There are an infinite number of things that individuals do when they are seeking clarity. Some golf, some go for a run, others paint, play music, or a personal favorite, head out to the middle of nowhere.
There are an infinite number of things to do in the middle of nowhere, if you’re creative enough. Lucky for me, creativity has always been a strength for me.
I find myself headed to a small town on a sulfur spring about 4 hours west of my current home in Providence, Rhode Island. To some who pass through, this small town holds nothing of interest. It’s old, there’s one hotel, two places to eat, and three historic signs that mark what was once a booming healing bath house.
Not one for eating at small town dives, well, if you’re passing on the local grub, I recommend trying the abandoned buildings instead. (Just kidding, my lawyer says I do NOT recommend this..)
Packed into a tiny town with only a handful of streets are multiple abandoned hotels and bath houses awaiting you. The most notable one, the Adler Hotel boasts funky wallpaper patterns and many old rooms to dig through.
The first time I visited this small town, we camped in the aforementioned hotels. Some beds even had sheets on them, although admittedly I wasn’t looking for THAT much of an adventure and opted for my sleeping bag.
The bath houses are the most wonderful part of the town, if you ask me. On a trip here with two my best friends when I was even old enough to drink we attempted to get into both bath houses, and were successful.
One bath house has seen better days, and the rear row of baths are exposed to the elements after many of the walls giving out. Once upon a time this was a wonderful attribute, but as the city has become more popular, it’s become an issue. You never know who’s going to come through the uhh..wall. (Thankfully the Kool-aid man is yet to make an appearance!)
Behind this building is access to the Sulfur spring, which some people come to take, as it used to be thought as healing. You can find tattered X-Rays and medical equipment strewn throughout the buildings. Imagine laying in a bath of sulfur. Just stop and imagine that smell. You’re welcome. I can’t say I’m a fan, although I have boldly drank from this fountain in a show-off fashion against aforementioned best friends. (Not worth it, at all. Sulfur burps are the worst.)
The other hotels are also a blast, although three years ago we came across an angry drug addict living in one of them, which was less than pleasant. Never in my life have I been more happy to have a 6’4” Volkswagen-driving-red-blooded-American-Hipster by my said. (This was the only time this was ideal)
I’ve always enjoyed visiting here, even as the beautiful buildings slowly become covered in graffiti and the photos I take begin to look the same. There are trips where I haven’t even taken my camera from my bag, but instead snagged a bottle of wine and sat on the roof of the highest hotel, overlooking the small town that for some reason brings me an immense amount of comfort.
At the end of the day, I’m still strange in finding clarity strolling through abandoned hallways alone, where families once went to enjoy each other’s company. But, I still think Golf is stupid and you won’t catch me on a run anytime soon, unless it’s from the police.