July 13, 2012

Photo Essay: Ventura Oil Refinery, Abandoned - Part 1

A beige-colored truck had been following me around for a while. It finally pulled up to me, and its driver rolled down his window.

He just looked at me.

"Hi there," I said.

"I'm sorry we didn't bring the sun for your pictures today," he said, squinting through the glare of the overcast day.

"I know! It's kind of rainy!" I said, casually chatty, though I knew I'd been caught.

"Hmm mmm."

"Do you work here?" I asked, as naively as possible.

"It's my job," he said, "to keep people like you out."

"Oh! Do you want me to leave?"

"In five minutes," he said, gruffly, but smiling. "Take as many pictures as you can in five minutes."

I thanked him, waved, and scuttled off. In my gray dress and flip flops, clearly I wasn't suited up for anything dastardly. That's my key to successful urban exploration: appear as innocent as possible.

Fortunately I'd already been wandering around the abandoned oil refinery off the 33 on my way to Ojai for a while before being apprehended, so there wasn't much left for me to capture, and not much for me to miss (though there was an area cordoned off by yellow caution tape, presumably where some asbestos removal was still happening or the beginnings of the ultimate demolition of the entire site).

Here's the first batch, of what I got before my five-minute deadline:

Related Reading:
Gas Station (Not Abandoned)

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing.. great photos! Always wanted to visit an oil refinery and now I am surely looking forward to it even more!