|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."
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
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
These tracks were just downstream from the log jam.
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.
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.
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