Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dan's Drain / Davern Drain

Finally, Dan's Drain! After 3 different trips to find that damn oufall, we finally went and explored all of that elusive drain. The entrance was just below my feet the whole time...

I called a fellow explorer named Jasper last night and, thankfully, she was up for going draining. I biked to her house and we got all of our stuff together for an adventure underground. We left her place and biked to a spot near the outfall where we locked our bikes up to a nearby tree. We then went on a bit of hike through the woods and found ourselves at the outfall near the river. We slipped into the drain with no difficulty and found ourselves a room underground with two different passages.:

One was an RCP headed off to the left, while the other was a low, rectangular tunnel going to the right. We elected to go down the RCP, as we were equipped with tall, rubber boots and we were anxious to try them out. We sloshed upstream and It got a lot shallower until the tunnel became a crazy triangular shape! The tunnel actually looked like a triangle and continued on this way for as long as we could see.

We hiked a ways up the drain and began to hear the sound of falling water from a long distance. The sound got louder and louder an louder until we emerged in a HUGE ROOM underground shaped sort of like the tunnel from which we had just come. A huge dropshaft poured water from a shallow draining shaft way above us and a second, dry dropshaft led to a grate on the surface. I knew my camera had very little battery, I whipped it out quick to take a picture:

This doesnt really give you the scale of this place....its really big. My batteries died right after this however, so I dont have any more pictures of Dan's drain, even though it got even more interesting as we went on.

The atrium turned out to be a dead end, so Jasper and I turned back to go to the other passage. We made it back to the outfall in no time, and went into the crouching, rectangular tunnel. After a few hundred feet, it opened up into an older, coffin shaped passage that headed straight into the city. Another triangular drain went off to our left, but we continued down the older shaft and vowed to return to this passage.

A few dropshafts later and a lot of weird graffiti (Including "BOMB SADDAM 1993) we turned down a walking height side tunnel that, according to the graffiti, goes under Norfolk Ave. The tunnel was of a different make than the previous one: it had the look of an old sewer with the depressed brick channel in the middle and cement walls to walk on on the side. The cieling was carved from the naked sandstone and wasnt round but triangular and cut sloppily. The tunnel was pocked with even smaller side tunnels leading to dropshafts that had amazing mineral and cave-like formations.

The tunnel went far and stopped abruptly at a dropshaft and catchbasin filled with really really clear water that Jasper almost walked right into. Above us was a ridiculously long dropshaft going up to the surface, and another dropshaft before that one had something even more interesting in it.

We turned back, and walked the long walk back to the main drain. We explored a few of these long offshoots, one, which was labeled as "West Seventh" went on for a ridiculously long time towards downtown and was coated with clay and a lot of really weird minerals. A few really cool dropshafts dotted the tunnel, and it dead ended after a long long trek. We turned around and headed back.

The main drain continued on for a while, but got shorter and shorter as the drop shafts grew more numerous. We ended at a dead end: time to head back to that one tunnel we havnt checked out yet.

That tunnel turned out to resemble the other triangular tunnel from the original branch at the outfall. We followed it down, and came across a raccoon a the bottom of a dropshaft a few feet away from us that scared the crap out of me and made Jasper shriek loudly. However, a closer (but not too close) inspection revealed that the raccoon had apparently fallen down the shaft and broken a leg, as it lay there and looked at us with pitying eyes with its leg folded awkwardly underneath its fat body.

We continued down the shaft and came to an identical atrium as the one pictured above, so we turned back and headed back to our bikes, popping out of a manhole near the outfall.


Scaramanx said...

I used to bring a backup camera sometimes while exploring (as "Locksmith" from Frozen Crystal) I've never been down in Dan's Drain, so I hope to see more pictures soon! Safe Explorations!

Glass said...

It's better with fireworks!!

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