The Drop-Off, Part 2
Continuing where we left off...

The tunnel split here into a smaller archway and a continuation of the more angular section.  Most of the water was coming from the left, but we continued along in the larger tunnel to the right.

However, we did check this one out on the way back...

(To jump ahead in the chronology for a moment) 

...Unfortunately, this is how it turned out: A complete backbreaker.

We just gave up at this point and headed home.

Now back to our regular story, already in progress.

You wouldn't think this tunnel could ever accumulate this much water, but this board was obviously captured in a deluge.  It was held in place by a pipe running across the ceiling.

This was just a small (~3' diameter) side tunnel, but I'm curious what kind of radioactive goop flowed through here and melted the shit out of it. 

Even the floor of the main tunnel was severely eroded where the contents poured out.

This hole bridged the larger tunnel to the smaller arched tunnel we checked out earlier.

Nothing special to see here; I just wanted to include a shot of my ass for the ladies.  (Hello, ladies!)

I noticed that this little side tunnel opened out into something larger, so I checked it out while Elizabeth waited (I didn't know if it would be worth it for both of us to squeeze through ~30' of a 2' diameter pipe).

This a view from the inside of that side room... 

...And here's the other end. 

Only a couple hundred feet around the bend was this walled up dead end.  Even the culvert to the left was sealed.  Though it's too dim to make out, the back was walled up with bricks and had a load of mud placed in front of it.  Why?  Who knows!

I did find a busted bowling ball in here, but it was really muddy.  Well, that and I don't bowl.

Oh, and those are stalactites in the ceiling, not spiderwebs.  (The longest is ~18")

This split was back in the main tunnel.  It looks exactly like a certain section of the Threeway tunnel.

This is the right side of the split shown above.  I took this shot on the way back, although it doesn't capture what I wanted to show.

In spite of the downpour, the pipe in the center right neither carries water nor is submerged by the waterfall in front of it.  Instead, there is a pile of relatively dry mud out of which sprouts were growing.

What's more, there was at least one mouse feasting on the plants in here.  We watched him (her?) for a little while without ever startling the creature.  He didn't seem to pay us any mind at all.  I only wish I could have gotten a better shot of him.

Right at the end of the split (where the two tunnels merged again), things got a bit deep. 

I don't know what to make of this, but even though we were heading upstream, the water would have gone over even Elizabeth's hip boots.

Obviously, we would have had to swim it to go any further, so we turned back.  We couldn't get a canoe down here very easily, but maybe an inflatable raft?  Stay tuned!

Additional details about this trip can be found in a more lengthy write-up posted on my Journal page.  Jump right to the account of this expedition here.

Alexplored 1/22/05. 
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