Crater Tunnel, continued!
Having found the second stretch of this system on another scouting expedition last time, we returned to complete the journey on this trip.  I had scouted a little ways in, but left off when I confirmed that there was indeed a gaping tunnel waiting to be explored.

Here's the entrance to the tunnel again.  This is a really beautiful spot.  There is a produce distributing warehouse at the top of the hill to the left, so the air was rich with the smell of fresh cantaloupe.

This square tunnel only runs for a hundred feet or so before you reach this culvert...

...And then you reach the big room.  I'm trying to show the scale here, but the lighting didn't work.  The tunnel I'm standing in is about 8 or 9 feet in diameter.

This is my favorite picture on this site to date!

Here I am getting a GPS reading to figure out exactly where this room is (it's the same one as in the picture above; we came in through the culvert next to the ladder).  It turned out this is just in the middle of a parking lot. 

I can't begin to imagine what someone would do if they dropped their car keys in!  Get a clothes hanger?!

Before we checked out the big tunnel was standing in a couple images back, I checked out the smaller culvert to the left.  It was a real backbreaker, about 4 feet high (note the plastic bottle for scale reference).

This is unbelievable.  Another dead end!!!

Whenever I see a tunnel with a dry floor, I can almost be sure I'm going to reach one of these.  I don't know what to make of this.  I crouched for 300 feet or more to reach this dead end.

There was a fork a little further before this that didn't photograph as well and also dead ended.

So we returned to the larger tunnel and continued upstream.

It isn't especially clear, but here is another dead end side tunnel.  This one was only 3 feet in diameter, but we have seen all sizes plugged with solid concrete, wood, cinder blocks, bricks, rebar rods, and any combination you can imagine.

Continue to Part II