The Slaughter Catacombs
This is another location found by a viewer of my site (Thanks, Victor!).  The name derives from the fact that the top of the archway at the opening says "R.O. Slaughter, Builder."  These aren't real catacombs, but the first part of the system has a very creepy feel to it which the pictures unfortunately do not convey nearly well enough.

Since Dani was out of town for the weekend, this was the perfect opportunity for the always camera-shy Brei and I to take a road trip to Cedar Hill to hit this and another tunnel.



The entrance is apparently just about as far as the graffiti artists will typically dare. 

This opening is hidden just behind some trees at the far edge of KidSprings Park.  You can usually hear the water because the tunnel empties onto a lengthy series of small waterfalls before reaching the stream at the bottom.


The floor did not photograph well, but it was the roughest going part of the journey.  The water was relatively deep (nearly a foot in spots with many sinkholes), so it was a challenge to keep our socks from getting soaked. 

The ceiling and walls were interesting contrasts in this section as well.  The ceiling was very smooth, whereas the sides were jagged as though they were simply the natural rock this tunnel had been carved through.


The floor was really rough in this one section where we had to climb over a bunch of rocks all of a sudden, but after this we reached a smoother surface and shallower water.

This was the first place where we got a big scare.  Some kids found the tunnel after we entered it, and let out an all but deafening scream down its length.  Um, thanks.  I really needed something to keep my mind off keeping my footing!


The camera didn't autofocus right here, but the end of the gothic portion of the tunnel opened into a wide room that just as quickly narrowed again into the tunnel behind me.

This section appeared to be remarkably recent.  It was also very clean (i.e., no sediment) and had very little water.

Next, the tunnel widened still further into this domed configuration.

It was along this stretch that Brei spotted a snake.  I tried to get my boot in the picture for reference, but I guess I should just say that he was only about four inches in length (he's looking right at the camera, so you can't see some of him). 

He (she?) was definitely a good swimmer as well, although I can't say whether he's a water snake.


Further still, we ended up in a lengthy stretch of round tunnels.  This shot was about the farthest we explored.  Beyond this point the diameter grew prohibitively smaller without the hint of anything interesting.

I'm looking up at a manhole.  There were several along this stretch, but they all opened onto a major roadway (we could hear cars running over the tops of them), so it was impossible to pop up and get a look, let alone a GPS fix

Our second scare of the ight came when a dog heard us down here.  He must have found a spot to poke his snout into because when he started barking, this place almost changed from storm drain to sewer real quick!


Finally, with a push from Brei I climbed up to this drain and had a look.  It was dark by this point, and I was unfamiliar with the area, so I couldn't guess where we are.  Fortunately, I was able to get a fix.

GPS coordinates:
32.75225 N, -96.83525 W

This spot was just after the tunnel turned from the rectangular part to the domed design, so this isn't very far in.  My guess is that we walked close to a mile each way.


Alexplored 6/14/04.

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