn Flakes forgotten in the pantry, and porcelain flowers resting under dusty glass domes.
We wandered around the house for a few minutes more coming away with legs covered in sand burrs. (We really should’ve worn pants.)
Driving into what was once downtown Junction City, we spotted an old general store, a city hall, and the large house I had seen in the video.
We wandered around the house trying to catch a glimpse of what was left inside. There was only one window we could see through. Y’all, this house has pocket doors! I would’ve loved to go inside this place and see what other architectural features it had.
The roof of the front porch was sagging dangerously, and I was surprised it hadn’t fallen yet. It made me sad to think that this gorgeous house would probably continue to fall apart in this nearly forgotten community.
On the way back to the car, we noticed an RC Cola machine outside the tiny city hall. On closer investigation, it was plugged in! I ran back to the car for change to see if it was still stocked. I dropped two quarters inside and pressed the Peach Nehi button. It worked!
Since we brought our skates and derby gear with us, Jazzy and I decided to skate around a few roads. Despite the fact that I hadn’t skated down steep hills in god knows how long, it was a lot of fun. I’m definitely taking my skates on every road trip now.
On the way home, we stopped at the antique shop in Reynold’s and noticed a working phone booth outside.
Did we fall through some kind of time rift? First the RC Cola machine and now a working phone booth? Of course, we had to take pictures.
We had left my house around 8 a.m. and arrived back in Savannah after 8 p.m. It was a fantastic day spent exploring tiny towns and communities in Georgia that we probably wouldn’t have thought of if it hadn’t been for that video.