The Hell’s Heaven 2.0 – click any image for full size
“Stay awhile,” Snoob (SnoobJohnson) and his partner, Mila (Mila Maesar) say in greeting to visitors to their homestead region, The Hell’s Heaven 2.0. “Let this world refresh your soul and
melt your worries away … Explore this cloudy world of changing scenery and enjoy your stay!”
It’s a warm invitation, and there is much to enjoy within the region, which has been beautifully created by Snoob, with touches inspired by Mila to offer photographers and explorers alike with a visual treat – an anyone who has looked at the Flickr group for the region will only be too aware.
This is a land of two distinct parts. To the west sit low-lying marshlands, ankle-deep in water and carpeted in long reeds and grasses through which a water-hugging mist drifts. Scattered over this lay dilapidated shacks and cabins, their floors flooded and wooden walls slowly rotting, submerged wooden walkways running from nowhere to nowhere outside. Wrecks of cars and pick-ups complete the scenery, together with a couple of rowing boats and the rusting body of an old airboat.
To the east, the land rises abruptly in a series of rocky crags, high ridges and flat-topped plateaus, cutting the land between them into deep gorges, one connected to the next, through which the marshy waters drift and aged trees stand, trunks bent and branches hanging low, like old men needing a cane for support as they watch the passing of time and the world.
Waterlogged paths wind through these grey canyons, leading the way to an old, broken railway line emerging from a boarded tunnel. Overhead, clouds drift across a sky deepening with dusk, their shapes a mix of grey and softly burnished bronze. Between sky and ground, strung across one of the gorges, sits an old chair lift, all but one of the wooden seats fading in the sun, the exception dangling beacon-red beneath the uppermost stretch of taut cable. Do be aware when wandering the canyons, that a private residence lies beyond them in the north-east corner of the lane – please respect privacy there.
A hinterland of rock, reeds, and water, there is a feeling this place has been long abandoned; the cars are rusting, an old fuel pipe and valve leaking oil into the water, adding the glossy touch of alien colours to its surface here and there. But while abandoned, this land is not deserted. Egrets and herons perch here and there, eyes alert for fish – so the waters aren’t that contaminated – while crocodiles rest among the reeds, perhaps also waiting for unwary prey to come a little too close.
The Hell’s Heaven 2.0 – the name a reminder of Snoob’s original The Hell’s Heaven – is very much a place of peace and serenity, with the feeling of decade and passing time adding to its beauty, and not necessarily in a melancholy way. There is a sense of romance to the region, giving it the feel of a setting from an unwritten novel.
Be sure to pay a visit and write your own chapter.
- The Hell’s Heaven 2.0 (Rainbow Ridge, rated: Moderate)