The Rat Race: 3rd expedition
Regular readers of this site must be about sick of this tunnel already, but it is probably one of my favorites.  There were a few things I still wanted to check out in here from last time and there is a lot of cool stuff to see.  Okay, so we ran out of time and didn't get to the coolest stuff, but I brought Teresa with me this time and she is pretty photogenic.  So quit your complaining.


This is a little side tunnel where water was pouring down.

I couldn't get in here on either of my two previous visits because it was splashing so hard (and it was so friggin' cold!).  We had better luck this time around... although it turned out to be nothing interesting, just a small culvert.


If you're expecting a joke about large calcium formations, you better go write your own.

This tunnel has a few examples of these, but the other one is the place to see them all.


Yes, we biked the tunnel again.  It's the only reasonable way to do this set of tunnels since it's quite a ways uphill to get to this point.

As before, we took the fork to the right...


...and this time we climbed up to the top.  There was a lot less water (i.e., hardly any!) pouring down, so I climbed up the ~25' shaft (behind Teresa in this picture) to this little room.

Behind me are two smaller tunnels...


...which we crouched through...

...until I finally squeezed through this narrow pipe to get a GPS reading.

This is really getting to be a habit.

Note the red bricks in this and the previous picture.  You see these in only the oldest tunnels we've been in.  (Age is estimated by the relative amount of mineral deposition.)


Here's a look up to the top of the tunnel.  Note the manhole above (again, write your own jokes, please).  It's amazing the amount of light that gets through these to illuminate small sections of the tunnel.

At the bottom of this spot was the 3' deep pool of water mentioned last time

Fortunately, we could jump from the hand rungs to the ground outside the pool without having to submerge ourselves.


Here's an encrusted hand rung in another such vertical shaft.

I really wanted to go up this one as well, but there was a major downpour of water (as you can see in part), so I would have gotten soaked.

But next time... who knows?


And here's the end (okay, you can have that joke).

This is the third of the vertical shafts that I never photographed last time.

Unfortunately, this one didn't have any hand rungs, so it is effectively a dead end.


Alexplored 3/24/05. 
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