Sunday, September 23, 2007

Island Station Drain

Franklin Delano Nothing had discovered this opening a while back, but he wasnt quite prepared to explore it without the proper equipment. So, while we waited for the sun to go down for other, riskier, entrances we decided to go on a jaunt to this drain. We didnt know if it was an extensive maze of drains, or too small to navigate in or flooded or... a sewer or whatever but we decided to take our chances.

The Island Station storm sewer is apparently an original discovery to the urban exploration world. We haven't heard about anybody else getting in there or seen any pictures of it anywhere, and it didn't seem to have any signs of recent activity, save for the tag CANCER (we toyed with naming it CANCER drain) all over the concrete tube leading down to it.

Angler and I found it in the woods while we were looking for a new way into the Island Station power plant. It looks like it used to have a manhole cover on top, but somebody pulled the entire concrete bit off, so it's just sitting there open. I guess it's sort of hard to describe what I mean, so um... fuggedaboudit

We decended into the drain, down a solid flight of rungs. Note the drug related tags...we love drug related tags. We think they are funny.

Once down in the drain, we were pleased to find it walkable and mostly dry. We heard loud noises coming from down the drain, only to later realize it was cars passing above us on a very busy speedway.

Franklin Nothing poses with his 3D Maglite LED Black Flashlight, looking like a complete badass.

We followed the drain a ways towards the river ... it swiftly dead ended in a big pool where we declined to go. We turned back, disappointed and expecting got get similarly pwnt by the other direction from where we had originally descended.

Luckily we were completey wrong. As we followed the tunnel the other direction, it widened up and allowed us to walk upright. It snaked a long way back into the city, dotted with side tunnels that led to all sort of strange catchbasins and weird rooms.

What made it stand out, though, is that it's got some pretty sweet architecture. At the entrance, the sewer is made of brick, but as you go farther in, it alternates between that and concrete every hundred-ish feet. After a while, though, the brick/concrete duo gives way to just straight up carved sandstone. It appears that they just drilled straight into the rock and then covered the bottom with brick. I think you can see some of that shit in the pictures

This tunnel continued for a good distance before coming to another side tunnel.

Another weird thing is that every so often you can see big chunks of exposed cinderblocks, like maybe it borders the side of a building, but I can't imagine what building it would be.

Here, GoxKok (the photographer) explores this narrow side tunnel (it leads up a long ramp where a catchbasin makes its home)

The tunnel ended abruptly at a large room with a waterfall running along the far wall. Above us is another large passage, clearly a continuation of the tunnel that we had just walked down, but without the proper climbing tools, we couldnt ascend the twenty foot or so climb. Maybe in the future we'll come back better equipped to learn what this drain hides. Many other manholes showed themselves during our search, but alas, we were lacking in rope so we had no way of descending into the voids. We continued on our travels toward the abandoned power plant near the river.

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