Thursday, October 4, 2007

Minnehaha Drains

After sitting in class for a few days during the week, I began to get a feeling of serious drain withdrawal. So I called up Jaques and lo! He too and a drain hankering. Sadly, Franklin Delano Nothing was otherwise busy so we designed to set out alone. I bussed over to his house and from there we suited up to go under the earth.

A bit of research off the city works website reveled the general location of a drain in Minnehaha park that we thought would be suitable. We filled up the tank (ouch!) and drove on over to Mpls. We parked the car and Jacques and Goxkok then proceeded to demonstrate their highly un-ninja like skills. Loudly cursing, snapping twigs, falling and scraping themselves on the the steep slope down to the river, we finally landed at the bottom of the slope. As they got up, dirtied and scratched, they noticed a staircase 10 yards away. Go figure.

By a magnificant stroke of luck, the lost and confused couple wandered a bit, then found a gaping drain outfall with a huge grate covering it. We managed to squeeze through the grate and enter the drain! Success!

We kept our lights off for a bit and almost fell into a large hole in the drain where the water flushed down a ramp for some reason. We then decided to turn on the lights for good and walked maybe 50 feet through a shallow puddle (with a handrail!)

Ahead of us was an amazing subterranean water slide, complete with a stairway for explorers! Water rushed down the ramp and gurgled into the hole behind us and we looked on at this strange sight:
We climbed the stairs and emerged into a HUGE cavern of a drain with ceilings arching high above us (maybe 18 feet?). We had never seen anything like this before: the picture below just doesnt do it justice.

As we walked up the drain, I found a toad on the floor and scooped it up without Jaques seeing. I then called him over and told him to take what was in my hand. He wasnt expecting a toad and flipped out, his yelp bouncing down the drain and echoing over and over. Owned!

Goxkok 1, Jaques 0. Here is GoxKok with the poor toad, which we named RUH the First

At this point, the drain became a lot smaller after a large turnoff (we explore that on the way back) and we start to cry inside as the slippery sides of the drain sloped upwards so they were nearly impossible to walk on. Here Jaques gives the camera a pitiful look.

As we neared the sounds of falling water, the tunnel became hot 'n steamy due to sexual tension between Jaques and GoxKok. This photo below does not quite portray the sexiness that was felt (thought he vandalism kind of took away from the tender moment)

Defeat! The drain ended in a huge catchbasin with water drifting down from who knows where. We spied up the long vertical shaft and spied a continuation of our tunnel much farther up, sort of like the Island Station Drain. We couldnt continue without ropes or ladders and other unwieldly equipment.

On the long hike back, Goxkok pauses to pose. He is riding a big metal support we ecountered, holding something up on the cieling. Please refrain from sexual jokes or commenting on how Gox is "compensating" for something.

Goxkok captured this cool shot on his shitty Canon Powershot with a 10 second -long exposure. He likes it because you can see where Jaques walked along and shone his light on the walls as the shutter was open....

This is the opening to an unknown side drain the we wanted to make known... so we walked down it on our way out.

The cieling got lot smaller and started to shrink down as we got further along. It dissapointingly ended at a catchbasin pouring water from high up. Lame. Here is a shot of Gox that shows the cieling and size of the drain.

Jaques poses elegantly at the edge of the waterslide, pondering what fun it would be to go down it assfirst ...
Here is one last shot of this cool slide as Gox descends it angelically.

We hiked the rest of the way to the entrance through the long puddle and squeezed through the little hole in the grate and stumbled out into the night and Minnehaha park ... with another drain completed!

We found our way back to Jaques' car and prompty did what all St. Paul kids do when they dirve home from Minneapolis in the dark through unknown neighborhoods ...

We got lost.

And drove around and finally got back onto a street we recognized and followed it across the river. Relief!

Until next expedition! -GOXKOK


Spaz said...

I think the main metal grate you walk through actually swings upwards. I don't know, maybe they fixed that since we were there.

F. D. Zero said...

Dag when was this? That shit looks bomb.