This summer has been fucking nuts, and exploring has gotten a bit shafted because of the insanity this summer has shown.
Earlier in the summer, Jacques and I planned to find the Phalen drain outfall and head into the massive Phalen complex. We trucked out to where the creek hits the Mississippi and walked for a good long bit. We came across a few outfalls, including a very large one that should be the Phalen system. However, similar to the drain in Minneapolis that foiled our exploring plans, this drain would require a boat or something to get into, which we neglected to pack.
We scouted around the area where this huge drain emptied into the Mississippi, coming up with some huge manhole covers. We spied through the holes of the manhole and found a huge tunnel underground, but we did not have the adequate tools to open this fucker, and we were pretty damn close to a large highway...and it was only about 9 or 10 at night.
We brought some hot tea in a thermos Jacques had, so we sat down after our walk and sipped off of hot tea on a chilly night on a nearby bench, contemplating the drain and other possible entrances. Is it a manhole a few blocks away? An outfall in a park nearby? A large grate like Minnehaha?
More research must be done on this drain before we are to enter it. Yet another scouting mission turns up dry.
We always forget that the biggest part of exploring is the scouting. When people think of "exploring", its always the glorified wandering around in tunnels, getting grimy, seeing amazing shit and telling some great stories. What people (including myself) constantly forget is that most of exploring (at least for us) is poking around in the woods, or the river, or endless reasearch online, or maps or just talking to other trusted explorers.
But hey, that shit is fun too, and makes the drains that much more enjoyable.