FW Shopping Center
Underneath a shopping center in Ft. Worth is a huge tunnel, secret from everyone passing over.  Dani and I had previously explored this tunnel but didn't take any pictures, hence the return trip.



Last time we entered from the opposite end of the tunnel, but Dani suggested we go through the canal on this end.  Believe it or not, this is the easy way in!

Across from where Dani went in is a fairly large tunnel that we didn't get to check out this time around, but we did revisit it another time (see Part II).

GPS coordinates:
32.74440 N -97.43515 W


As you can see, this is a fairly large branch.  I went back in it about 200 feet, but we didn't bring a flashlight on this trip (you'll see why later), so I couldn't go much further.  However, the tunnel went more or less straight forward without any reduction in size, so I'll have to report on that at a later time.

Dani tried to take my picture a ways back, but the light didn't carry.  The only evidence of my presence are the footprints in the foreground.

Further down stream is a great little fishing spot... except that there aren't any fish to speak of.

Under the bridge.  (Dani liked the effect of the light reflected from the water.)

Here's Dani at the entrance of the actual tunnel.

GPS coordinates:
32.74587 N -97.43455 W


The sides look like shale or clay, but this is actually concrete.

Another picture of the sides.

Dim though it is, this shows the other end of the tunnel in the distance.

The flash unfortunately obscured it, but this shot attempted to show the light source throughout: The separations between the slabs of concrete in the parking lot above.

There is a series of half a dozen grates in just one section of this tunnel.  They are all present now, but some of these had been dropped in last time we were here, leaving a potentially nasty 25 foot drop for pedestrians above.

On the far right you can see one of the cracks that lets the light in.


At least one of those grates was shattered, and I found several pieces of it scattered throughout the tunnel down stream.

And here's the shopping cart graveyard at the other end of the tunnel.  There are more of them here than pictured; some are in the reeds behind me.

GPS coordinates:
32.74661 N -97.43304 W

Approx length of tunnel = 0.101 miles (536 feet)
 


Here's a nice little walkway.  Good thing, too, because the water gets really deep right here.

These are birds' nests.  Luckily, the residents are probably in Brazil at moment.  Last time we were here they didn't take kindly to our trespassing and took a few passes at us.

Dani points out a scary little sink hole on the way back.  You have to watch out for these in the strangest spots, places where they wouldn't be expected to be.

Not only was there a dearth of life, you find the negative effect of concrete- lined drainage systems throughout.  Here I ran across earthworms washed into the tunnel with no fish to eat them or soil to work.  They're just an ecological  dead end.

Before heading home we explored further up stream.

I found a socket wrench in this section.  Last time we were here I found a hammer in the tunnel.  Next time, who knows?


Alexplored 12/14/03.

Continue to Part II: the Tunnel