The Homeless Tunnel
This location derived its name from the fact that there always seem homeless people congregated in the field next to the canal at the mouth of this tunnel.  In fact, we witnessed a loud, drunken altercation between the wildlife in said field when scouting out this site some months back.  As a result, Dani and I have always been a bit weary about exploring this particular spot.

Well, on this occasion we met up with Bean (who also supplied many of the pics in these galleries) and Turtle for some exploring, and I happened to notice that there were no vagrants in the field this afternoon.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally check out this tunnel.  That, plus the fact that we were three guys, a girl, and a dog, which eerily matched the demographics of the protagonists in The Wizard of Oz.



There's Bean and Turtle at the entrance.  Dani and our dog Gus are making their way down behind them from the (thankfully) vacant field/ homeless hangout.

Incidentally, we never got around to checking out the smaller tunnel on the right until I returned with Brei and Josh for the 2nd expedition.


Here we are just inside. 

It's funny how you can never get a sense of scale until you're right there, but looking down on the entrance from the sides of the canal, I would have estimated this tunnel to have been a lot smaller than this.  I like being wrong on these occasions.


At the beginning of this tunnel were several feeder tunnels encrusted with huge amounts of mineral deposition.  Either that or alien excrement.  You decide.

Above Dani's head is an even larger example of the mineral encrustation.

Dani and Gus take a break.  For some reason he loves sitting in water, no matter how dirty.  This place was heaven for him.  He's a nut.

Right around here I was able go down a smaller side tunnel and get a GPS reading through a grate.  We had traveled roughly a half mile at this point, more or less in a straight line.


At about this point, things ended kind of abruptly.  The main tunnel just stopped and we followed a pair of circular culverts to the right for a ways.

Note Gus' glowing eyes in the background.


It seemed like it was going to be an ever smaller round culvert like this for just about forever.

Just when we were ready to double back, I figured I would just scout ahead for a little bit...


...and sure enough it turned out to be worth it!

I went back for the rest of the gang and brought them into a huge hallway that this part empties into (or drains from?).

Strangely enough, the tunnel we entered from meets this larger section perpendicularly.  We went to the left (as you're viewing it) first.


Here's another stretch of the hallway, just around a corner. 

The small tunnel up ahead turned out to be nothing interesting... Or at least it didn't look like it would be.  I only went about twenty feet into it and it was pretty small.

Note the light from above...


...which came from these grates.  I couldn't say precisely how large they were since they were so high above us, but I would estimate that they were about 15' wide.

There was another grate not far from the first that was on the other side of this wall.  Unfortunately, the wall was a little over 10' high (or seemed like it), and we went ahead and explored more tunnel rather than attempting to scale it.

At this point, we doubled back to the big hall where we came from to check out the other end.


Continue to Part II