Monday, May 15, 2006

Nicollet Island Utility Tunnels (Satan's Cave)/Introduction


Location: Nicollet Island
Crew: Dead-head Bob, Cheese, & Spaz
Mission Time: 1 1/2 hrs
Difficulty: Easy
The origin of Urban Decay, and our journey into urban exploration.....
There is an entire city's worth of places that most people don't know a thing about. Tunnels, caves, canals, all right beneath our feet, or behind a barred iron door. There is a community of people who explore these places. Sometimes they are called crooks, sometimes trespassers, other times fools, but they are explorers. They go places people are not supposed go to, and see things others do not see. "Why?" Curiosity. Adventure. A generally inquisitve nature. A search for answers. Urban Explores generally suffer form one, or a number of the above mentioned mental dissorders.
So do I. After having spent far to much time reading the sites of
other urban explorers such as Max Action, I decided to give it a try, and use my camera for something other than tormenting my friends. One evening as I was walking along some railroad tracks near my house with a few of those said friends, I brought up an idea that I had been thinking about for a while, that we should try and find Satan's Cave. I had done my homework, reading "mission logs", examining satilite maps (not really that usefull), listening in on a little first hand testiomony, and stomping around on the island my self, I was certian of at least one enterance.
So it began, around noon, next day, we packed flashlights, extra batteries, and water, and biked to Nicollet Island. When we got there, we ditched the crowbar that we had tied to Bob's bike in some tall grass near the entrance, and locked our bikes up on the other side of the island. The three of us then returned to the manhole cover, and began our climb down, into the pitch-black abyss...

Railroad tracks near my house, the day before the expedition.

Some local wildlife we found where we locked up our bikes. There was a pretty cool garden snake there too, but it slithered under a rock before I could snap a photo.

Deadhead Bob sits on the pipe that runs the length of the brick tunnels. Often times we had to walk along the top of it, as it would be flanked by water and deep mud.

The brick tunnel was comfortably sized, but just not quite tall enough to stand in.

Cheese Standing in the entrance to the first cave, after crawling through a side tunnel.

The first cave is one of the largest on the island, and connects to the brick tunnel on the other end.

Left to right: Spaz (me), Deadhead Bob, holding a sign left by a previous expedition, & Cheese.

When we reached the end of the first cave, we reentered the brick tunnel, and followed it a little farther to the right, and came upon another small hole in the brick-work, that dropped down in to another large sandstone cave.
/////*Map of Satan's Cave*/////
________| | <-shrine area
| ___.____ |
| |______| |
| ________|
| | <--drop down into cave
=========== (brick tunnel)

From there, we made the first right, walked down another large sand stone tunnel (though not quite as big as the first cave), and made a left in to the shrine area. On the way out we made a right, and found ourselves walking through a different section of the cave. At the end, we made another left, and walked back to the drop, where we made use of a broken plastic milk crate and rope to climb back up.

Demon faces carved into the sandstone walls around the shrine area of Satan's Cave.

The shrine, covered in candles, surrounded by empty beer bottles. I can't believe that I forgot my matches back at my place.

The wax head, very freaky!

The shrine.

After spending a while in Satan's Cave, Cheese and Deadhead Bob wanted to leave, so we backtracked through the first cave, down the tunnel, and up the man hole.


Scaramanx said...

You guys found my "Dragons" sign I carved! Whoa that's awesome. I miss that crazy place down there. Just this last Monday I was on Nicollet Island, but only topside. I am the explorer formerly known as Locksmith, as seen on the Frozen Crystal site. Much luck to your adventures and stay safe!

Anonymous said...

I would not venture to the west side if I were you as methane gas almost killed a local resident there years ago. He was lucky to be dragged topside by a friend after he passed out. I lived there many years so I know this to be fact. Anyone going down there is welcome to help clear some of the bottle and can debris because the Cave is a cool place to hang out.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure who got the bright idea to light candles in an enclosed space such as a cave. I mean sure its cool and all, but not smart if you value oxygen.

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of coming here last friday, and the wax head is gone. What a disappointment.