Observation: Today’s ride was dominated by exploring a 700,000 sq. ft. abandoned auto factory. It was crazy huge, basically empty other than one unique spot where I found literally millions and millions of old hockey cards. You could tell it was a storage warehouse for those cards long after the plant closed, but they were scattered about and most had been destroyed by weather, fires and just time. Outside of that, the most amusing moment came from the mutual worry created between me and a couple of scrappers. I came into this obviously abandoned plant through one of the many open spots but was immediately frightened off when I saw a few people wandering through the structure. Because I was going around the building taking pics of some exterior graffiti, I later came upon a much bigger entrance and as soon as I stepped into it, I saw a truck slowly driving down the center of this building away from me. I stood at this spot for a few minutes and as this truck made a turn into another part of the plant it stopped, and I noticed the two men in it looking back at me. They were a good distance away and I had no idea why they stopped, so I moved onto exploring more of the outside of the plant. About ten minutes later one of these men came walking around the corner and because he didn’t see me, he literally jumped when I came towards him. He was nervous as I talked to him because he thought I was busting him for being in the building, but after a brief conversation, we realized I was just there to take pictures, and he was there just to pull some of the remaining metal out of this old structure. When I went to shake his hand and wish him a good day, I could tell he was a little thrown off, but after a moment he shook back and flashed me a great smile. While I don’t approve of what they do, that was the day I met Jack The Scrapper, who I know was just trying to make a living and provide for his family.
Distance: 18.59 miles
D-Fact: Detroit is often referred to as Hockeytown, but actually six different cities have claimed that title in North America over the last 150 years. The phrase “Hockeytown,” when combined with the distinctive winged wheel logo of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings though is a registered trademark owned by the franchise.