Stace's Drainage Tunnel Report - B&B con, San Diego CA 2010



I remember the Los Angeles con, when we went to Griffith Park and went to the tunnel. Never did I imagine that it went back very far, and therefore, didn't bring any implements of light with me. (idiot. lol) One individual had a pen light and we went back a little ways with that (see the report here) - just to see what was back there, and how far it went on for. We rather quickly found out, the tunnel gradually turns to the right- at which point we were in total darkness. Might as well been exploring with the faint glow of Harry Potter's wand at that point. Which is when I decided that if there was ever another CA convention in which there was a trip to Griffith Park, that lanterns were most definitely in order.

I've got more than a few lanterns in my possession, most of them are white gas/kerosene lanterns. When it came to pass that there was to be a San Diego con, and we were most assuredly going to Griffith Park, I swore to bring them and see how far back the tunnel went exactly. As the Con came closer I realized that my initial idea was slightly flawed. In the light that Griffith Park and our Carousel was a scant cat hair away from being reduced to ashes a few years ago during CA's "fire season" - it occurred to me maybe bringing *those* lanterns wasn't my most brilliant idea. Unless of course,
I was aiming to have the park rangers descend upon me on sight, like a swat team raiding a methamphetamine lab. LOL.

So I rifled thru my camping gear and grabbed the only battery lanterns I had, and a couple head lamps and decided it'd have to do. And should 1/3 of everyone remember to bring some sort of small flashlight (mini mag or something) we should be set. When we got to Griffith Park, and made it down to the tunnel after lunch, I
'd planned on taking a group or two back to see how far it went. However, since my stop to the privy right quick before heading over there, some had headed in- sans me. LOL. So I handed a couple people lanterns whom were still outside, put on my miners headlamp and rushed in to catch up.

As we proceeded to move forward slowly into the blackness, there was more silt and water in the middle of the tunnel. It was wet enough as we kept on that we were straddling our feet either side of it. You could see where people from previous con's had scrawled things on the tunnel walls. The further we walked back, it lazily snaked to the right and now both in front of us was complete blackness, and behind us as well- save for the light emanating from the flashlights, lanterns and my headlamp. Now we had to be more mindful of our traction and foot placement. First the large rocks, then branches and debris in the water which we were avoiding. At one point, I noticed that I was crouching over more than I was at the beginning of this tunnel. I
'd wished I'd brought a change of trousers, because if it got much narrower/lower, I was going to say to heck with it. I'm not crawling in here without a good knife and my old USMC mainly because the tunnel was slowly shrinking the further back we explored. Now about 2/3 of the way through it was like an odd version of hop scotch, zig zagging back and forth to the dryer patches of sand to avoid the patches of water. (Keep in mind, if I'm mentioning water, it's because it's about deep enough to soak one's shoes quite well- hence why we were avoiding them, because don't you too hate a wet shoe? LOL.)

Finally after what feels like 40 minutes (probably not really, but I had no idea of the time- no watch- and we really needed to be keeping track of
the time, because we all had to be back at the busses @ 2pm sharp I think it was...) we see light not far from us... and we head for it. The tunnel opened up into a small junction. A chamber around... oh I'd say 14 feet high, 8 feet long and 6 feet wide... something like that. The light came from a drain up by the street I think, that was illuminating the room. As you walked in from the tunnel, above you and to the left was the light filtering in from the storm drain. In front of you about thigh-high was a smaller tunnel on the other side of the chamber. Looking in that same direction, above one's head was a ledge/gutter that connected with the storm drain- maybe big enough for a medium sized guy to crawl on. (it was at that time, that I was annoyed at myself for not brining my old BDU trousers and combat boots- cause I wanted to climb up there.) To your right was a wrought iron/ rebar rung ladder that went up to some type of hatch (not a manhole cover, I don't think). It looked like I'd be able to get to that aforementioned ledge from the ladder- but wasn't going to chance it in my sneakers. Maybe next time.

We all I think, got pictures back in the tunnel chamber/junction- I climbed up on the ladder and got a couple good pictures as everyone was writing on the walls. I
'd wished we had some of the talented artists back there and some chalk perhaps for them to do something neat with. Again, maybe next time. After everyone was finished, we all headed back out thru the tunnel from whence we came. Since nobody knew exactly what time it was, or how long we'd been in there we were trying to get in and back out in an expedient manner. lol. Didn't want our fearless con leader waiting on *US* lol. I'd wanted to take back a couple more groups, but we were a bit pressed on time at that point. Maybe next time, I'll rally those whom want to go all the way back to zip down after lunch (and not dally like we all sorta did. lol) so we can get a couple groups back there (if there's that many that want to) know, just to say you went all the way back.