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
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
||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
||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.
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.