The Rat Race

9/28/04: A gallery of this expedition can be found here.
Last night we headed over to a tunnel that goes beneath the Dallas convention center's parking lot.  I brought my bike, but Ben had loaned his to a friend and didn't have it handy, so we didn't use them.  As it turned out, this tunnel wasn't entirely suited for biking in most of the areas anyway, although it might have been easier in a few spots.

To start from the beginning, we drove downtown and passed by another tunnel I knew about that was next to a convenience store on the way.  There were only one or two bums out at the time, but they had a whole bunch of chairs in that field as though a good many of them gather there periodically.  I guess that's their own convention center.  We weren't planning to check out that tunnel at the time, but I showed it to Ben just for the hell of it since we were already in the area.

We ended up parking next to another convenience store and walking over to the tunnels, seeing lots more homeless people along the way.  That part of town (and several other areas) have incredible numbers of vagrants.  It's amazing.  They were beneath several overpasses along our way, but they didn't pay us any mind.  Note that we were wearing ratty (exploring) clothing and were carrying backpacks stuffed with our belongings (exploring gear: boots, water, camera, GPS, etc.).  We probably looked to them like we were from their line of "work," so they weren't going to ask *us* for change.  However, considering the area, I packed the pepper spray just in case.

The tunnels were wet, of course, so that meant running across homeless people wasn't terribly likely, thankfully.  I won't go into detail here on the tunnels themselves, as hopefully the gallery will tell the story better than I can in words alone, but they were absolutely incredible.  The highlights including discovering some architecture I have never previously seen in any other system, running across a rat (a first in all my exploring!  He was very cute, btw), and we made it all the way to beneath the heart of downtown Dallas!

Unfortunately, we still didn't finish it all.  Not too far in, the main tunnel split.  We started with the one to the right, which turned out to unexpectedly diverse and was much, much older than the other tunnel.  Later, after we finished the first, we tried the other portion for a ways, but Ben was pretty tired (I was as well, but you know me...), so we saved it for another time.  However, we do know that at least a significant portion of it was bikeable, so we will have to bring our wheels next time.

Copyright 2004 Alexplorer.
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