The Log Jam, Part 2
Continuing where we left off...


The text reads, "Last Look of Light."  Great title for my new murder mystery!  Ironically, this hole was sealed with concrete just like so many others along the way.

Most of the rest of the graffiti depicted genitalia or said, "Keep Going" with an arrow pointing upstream. 

However, my favorite one marked a one-inch diameter PVC inlet in large print with the word "EXIT."


The last word: 
"I stopped here, but if you keep going, good luck." 

Thanks, Ronny.

Incidentally, most of the marks down here were from this same author and noted the year (?) '76.


That's me standing at a three-way split upstream from the arched section.

Just a couple hundred feet up ahead in the center tunnel was a huge tree along with a considerable chunk of its root system.

Beyond here, the tunnel returned to the archway design, although the water turned out to be rather deep due to all the debris trapped by the logs.


Just inside the tunnel on the right of the three shown above was an open manhole.  I had no idea where it was, so I climbed up Dani's back and up to the surface.

Here's a look up to the top. 

This turned out to be next to a major road... which the GPS revealed was Mockingbird.

I couldn't climb out because it was in plain sight, so we had to return to the spot later for a better look.


There were a lot of animal tracks in several places in the tunnel (e.g., in the mud outside the sealed-off section highlighted earlier). 

These tracks were just downstream from the log jam.


At this point, we really couldn't go any further upstream due to the depth of the water that was captured by the log jam.  Dani and I worked for quite a while trying to clear as much as we could, but the largest parts at the base of the tree were still very solid and held many, many branches which naturally collected loads of leaves.  We made a valiant effort and were able to get a decent flow going, but it was nowhere near sufficient to drain this portion well enough to undertake the rest of the journey in anything less than hip waders.

However, determined as I am known to be, I went ahead and tried to proceed by sticking close to the edge of the tunnel that was not completely submerged.  What impelled me was the fact that there was clearly a large amount of light up ahead, just around the bend.  Unfortunately, it was next to impossible to proceed.  For one thing, the sides were continuously slanted (as opposed to being level with only a channel in the center).  That was bad enough, but the fact that the water was allowed to pool meant that there was a thin film of slippery silt everywhere across the bottom.

As a result, I was pretty much sliding toward the center of the pool from the time I first approached that section.  I had to have Dani throw me a stick from the portion of the jam we had cleared just so that I could brace myself as I backed up to where I started from.  Total distance traveled: About four feet.


We finally just doubled back and, after dragging some of the larger roots and branches we had freed, we headed out to the car.  From there, we returned to the open man-hole next to Mockingbird.  Ironically, after wondering whether someone could get close enough to fall down it, we ended up seeing someone walk right by it as we drove past.  The cover was not only off of the thing; the entire support ring was removed as well, with both sitting separately near the hole.  Meanwhile, the hole itself was largely obscured by the surrounding grass... with only a piece of "Caution" tape lying next to it.  Need cash?  Fall down a well and sue the city!

The goal in finding the manhole, of course, was to locate the upstream entrance to the tunnel.  That turned out to be relatively easy since the canal leading into the tunnel ran throughout the neighborhood just across the street from the manhole.  I simply drove around until I couldn't find any more canal, then went back in the woods and climbed down to it....


This is as close as I could get without either hip waders or tearing through the woods (read: thorny vines).

The water here was surprising deep (12" to 18"), but there's a "lip" at the entrance to the tunnel that allows only a trickle into it.  Consequently, the sides would have been very walkable, at least until we neared the area where things pooled above the log jam.

Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to finish the exploration as we were already very late to meet up with a friend.


Alexplored 1/9/05.
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