Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saint Anthony Park Drain / Lucky 13

I got out of class yesterday and hopped the next bus headed north to Jaques' house, loaded down with exploring equipment galore, along with some extra pairs of socks. There, I met up with Franklin Delano Nothing of Island Station Drain fame and Jaques himself. Jaques mentioned that he needed a new Bible for a class he was taking, so we drove over to Barnes and Noble to get it. We stopped at Target on the way to look for water shoes, but I guess they dont sell them in November or something.

So we then went off to the big ol' river to go head into big ol' Lucky 13. We parked close by in the residential neighborhood and went on down to the outfall. Oddly enough, the city had decorated the outfall with park benches and ornate fences (why?). A quick hop over a 3 foot fence (that was padlocked) led us to a ladder that descended into the river. Goxkok climbed down and poked the water to test the depth. Turned out it was only about 2 feet deep! We all jumped into the River and splashed carfully into the outfall of the drain.

We headed into the behemoth and took the left fork when it split off into three parts. We were greeted by a friendly sandbar and lots and lots of fish that darted off when they saw us approaching. We quickly made it into the main drain tunnel, which was a huge 13 foot RCP. Our hoped of being relativly dry were shot when we noticed the torrent of water flowing towards us. Here, Franklin looks back lovingly at the outfall and dry land.

Onward! We trudged onwards up the huge pipe and through the river having a great time. It was pretty slow going, as the water pressed against our feet as we pushed forward. Our waves created cool whirlpools that sucked at our feet and we all proceeded to freak out as Goxkok kicked what seemed to be a submerged rock but turned out to be a HUGE FUCKING FISH that, trapped, did all that it could: swim through our legs brushing up against our shins!!!!! Fuck, that shit was surprising!

We continued to laugh about the fish as we trudged onwards. Here, Frankin and Jaques smile cheerfully as we all follow the drain far under the city.

We came across a really neat side passage that was lined with brick and actually very pretty. We followed it a ways, noting the various holes in the wall that led to older draining pipes. Note the slippery orange slime in the middle: that shit was gross.

We walked maybe 5 minutes down this side passage and came across this weird dropshaft at the end. There was this strange set of cement moats that seperated the dropshaft from the side passage that we occupied. Across the first long moat (maybe 4.5, 5 feet?) there was a cement platform that had a side passage going out of it. Jaques had major balls and decided to jump the moat to see what was down the passage. Here he is making it successfully to the other side:

Jaques peered down the hallway and noted a strong sanitary smell wafting from the entrance. He declined to climb the short staircase and instead examined the dropshaft that the end of the hall. He then lept back to where Franklin and GoxKok were waiting, but slipped in the orange shit in the process. Check out that goop stain!

Awesome. We headed back to the main shaft and headed onwards through the 13' RCP. Shortly after, we made it to a waterfall thing that we had to climb up. Franklin almost wussed out, but succumbed to peer pressure and ended up getting drenched. At last, we made it to the Lucky 13 Temple!

We walked under the temple, noting that, unlike the Drowned Cat Temple, the grate underneath had been totally plugged by minerals of some kind. Also, there was only one "ladder", or what used to be a ladder. Now its just a laddershaped lump of minerals that was difficult to climb. Here, Jaques ascends the ladder up to the upper level where (if this temple was the same style of the ToTDC) we knew the iron catchbasin would be sitting.

Yep! The huge iron impact cup rested right in the middle of the upper platform . I climbed the ladder a bit to get a good picture of my exploring mates next to the cup. Oddly, even though the torrent of water was much higher than the other Temple, we werent getting nearly as soaked.

The ladder that we knew went up to the surface was extremely sketchy: parts of the grate were missing so one would have to switch from ladder to ladder in order to ascend the passage. We feared death and did not attempt it! Seriously, look at this:

Instead we posed cheesily for a three person photo : Look at those handsome dudes!

Defeated yet very satisfied, we made our way back to the outfall and dry land. Here, Goxkok slides awkwardly down the mini waterfall that led from the Temple to the main drain. Miraculously, no one fell into the rushing torrent.

Walking back proved to be much easier than going against the flow of the water. We made it to the side passages in no time at all. We rounded a turn in th e tube and saw the dimly lit outfall way in front of us! Jaques' car, warm feet, extra socks and McDonalds were close by! We trudged quickly forward and headed out the outfall and into the Mississippi
Here, Franklin climbs the ladder up to the land, dripping wet and freezing cold.

A quick walk to the car proved to be tough in our cold shoes and a foot warming session involving the heaters was called for. After that, a drive to Jaques to get warm clothes and money and McDonalds, as per tradition! They fucked up our order, so we got extra apple pies too! Fuck yeah!


While jumping the gap, my mind was not on the pain of a fall, but on the liquid STD pit before me. It was not an appealing thought to be soaked head to foot in nast, and then be turned into a nastcicle once I went outside. Jokes about the Mississippi river and Admiral Ackbar followed these thoughts. Also, a word of warning: wear rubber boots if you do this sorta thing, its gets goddamn cold once you get back to the surface.



Spaz said...

Looks like wicked fun!

Anonymous said...

that's really funny homeboy fell in the goo. not the end of the world but definately hilarious if it's not you!!!