Drop-Off: 3rd expedition
Now that the weather had warmed up, Dani and
I finally got around to making our return trip to see what was still further
upstream in this tunnel. If you recall from last time, we needed
an inflatable raft to continue beyond the deep section where Elizabeth
and I had left off before.
I definitely recommend
reading the accompanying journal entry about this expedition as it goes
into much greater detail about many of the things we couldn't capture in
the images and text below. Read it first here.
||Here's a section heading upsteam.
Dani has the inflatable raft in her bag.
||Here's one of the things that make me
go, "What were they thinking?!" These rungs go up to nothing... just
like many tunnels lead to dead ends, tunnels get tiny before opening out
into giant sections again, etc.
||This is an 18" square in the floor.
There are several of these, but the odd thing about this one is that there
are many machine parts sitting in it.
Elizabeth and I noticed these on our trip
through here, but on this trip we found the same parts all over again.
You would think that at least a few of them would have washed away, but
they all stayed there even after several months.
||Time to pump up the raft. Even before
we reached the deep spot, we went ahead and used this for another area
that was difficult to get through with just boots.
At any rate, this air pump is incredible!
It inflates on both up and down strokes, so it only takes about two minutes
to inflate all the chambers of the raft.
||...and here is the final product!
The oars were collapsible as well.
They come apart in three sections, so they were easy enough to carry in
the other backpack with the rest of the gear.
||Of course, nothing's perfect. The
raft held up just fine, but my technique could use some work. Climbing
into the raft, I managed to get water into the bottom of the raft... and
all over my bottom. This is why we waited until the summer was almost
upon us before we returned to this tunnel.
||After the deep spot(s), we came across
this odd section. The walls were a bit too high to get up to without
much effort (which I didn't attempt... on this trip at least; maybe next
||Here's another odd view over the wall.
This shot was a bit weird since the camera
was acting up after getting a little wet and so took pictures even when
I didn't tell it to.
||The tunnel split up, then reconverged
still further ahead to this configuration that is typical of the tunnels
||This was an odd area where the tunnel
was really high. There's a parallel tunnel next to this one, which
is what Dani was looking into. However, because we only went in one
direction, we never explored this other one.
Beyond here the camera became too unreliable,
so definitely check out the journal entry for the rest of the story.
||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.