We had something of an exploring marathon over the weekend, especially on Sunday. This was a lot more than I expected, but we really didn't have an agenda to do anything else for once. To start off, we took a quick trip up to Denton to get some stuff from my place and hit a tunnel while we were in the area (the one beneath University Blvd.). On Sunday, I figured we would hit some of the smaller tunnels around Fort Worth. For whatever reason, Dani wanted to do the one by the North East mall first. We had seen this one a couple weeks before, and I figured it just ran beneath the mall and came out on the opposite side of the parking lot. After all, that's pretty much all the one beneath the mall in Irving did. Well, that turned out not to be the case as you can see in the galleries.
As we were leaving the area in my car, I noticed a canal nearby and figured I would swing by and have a look there as well. I parked and went down to check it out while Dani waited in the car. Remarkably, this turned out to be another huge set of tunnels: nine of them altogether, very much like the ones we had just explored beneath (and beyond) the mall. I doubled back and told Dani that this was indeed a worthwhile tunnel, so we "booted up" and headed back down to check it out.
Well, luck was not on our side... or maybe it was in a peculiar sort of way. As we entered the first tunnel, Dani pointed out that there was a couple of plastic bags sitting on a ledge between the parallel tunnels. They obviously had not been washed up there by the water, so I took a closer look. They had fresh food still in the wrapper: a pack of hot dogs and some baloney, clearly left there by some homeless residents (is you'll pardon the oxymoron). Dani and I stayed on our guard and listened carefully as we backed out and checked out each of the other tunnels without venturing more than a couple feet in so as to stay in plain view of most of the world outside! At one point Dani heard some voices down the length of one tunnel, so it seems the occupants were still in the vicinity, perhaps just around the first bend a couple hundred feet or so into the tunnels.
Finally, I went a couple more tunnels over from the voices and headed part of the way down the last of the tunnel all the way to the right. This one too had a "window" to the adjacent tunnels (if you've never been exploring, I should point out that this is a common feature of systems like this), and on the ledge of the window was a denim jacket and another grocery bag, this one with boxes of food. I didn't examine either very closely and headed back out in search of less-suicidal exploits.
The Fishy Tunnel
So after exploring one relatively massive system and abortively checking out a second one, we headed back with a mind to wrap up the day with another tunnel. We planned to check out a relatively small one that empties into the Trinity River, but instead found ourselves near another tunnel that we had found on a rainy afternoon some months earlier. I'm not exactly sure why we never returned to this one up till not, but I know we found evidence of vagrants in the area (i.e., a sack of belongings hidden beneath a railroad bridge), so I guess we worried a little about running into someone here as well.
Thankfully, we didn't see any people. Again, I'll let the gallery tell most of the story, but there's a bit more to it than that. Specifically, both Dani and I were really creeped out for some reason by the first tunnel of the two we explored in this area, and I don't have any explanation for this feeling. Curiously, neither she nor I indicated anything to one another. As a practice, I usually keep my concerns to myself so as not to distract anyone I'm exploring with unless I notice something tangible enough to warn them. In this case, there was nothing I could identify specifically as a basis for this feeling.
After we checked out one of the tunnels and moved though most of the second one, we came to an exit. We took it and decided to take a break. I had blisters forming on the side of my ankle due to all the walking in these boots and both Dani and I were tired from this relative splurge compared to our latest exploits. We knew there was still another tunnel further along in this canal in addition to the rest of this tunnel yet to explore, and it was getting dark already. We figured we would call it a night.
After we returned home, we took a look at the pictures from the day's events. Oddly enough, the one picture of the fifty we took that features an "orb" was in the tunnel where we felt really creeped out. Admittedly, it isn't the most prominent manifestation on this phenomenon I've ever see (let alone captured myself), but it was in one of the areas where we felt something strange. A little while after we looked through the images, Dani and I talked about the feeling. We both felt it right as we were entering the tunnel and right ear the end. We didn't notice it at all in the middle section or in the next tunnel we went through. Weird, weird, weird!
Stay tuned for more reports as we pick up where we left off.
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