Independence Park Tunnels
Back when I was a junior at LSU, I had explored these tunnels with my old roommate Joey.  I honestly had no idea where they were, but I described what I could remember of the area and Kurt immediately honed in on the exact location from just my vague recollections.  We took a ride out there and did the coolest tunnel of the night.



This is a shot of the roadway at an intersection opposite the park.  We were able to duck into the woods near here when the traffic was clear.  The red is the tail light of a car stopped at the traffic light who undoubtedly thought he was about to be abducted by UFOs given the light of my flash coming from the woods.

Anyway, there are again metal rungs down the sides of the canal these tunnels empty into.


Here's Kurt at the entrance of the tunnels.  He's taller than I am, so he had to duck pretty much the whole way while I was able to stand up in most spots.

This was a unique break in the wall between the tunnels.  Elsewhere the tunnels were separated in spots with the high ceiling, though only to the height of the rest of the tunnel, while other places without the high ceiling had breaks in the wall between the sides.

Here's Kurt almost scraping his head on the ceiling.  These was a particularly nasty accumulation of water on the ceiling, which ended up depositing an algal slime in my hair when I bumped my head against it.  The first thing I did when we made it back to Kurt's apartment was to wash my hair of that crap.

The whole tunnel was full of humidity.  There was enough moisture in the air for my flashlight beam to look like a lightsaber in spots.  It's amazing that the flash on my camera managed to consistently cut through the soup.


You can hardly make him out at this resolution, but that's a little squirrel perched on a stone just above the water.  (Don't worry, the water is only an inch deep at most!)

Kurt and I heard him scampering ahead of us.  I got excited (???) because I thought it was a rat (I could see his little feet in the air as he took off) and I have never seen any rodents in all my draining adventures.

Anyway, I chased after him (her?) for quite a ways, taking pics all the time, but this was the best shot I managed to get since he got pretty far ahead of me.  Eventually, Kurt and I got right up on him and he held his position, then ran back the way we came from.  Smart!


There were a few twist and turns throughout.  This was one of the zip-zags.  Just beyond me, there's another 25 degree turn to the right.

Roughly halfway through the journey, the height of the tunnel diminished to this level.  My back is still aching me as I write this a couple days later.


This may be the most "Alice in Wonderland" picture I've ever taken!  "One pill makes you larger/ And one pill makes you small..."

At the end of the main tunnels is a room that branches off into five other shafts.  This is Kurt in one corner...


And this is me in the other.

I went down the tunnel closest to Kurt, but didn't see much interesting, so we began the journey back by traveling through the tunnel opposite the one we had come in through.


The site of an old cave-in.  In general, everything otherwise appeared to be structurally sound.

And then our little squirrel friend turned up again (He's in the middle of the picture).  He was waiting for us to return.  We tried to chase him back toward the opening, since that's the way we were heading anyway, but he pulled the same routine: He waited, then darted past us even though I tried my best to play goalie. 

Kurt's rechargeable light had begun dying since we were back by the end, so we couldn't waste any more time on him and had to head home for the night.


Alexplored 1/3/04.

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