Jabba's Lair
This tunnel derives its whimsical name from the shape and lighting found inside (see below).  Fans of the Star Wars saga will recognize the area.  At any rate, Dani and I discovered this one while biking along the Trinity River when I went to check out what was on the other side of the levee where a pipe emptied.

This is where we entered the system.  There are two tunnels like the one by Dani, the other one being in the background of this shot and leading in from the opposite side.

Behind Dani (left) is the levee of the Trinity.  To the right, a couple blocks away is Main St., just north of downtown.


The tunnel had a bit of a drop-off once you went through the culvert, but there was practically no water overall, and there was even a patch of dry concrete where I'm standing.

Here's some of the area reminiscent of parts of Jabba's Palace.  I'm standing on the end of the tunnel closest to the river.

In the background you can see the light on the walls from the two opposing culverts.

At every one of the places where water empties into the Trinity that we have seen so far, there are towers near the top of the levee.  We explored one of these earlier (see here), but this was much larger.

From this room the tunnel split into three parallel sections that ended...

...like this, with a large, round hatch on a hinge.  The force of the water (or, in this case, my foot) is all that is required to open it.

Looking back now, this is the area leading up to the hatches.  Presumably, the supporting columns are required due to the weight of the levee above.

We doubled back and continued upstream away from the river.  This side tunnel was similarly designed, but the height wasn't very inviting, so we continued onward.

I'm looking backward here to where we came into this area.  As you can see, the tunnel up to this point was something of a back-breaker, but it unexpectedly opened up to this 9 foot ceiling for only about 150 feet or so before returning to the original diminutive height.

At last, the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Just before this point, Dani and I did not have very high hopes at all for this system, but we pressed on for a bit once we reached the high ceiling area shown above.  We were again ready to turn back when Dani spotted the light just around the next bend.

The tunnel opened out into a wooded area between a small industrial complex and the RR tracks on the opposite side of Main St. as where we began.

That's the funny thing about this that makes it so ironic.  You can pass over a spot hundreds of times without ever realizing there are sights to be seen just beneath it!

GPS coordinates:
32.77054 N, -97.34337 W

Total distance = ~0.18 mile.

Alexplored 9/12/04.

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