Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Frank Church Trip 2022 - Day 7

The alarm, of course, went off at 5:30, but Ambrose decided we could sleep in a little bit. Not a full hour, but just another 10 minutes or so. It was once again warm this morning, so we didn’t need to put on our down jackets to start hiking. I mean, I could have. It wasn’t super warm, just not super cold. 

I wasn’t entirely sure that the trail continued beyond where the road crossed the water, but Ambrose was. He’d checked it out the day before on one of his water fetching trips. While I initially found that water spot, I only confirmed water because I didn’t want Ambrose to have to walk back down to where we crossed Coin Creek. 

I expected the trail to be in pretty good shape, considering it was technically a road. And it was. We saw a few more structures as we hiked out, including one building that appeared to have a driveway, though it was blocked off by logs. 

There was not a lot of deadfall on the old road, but it was clear that vehicles were no longer coming back here. Plants were beginning to encroach on the road, at times narrowing the clear path to the width of a trail. 

Ambrose and I have heard that folks want to re-open the Golden Hand Mine. I’m not sure how they’d possibly manage to get vehicles back there. And if they had to use mules to haul rock out of the wilderness, a lot of work would need to be done first. 

We had about 1800 feet of elevation to gain before we hit our high point, and, based on past experience, I thought we’d be resting more. 


Ambrose was like a machine. He just kept walking up the road, no stopping until break. None of those semi-breaks where he would stop forward movement for a breather, to wipe his face or take a drink. He just kept going forward. I’ve never been so simultaneously proud and annoyed. 

This area had burned a bit some years back. While we started out in green forest, the road brought us to a more desolate view. I think desolate might be the wrong word here; while there were many dead trees still standing, stretching out in my view farther than I could clearly discern, there was also life. Shrubs and flowers and bear grass. Young evergreens and mosses and mushrooms. And if the trees weren’t dead, I wouldn’t get such an expansive view. 

The road also had some twists and turns that brought us back and forth between burned and non-burned areas. It switchbacked a few times. Even though my feet were aching, I was also planning on how to get Ambrose to come with me to the top of Pueblo. I figured he’d be easier to persuade for this side trip because it was a shorter climb. And we hadn’t been hiking for very long yet. 

In fact, we only took one break on that part of the road. We had already reached Pueblo Summit when it was time for the second break. Pueblo Summit is the highest point where the road goes. We knew we were getting close, because there was a big metal gate across the road. That’s to keep cars and ATVs from (mostly ATVs up here) from driving into the wilderness area. After the gate, there was also a sign. We dropped packs and I went off to find a place to dig a hole. 

I found a pretty nice campsite up there. People clearly do come up and use the area. There was a lot of cut wood, including chunks just spread out in the grass for seemingly no reason. I found a place to dig and enjoyed my bathroom view. Then I went back to make sure Ambrose would accompany me up to the peak. 

To his credit, he didn’t take much persuasion. I think the whole experience of going up to the Sheepeater Lookout when he was exhausted really shifted his perspective. Plus, after we left Pueblo Summit, we only had a couple of miles to hike and it would literally all be downhill (and I don’t use the word “literally” lightly). 

We didn’t know if there was a formal trail up to the peak or not, but there was a side road that started off in the right direction. I led the way along it, but before too long Ambrose warned me that we were going downhill and were about to walk past our perpendicular to the peak. I was fine with turning off the road, so I did just that. Then I let Ambrose take the lead, because he had the GPS in his hands. I wanted to climb a peak, not get lost!

We only had about 300 feet of elevation to ascend, but in less than half a mile, that’s a pretty steep hike. Still, Ambrose kept up his pace, pausing only to find the best routes and make sure we were still on the right heading. So here we are, not on any trail, taking a weird route up to the peak, and all of the sudden we see the remains of structures. Small structures, but clear evidence of the hand of man. It may have been an old mine entrance, or just a collapsed cabin. It was kind of hard to tell at this point. Though the collection of boards in a pit seemed to lean toward mine. 

That turned out to be about the halfway point. After a bit more hiking through gently wooded terrain, with mostly grass underfoot, I spotted the peak! I knew it was the peak because I could see the benchmark sticking out of the ground, highlighted against the background of the sky. I quickened my steps, while Ambrose continued at his steady pace. He couldn’t see the benchmark, but there was no mistaking the view once we reached the top. 

This peak is not in the wilderness. It is just outside the boundary. The approach to Pueblo is relatively gentle, wooded, and grassy. This ends at the peak in a sheer drop-off that provides the most incredible panoramic view of the wilderness. As if it were built specifically to showcase the spread of wild lands it overlooks. 

My heart filled at the sight. My heart fills just to remember it. 

Ambrose sat on a convenient, couch-like log and messaged his family in between gazing around. I stood near the edge and drank in the scenery. I could see where we had hiked the day before, through the old Hand Camp that is now a tangle of fallen trees. I could see for what felt like miles and miles and I could have stayed there a long time. 

But we had left our packs down by the trailhead, so we couldn’t linger too long. Critters would be getting bolder about exploring our gear every moment we were away. Rather than retracing our steps, we took the most direct route back down to our packs. Ambrose continued to lead the way, consulting the GPS from time to time as he judged which path would be easiest to take. 

I think the hardest part of the descent was walking on the slippery grass. It was tall enough to create a slick layer between my boots and the ground. But only if I stepped on it. I was mostly able to avoid the grass, but sometimes it was unavoidable. Before too long, we made it back to our packs. The first clue we were getting close was the collection of logs cut into small chunks buried in the grass. I’m still not sure why there were so many pieces of wood lying about, but someone must have been doing it. 

There was a permit box at the trailhead, and I took a look inside. One blank permit was inside, and one filled out. I took a look, figuring it would be pretty recently dated. Nope. Not even close to recent. 


Yeah, it was probably a misprint. That’s what the ranger said when I showed it to him later. But it was still funny to see such an old date out there. I was already giggling about teasing the ranger about not having checked this box in over two decades. I took a picture, but left the permit. 

Ambrose’s hair was blowing in his face. It had, in fact, been blowing in his face for a while. Because his buff had fallen off – the second one that the Frank has claimed from him. We weren’t sure when it had fallen off, but Ambrose wasn’t interested in looking for it. I kind of wanted to; I checked the camera to see if I could determine when it had fallen off, but all I got was that it was sometime between just before we left the wilderness and when we noticed it missing. It could have been anywhere up Pueblo, though now I wished I’d gone back down our trail in the wilderness. It might have been lying on the ground just around the next bend… 

Then we headed down the road. It wasn’t even lunch time yet, and we were getting pretty close to our destination. Our plan was to spend the last night at the same place where we spent the first: the Jeep Camp. That would leave us very close to the car for the hike out the next day, but also allow us to spend one last night out in the woods. Not the wilderness, since we’d just left that behind, but the woods where few venture. 

There were clearly tire tracks on some sections of the road, but we neither heard nor saw any motors. The road sloped down at a pretty steep grade, leading us on a rough, rocky, descent. Still, there was never a question of losing the road, so it was pretty easy. Especially compared to the prior day’s “trail.” I liked the views that I was able to glimpse through the trees, and there was one switchback that offered a particularly breathtaking vista. But I didn’t linger too long. Ambrose was on a mission to get to the camp. 

His pace still hadn’t slowed. He was hiking steadily, and faster than me. But I wasn’t too surprised by that; he’s always been fast on the downhill, and I have to be in rare form to keep up when he’s in his rhythm. As we got closer to the Jeep Camp, I started looking around on either side of the road, wondering if there might be an even better campsite somewhere up here. We crossed a stream that flowed over the road, and then it was just one more turn until the trailhead was just visible ahead. Ambrose and I took pictures of each other at that point, that we’d just finished our loop. 

Then I turned off to explore an area north of the trailhead, while Ambrose went to confirm Jeep Camp was available. I found what could work, maybe, as a campsite, but it seemed like mostly a good place for stock. There were even piles of bags that looked like some kind of feed. While they may have been allowed to store things there, I rather doubted that the Forest Service would be happy to learn that some of the bags were uncovered and torn open. In the end, the ground there was too damp and lumpy to consider. Ambrose came up to see what I’d found, but we agreed to camp at Jeep Camp again. It’s just the best spot up there, though it’s good to know there are alternatives in the unlikely even that someone else was occupying Jeep Camp some time. 

As we walked on the rocky road over to Jeep Camp, I was looking at the rocks. I was still marveling at the way my new boots let my feet conform to the road surface, giving me so much more stability despite the road surface. And then I spotted something on the road was that not a rock or a stick. Not dirt, not water, no this was a manmade object. I bent down and picked it up. It was a tiny knife in a plastic sheath. I picked it up and brought it to camp, where I proceeded to give it to Ambrose.

Then we settled in at Jeep Camp. I wanted to eat lunch before taking care of the tent. I watched with hungry eyes as Ambrose poured our fancy sushi-grade tuna pack into the freeze dried, rice based meal. And I almost told him not to do it, because I know that sometimes mixing things in with the freeze dried meals can interfere with their reconstitution. But I figured he knew what he was doing, and said nothing, gratefully accepting the empty tuna packet so that I could scrape up any remaining scraps into my mouth. 

Fifteen minutes later, it was clear a mistake had been made. While Ambrose’s Pad Thai from the night before had not suffered from having the tuna added first, the coconut oil that the tuna was packed in proved less friendly to the rice. Pretty much, the rice absorbed no water. It remained crunchy, and there was a ton of water in the bag. Leaving it longer did not help. The rice had absorbed oil and had no more interest in absorbing water. 

And yet. 

We were so hungry, we ate it all anyway. I regretted it not too long after as my stomach started to protest the rice nodules I’d subjected it to. That one hurt for quite a while. Next time, I am NOT keeping my mouth shut on that advice. Still, the food was filling. I mean, it was actually delicious, and I look forward to eating it again some time, with the rice fully reconstituted. Maybe we’ll add the tuna, but only AFTER the rice is done rehydrating. 

After that, I got the tent set up. Then there was nothing left to do but appreciate the beauty of the woods in the time we had left. Ambrose, in his explorations, had found that a tree was down across the road just south of the Jeep Camp. If anyone actually came up this direction, we’d hear them sawing through the log well before they came into view. Though, in truth, absolutely no one drove up. We had the afternoon to ourselves, to talk, and to listen, both to each other and to the woods around us. It is commonly accepted that only humans have sentience, though some may also extend that to animals. I believe that we cannot rule out the possibility of another kind of sentience or consciousness existing in plants, and even rocks. And I believe being in the woods does something for me that even a walk in a beautiful park in the city simply cannot. 

We could have planned on sleeping in the next morning, but we had a different plan. To wit, get up at the regular time and hustle our butts down to the car so we could drive to Big Creek and have breakfast at the lodge. 

Well, I caught a great smile from Ambrose, but my own face went kind of funky. 

Bye bye!

The old mine entrance, now collapsed for safety.

Ambrose navigating our first stream crossing of the morning. Oh, this IS the road, by the way.

The start of the hike was on unmaintained road. 

One last glimpse down to where we hiked up the day before.

We came across several downed trees, but most were like this, easily navigable.

Ambrose kept pulling ahead when I stopped for photos!

This may have been the hardest tree problem of the morning. 

Finally, caught the sun.

We took our break somewhere around here, sitting in the sun at the side of the road.

Some sections of road were more clear than others.

This grouse obligingly posed for me.

More bear grass in bloom.

I got our shadows together!

Oh yeah, there were some pretty sweet views as we hiked.

And a lot of bear grass in bloom.

Ambrose hadn't lost his buff yet here.

Oh, that's a gate!

A gate close-up.

The permit box at Pueblo Summit Trailhead.

Ambrose at Pueblo Summit Trailhead.

Ambrose route-finding our way up to Pueblo.

How we managed to find this... 

It was definitely a structure at some point.

From here, I could just see the benchmark.

This picture does not come close to capturing the majesty of this view.

The benchmark!

Benchmark close-up.


There's a chipmunk hanging out on that log. 

My brother recently corrected me, so this one I'll label an ussie.

More bear grass coming down from the summit.

That date has a year of 01!

Inside view of the permit box.

On the road to Jeep Camp.

This road was in even better shape than the road in the wilderness. 

It offered a few spectacular views.

The rocky surface did make me walk a bit slower.

Some water across the road.

The last stream crossing.

Pretty sure those bags shouldn't be lying about torn open with spilled contents...

This looks like it's used as a stock area.

Mosquito Ridge Trailhead is to the right. We made it!


The trailhead sign rests at an awkward angle.

I found a neat little knife!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Frank Church Trip 2022 - Day 6

It was nice to sleep in a little bit. Though I don’t really agree with how Ambrose does it. See, he doesn’t reset the alarm. He just lets it go off at the same time (5:30 am) and then trusts himself to wake back up in 30 or 60 minutes. He’s good at it, no doubt about that, but I’d rather not have my sleep interrupted like that. I want to sleep all the way through! 

Still, it was a good morning. Not super cold, but cool enough to keep the mosquitoes asleep. We got ready in good order, and then began our day. The first few miles were going to be downhill, and I was feeling very cold, even thought it wasn’t that cold. Ambrose and I both wore our down jackets to start the hike. His choice surprised me, because he always seems to be warmed than me. I know that I don’t warm up very well if I’m hiking downhill, and I suppose, now that he has lost so much weight, he doesn’t either. 

We weren’t very far from the intersection to Crane Meadows. If we hadn’t been so exhausted the day before, it would have been easy to make it there and even on to the meadow. In fact, there were now campsites at the junction. My memory of it from the first time we visited was a handwritten sign. Now there were a couple of fire rings, lots of places to camp. I didn’t see water, but from the map, it looked like there would be water across the trail not too far from the intersection. I kind of regretted not camping there. 

We hiked on. I remembered this part of the hike being quite pretty, and that memory held true. In the cool morning air, I wished I could take more pictures. But morning light doesn’t get along well with my camera, so I had to choose my shots wisely. 

It was also a different experience to be hiking in the early morning instead of later in the day. The greenery had a more muted vibrance, instead of glowing in the sun’s light. I liked it. Other than being cold, I was feeling much better. My feet had not yet begun to ache for the day, and I had a hope that they might not. I mean, I figured my feet would get used to hiking in these boots eventually. 

We knew that we were going to get to a wooden bridge before we started the really steep descent. Before we reached the bridge, Ambrose warmed up enough to take his jacket off. I kept mine on. It was cold enough that I doubted I’d take it off before we caught the sun. Of course, we were running away from the sun by hiking down into a canyon, avoiding it as long as possible. 

We reached the little bridge way quicker than I thought we would. I took a picture of Ambrose, and he took one of me. I wish I’d told him to make sure that he took it from the same general angle that I’d taken his so that I could superimpose us together on the bridge, but alas, I wasn’t thinking of that and neither was he. 

After the bridge, we were headed down. And fast. I mean, it started off easily enough, a nice gentle downslope among well grown trees. But then the trail just takes a dive. I remember coming up this trail and feeling like it was practically vertical. It’s a little better going down, but it is still very steep. And rocky. 

But it goes a lot faster when you’re going down instead of up. 

I saw signs of beaver work below on Hand Creek, which made me smile. There were some huckleberries growing along the trail, but they were still green. Too early for them to be ripe, alas. There were even still thimbleberries in bloom. That’s what we get for hiking in mid-July. 

It was just about time for a break when we reached the canyon floor. We put our packs down, but I did walk ahead a bit to see if the crossing of Hand Creek was right around the next bend. It was not, though it was definitely close. I was glad that we stopped for a break though, because it was break time. And crossing a creek is best done with some food in our bellies. I also took the opportunity to take my down jacket off and stow it. It was still a little chilly, but I could handle the temperature with my sun hoodie and button down shirt. 

After break, we got to the crossing. It would be a boots off crossing if we were to ford it. But there was a very large tree that had fallen over the creek. With no branches sticking out, it was practically begging us to use it to cross. We obliged. Ambrose went first while I recorded the event. He scooted across, and I thought that I would do that as well. I watched him closely as he looked to dismount from the log on the far side. The dismount wasn’t on trail, and Ambrose ended up kind of falling when the piece of log he was stepping on just broke off under his foot. I yelled over to confirm he was okay before going over to the log to start my own crossing. Nothing I could do for him without crossing anyway. 

When I got to the log, I could see just how wide it was, and I decided to walk it instead. The width didn’t just give me more confidence in my ability to balance on it standing, it also made me wonder if I could even straddle it comfortably for a scoot. Walking across the log was easy for me, and I thought it was too bad Ambrose couldn’t get the camera from me to record this awesome crossing. When I got to the end, I could see why Ambrose had had trouble. 

This end was where the tree had broken off from its roots. It was wide and hard to navigate. Oh, and the end was also floating about 4 feet above the ground. Really hard for me to figure out how to get down safely. I ended up bracing my right arm on some wood that was sticking up and my left on the trunk, trying to reach my feet down until they hit the ground. 

It would have been fine if the wood on which I was bracing my right arm had not broken, dumping me abruptly and jamming another piece of wood into the soft underside of my bicep. It hurt. A LOT. I screamed a bit, but told Ambrose it was okay, that he did not need to come to me. I mean, it really, really hurt, but I could move the arm, and I didn’t see any blood. Good thing I was still wearing two shirts for warmth! 

I started to make my way through the brush to Ambrose and he was directing me to a specific path. I felt annoyed, because I wanted to go to him directly so he could look at my arm and make sure I wasn’t injured. (Also I needed a hug.) But he had my best interests at heart; he was directing me away from the on trail water he had stepped in. Since my boots sucked in water, I did appreciate that once I realized what he was about. 

Once we were together and on dry land, I dumped my pack so we could take a look at the arm. I stripped my shirts off and was relieved to see that the skin had not been broken. Despite how much it hurt, there was no bleeding, nothing but soft tissue insult. I was good to hike on. 

And hike on we did. I was feeling a bit slow because of my injury. I kept getting distracted by the pain as my arm moved in ways that now felt painful. We kept an eye out for our old campsite, but the terrain had changed so much that we never nailed it down exactly. We knew where it was basically though, because the trail crossed Joe Creek right around where we camped. After passing Joe Creek, Ambrose got some energy or something. Or I was just slower. Because he took off and disappeared, leaving me to hike in my pain alone for a while. 

I got a pretty good view of the road ahead.

I didn’t even get a proper picture of the junction, because Ambrose wasn’t waiting right at it. When I caught up with him, he was confused about where the trail was that we were supposed to follow. This was understandable, because when we were here in 2016 it was clearly a T junction, with the long arm being Beaver Creek where we’d come from and a clear left and right. Now, it was an L, with trees fallen across the route that we planned to take now. 

We knew this was going to be the iffiest part of our hike. Least traveled, most potential for being difficult and/or gone. And yet, to see it was a bit disheartening. Still. I was annoyed at Ambrose for leaving me behind, so I just forged ahead, stepping over tree after tree as I spotted the trail based on old cut logs. 

Before long, we reached Beaver Creek, which we needed to ford. This ford was a bit trickier than most, because the trail didn’t lead nicely down to the water. We needed to clamber down after we’d changed into our crossing shoes, through bushes and other pokey bits. Ambrose went first, as usual. He’s a good depth gauge. The water wasn’t very deep, but it was fast, which makes even knee deep water tricky to cross. 

After we both made it across safely, it was time to sit and have a break. A good thing, because the continuation of the trail on this side of the water was not clear. I was glad of some time to change back into my boots and look at the lay of the land. When it was time to start walking again, Ambrose suggested heading south, but I countered with north and once he looked, he agreed. 

Smart of him, since we quickly found a cut log proving the trail was under our feet. From there, the trail wasn’t too hard to discern. There were lots of trees across the trail, but not too many tree puzzles, making the going moderately slow, but not too bad. We were also headed uphill and in full sun. No more worrying about the cold! 

I made sure to look back periodically as we hiked up, to see the land we’d just hiked through. It’s a very beautiful area, and each gain in elevation gave a different angle to enjoy of the view. After a while though, there was less to see behind us, because we were starting to hike up the creek drainage. That meant a lot more bushes and small trees and challenges. 

The trail here was clearly less well maintained. A lot of live, mature trees had fallen down over the trail. It was so bad, that at one point, I convinced Ambrose to follow me up to a sea of rocks in the hopes it might be a trail. It wasn’t a trail, but it was a lot easier to traverse than the tree covered trail. But after we reached the end of that rock slide section, we went back to the trees. 

There were a lot of them. Yes, we were pretty much on trail, but it didn’t feel like trail. It felt more like torture, especially with my injured arm catching on branches as we had to go over, under and through – yes through! – trees and branches and bushes. I kept looking longingly at every rock pile up above where we were hiking. Ambrose kept leading us through tree puzzle after tree puzzle. Successfully, I will add, using the GPS to keep us mostly on track. 

Then the GPS told him that the trail was in Coin Creek, which was the body of water we were following upstream. Not next to the water, but right on the water. That’s where my line got drawn. No way was I hiking up a creek! 

Good thing we found a trail going up to the rocks. I got my wish! We headed up and hiked along trail that was blessedly free of trees. Well, it was tree-free until we hit the forest again, but there weren’t too many down on the trail. It was almost time for lunch when we reached the crossing of Coin Creek. It looked like the trail kind of disappeared at that point. There was old trail going back the way we came at a different angle, but there didn’t appear to be trail going forward along the creek. So we crossed, and then found a little spot to eat lunch, a bit upstream of the crossing because that’s where the shade was. 

I went and got some water to filter while Ambrose studied the GPS and the map. Then I made lunch while he got some water filtered. We ate, and then Ambrose went on a walkabout trying to find the trail. He recrossed the creek and explored. I sat in the shade and tried to recover. 

Before too long, he returned. He hadn’t found a good route, but it was time to keep going. We weren’t far from the mine, that was certain. We just needed the right path. 

I got myself up and ready to go. Then I followed Ambrose towards the creek crossing, but something made me hesitate. After we’d crossed the creek initially, we’d found a washed out section, a second crossing that was much shallower, and a lot of loose rock. I thought, what if the trail just kept going straight? Trails generally do around here; in fact, that’s one of the tactics I use now to help me stay on iffy trails. So I took a look. Ambrose looked back when he realized I wasn’t right behind him. I asked him to wait a moment. And I explored. 

Lo and behold, a cut log! A trail! 

And look up! It’s the mine! 

We had made it. Technically, we made it before lunch, we just hadn’t realized it at the time. 

There were several structures and lots of old, rusted machinery at the site of the Golden Hand Mine. We explored the largest building’s first floor extensively, but couldn’t get into the second floor. The door was stuck, and the stairs were kind of scary, especially on the way down. I found water along the trail we’d be taking the next day. It was easier to get to because going back down to our original crossing was a significant down hike in comparison. 

We spent the afternoon looking around and hanging out. We ate dinner at a fire ring outside the large building. I improvised a bench by setting a plank across the metal ring. It was quite nice to sit on for eating. The weather forecast was warm for the evening, so we decided to cowboy camp. It’s nice, every now and then, to sleep without a tent. As long as the bugs aren’t too bad! 

Ambrose is ready to go.

We could have camped over here, but didn't.

The day's hike started off on an easy downhill.

The ground was damp, but my boots didn't get wet.

Ambrose is ready to take that down jacket off (I'm not).

Back to an elevation where the bear grass is in bloom.

Water under the bridge.

Just a few downed trees to navigate on this section of the trail.

Good morning!

Another "easy" downed tree.

These thimbleberries aren't even green yet - they're still flowers.

This trail has seen some maintenance.

We're almost to the sun...

Crossing of Hand Creek.

We weren't the only ones to cross Hand Creek recently.

I'm pretty sure the peak to the left is Pueblo.

Joe Creek! 

I started to lose Ambrose while I looked at this fallen tree's roots.

But he got really far ahead when I tried to get a good picture of these tiny flowers.

No sign of the junction I remembered.

This is the trail. Yes, just right over those logs.

You'll have to trust me that this was trail.

Ambrose getting ready to cross Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek wasn't very deep, but it was quite swift.

The trail on this side started out difficult.

Then the trail got a bit easier. 

Though the trail still had challenges for us, following it wasn't one.

With every step, I'm hoping we're through the worst of it.

I would have packed this out, but it's grown into the tree. 

These rocks are not trail, but the trail had a lot of tree. 

So Ambrose and I took the high road.

But then we went back to the low road.

Ambrose - with pack off - slides through a gap between two trunks.

Green huckleberries, alas.

More flowers.

Now the trail is on the rocks, yay!

Except it gets bad again when it goes into the shade of the trees.

Ambrose starts heading back the way we came after lunch.

We ate in the shade, right by the water.

I decided to give this path a try.

And it's a good thing I did!

The biggest building we found at Golden Hand Mine.

This is the rear entrance, which was the only usable one.

Some of the interior looked pretty solid.

I don't know that I'd sleep in that bed.

I couldn't jam this door open any farther.

These stairs made me nervous.

A very old, not at all cold, refridgerator.

A cage - to keep something in or something out?

The front of the building - that door no longer opens, though one could get inside via a big hole in the wall.