Under the Swift Ruins Road, Part II
Continuing where we left off...

Further upstream everything converges into this spot where the water dumps out from a concrete-lined stream (shown below).

Incidentally, the wet spot in the center of the frame was about a quarter of an inch of algae.  I walked up about two thirds of the way to the top with no problem, then slid all the way to the bottom, only staying on my feet through sheer luck.

Here's the concrete ditch feeding this area.

The reason why Dani is looking a little nervous in the pic above is because this is where she's looking.  Although it isn't clear here, there is a tent pitched in the clearing under the bridge (this was the best shot I could manage without being intrusive).

Further upstream things got to be too messy to worry with and the likelihood of additional tunnels diminished (although we never confirmed this by passing through the area in my car), so we doubled back.

Another failed attempt to photograph the tent.  Unfortunately, only the bottom of it is blue while the rest is khaki, roughly the same shade as the trees and concrete in this light. 

If you want to strain your eyes, the tent is (I think) directly above Dani's head.

The white area in the center of the frame is a huge collection of plastic bottles deposited by the water passing through this area.  There is another equally impressive (or appalling) collection further around the bend.

And then it's back around the bend to head home and finally get some sleep!

The story:  I promised to elaborate on who left the footprints.  Well, the tunnel is likely frequented by the homeless people who lived in the ruins of the Swift Meat Packing Plant.

It would be relatively easy to sketch this out on paper, but I will try to just describe it for the moment.  The ruins are located just next to the Fort Worth stock yards.  A canal runs alongside of the stock yards, and the tunnel empties into that canal.  If you go "upstream" through this tunnel, you come out into the "floodplain" shown in this gallery and on the preceding pages.  This happens to be behind a shopping center.

Our guess is that either the homeless individual(s) living in the Swift ruins use these tunnels to traverse this area unobtrusively.  A couple items of supporting evidence: The footprints were conventional flat-bottomed shoes, not boots, yet the tracks were always on one side of the tunnel, no matter the water level (or dry spots).  This indicates someone feeling his way along the wall without a flashlight.  There is the back of a grocery store (read: food-filled dumpsters) just a little further upstream, so this would be a sensible way of getting there while staying out of the gaze of society, cops, etc.

Conversely, the guy under the bridge probably uses the tunnel to go to the stock yards where he can get water and/or access to the dumpsters by the restaurants.

There's a whole ecosystem here that few ever discover!

Alexplored 1/10/04.

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