Trip Log: Trip 6

D. and Fuse dropped in at the grate in front of Litton Reaves. We initially planned to enter at Hillcrest, but we moved down to Litton Reaves because a car had passed while we were opening the manhole.

Before we had even opened the grate, we noticed a really creepy banging noise coming from the pipes. We never identified where the sound was coming from, but it was loudest right near our entrance.

When we got in the tunnel, we headed south towards McComas. Down here, we noticed a device that was discharging steam right near the entrance to the McComas subtunnel. It didn’t seem to be releasing much, but it still freaked us out.

We initially skipped the McComas subtunnel because it looked like a pain to enter, but after following the main tunnel down to a dead end at a manhole across from the Greenhouses, we decided that it would be worth it. So we headed back, once again passing the device that discharged steam.

I had quite a scare when passing it. It sounded like it was starting, so I sprinted down the tunnel and got away before it did. We then climbed over the pipes to get in the McComas subtunnel, which went down a ways and ended at a manhole next to McComas. It looks like there is leak of some sort here; it’s either a leak from a water pipe in the building that runs down into the steam tunnels or from a chilled water line, which I believe runs in the tunnel here. Anyway, there was about 4 inches of water in the open area beneath the manhole.

We headed back to the main tunnel, climbed over the pipes, and headed up to Hillcrest, our exit point. Along they way, we noticed more strange sounds coming from the pipes and various devices attached to them. This tunnel definitely has a lot more active machinery than any of the other tunnels that I have explored.

At the turn in front of Hillcrest, we made note of pipes running off toward either Agnew or Fralin. We believe that these lines are directly buried, but there could be a steam tunnel that was not visible. The tunnel began getting much smaller here. By the time we had reached the grate in front of Hillcrest, we were practically crawling.

The ladder beneath the manhole at Hillcrest was a bit of a pain. It’s not attached to anything, so we had to move it so we could use it. The manhole, however, was extremely light and very easy to move quietly. We exited the tunnel without incident and headed back to our dorm.

This was probably the scariest tunnel that I’ve explored; the machinery and weird noises, plus my close call made this trip quite an experience. I don’t know if we’ll be heading back to this run since we’ve pretty much covered everything there is to see down there. As always, we’ll keep you updated.

-Fuse