|Rather than starting at the mouth, we crawled down the small shaft that I had exited from last time. (That's the narrow hole Ben has his arm in here.)|
|This is under one of the giant grates
about 25' above. There's another one on the other side of the wall
to the right.
The tunnel in the background looks like it might lead to downtown, but it just gets really, really small very, very fast.
|Unless you want to climb over the 10'
high wall behind Ben, this metal hatch is the only way to the other side
When we were here last time, I assumed this just led to a small tunnel, but when I was on the other side of the wall at the opposite end of this part of the tunnel on our previous trip through here, Turtle and I saw that another grate connected that section to the rest of the tunnel.
It didn't dawn on me until later that this one would allow access to this section as well.
|Those footprints aren't ours! There
was evidence that other people had been in here, possibly very recently.
This is silt, and you could see where it had dried all crackly until probably in the last week or so when it rained. The footprints looked like they had been made since then.
There was also a spot a little ways from here where the previous visitor(s) had wiped the mud from his(their?) hands on the wall to get them clean.
|This is what the other side of the wall
looked like: Four long hallways (maybe a quarter of a mile in length).
Two of the "halls" were this wide; two were narrower.
This was quite a surprise since the other side of the wall that I climbed last time with Turtle was considerably shorter.
Note how dry the floor is through most of this tunnel. Since there's almost no drainage into it, it's probably completely dry most of the year.
|And this is how it ended up. Everything
narrowed in and dead ended abruptly. There were narrow "holes" between
this tunnel and the others (you can barely see one on the right) through
which we went to check out the rest.
There was the most incredible echo in here as well. After we made a bunch of noises (whistling, yelling, etc.), I happened across a piece of bubble wrap and had some fun with that.
Yeah, we're easily amused.
|Tony actually climbed the wall on the
way back, but Ben and I took the low road through the hatch, even through
it meant getting our hands muddy again.
Of course, Tony had to drop down into mud almost to his knee when he landed, so I think we did the right thing.
|Next we went back over to the area just
like this at the other end of the tunnel.
This time, rather than climbing the wall, I opened the hatch... and a bunch of water poured out. There wasn't enough pressure behind it to actually open the heavy iron hatch, so it all collected from raining through the grates above (Inexplicably, there is no other drainage into here via tunnels).
Fortunately, the water drained pretty quickly, and we were able to climb in unimpeded.
|This was odd as well. In this one section of the first hall we went down, there was a row/mound of mud. We thought there was a pipe or something under it, but you can see from our footprints that there wasn't. Someone had to have collected the mud here.|
|In the "room" mentioned above there were
other footprints... and they were huge. Mine is in the center, and
the large one above it was bigger than Tony's print (and he wears a 14).
There was also some graffiti down here, mostly in Spanish, so maybe some kids had found this tunnel as well. I guess we're going to have to put sign-in sheets at all the entrances.
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