Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Into the Pit

I've been pretty busy lately, otherwise I'd have posted much more content recently. Archery and theater tech have been taking up all my time after school, and working Saturday and Sunday kills my weekends. Enough complaining though, time for a story...

I signed up for the light crew this year to get myself introduced into the South High Theater. It was a good choice, cool people, fun stuff. One of the best parts is getting to know the theater. I'm not going to go into too great detail about things, but above all the seating is "the grid", catwalks and wooden planks techies walk on to change house lights and CCTs, Parcans, Fernels, and all variety of theater lights. It is an awesome place to be, and provides access to the pits. There are three pits, each located over the three sets of doors that provide access into the theater. To access them from above, you must squeeze under and between cables, pipes, and burning hot house lights. The pits primary purpose is to hold massive folding walls that expand like an acordian to divide the auditorium. They also hold a variety of equipment, dead rodents, and other oddities. Here are a few of the photos taken over the past few days "working" as a light tech and just trying to explore the theater.

A shot of the grid.
Opening the hatch into the commons.
This got us a few surprised looks from bemused administrators and janitors.
The bottom of the Pit.
On the edge.Eventually though, my luck ran out. When I was sliding down a rope, I wasn't watching what I was doing close enough, and slammed my knee into a metal pipe. It hurt like hell at first, but I managed to get out just fine. Soon after I noted a large blood stain soaking through my jeans. Fortunately, we were pretty much done for the day anyways. I went home, and when several hours later it was still bleeding, and I realized how deeply the impact had split the skin, I went in to get it stitched up. The problem was that every time I bent my knee, it would pull open, and start flowing blood. Messy. I had to go to work the next day and be able to move, so something had to be done.

Three stitches and 6 hours later I'm sitting here typing this with one sore knee seeping blood, and some aspirin, just what the doctor ordered.
I can't wait to go back.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nicollet Island IV

Its been a while. Have you noticed that it seems like I'm saying that every time I post after I've been exploring? Anyways though, a few days ago Scout asked me to go back to Satan's Cave with him so he could show it to a friend who was interested, and I said that'd be awesome.

[fast forward to the weekend]

We met in a parking lot next to the Hennepin Ave. Bridge in the late afternoon at the back of Scout's unmarked white
Econoline van, and I got introduced to Kanskje. From there, we had to do a bit of calling around to let someone know where to find us if we never came back, then down we went. We used an entrance on the side of the Island, trying to make sure we didn't get seen by any of the people out in the 60+ heatwave we had, damn Americans trying to be fit and healthy. After we crawled through the collapsed "room", under the sewer, and into the tunnel, we decided to just head for the "cave", all the side tunnels were were pretty wet, and we were already going to have to walk through allot of black sewer sludge as it was.

Kanskje behind a fire-hydrant pipe

Scout and Kanskje in the brick water-main tunnel that roughly runs-around the north half of the island

Flow-stone at the base of a hydrant


There isn't really a whole lot to see in the brick tunnels, except for some very interesting white fluffy looking mold that we passed by pretty quickly.

We made it all the way to the "cave", took a look at the tags and carvings, met a few bats sleeping upside-down in niches on the walls, but didn't stay too long. The air this time was particularly bad, the worst I've ever had down there yet, really thick and lacking real oxygen. It got to the point that Scout and I were really starting to notice it, so we decided to book before we got to take a look at the shrine again. We ended up going straight for the manhole that opens into the middle of the field.

I popped it without anyone seeing us, about and hour and a half after we went down. Just as soon as we slid the cover back in place, a police car pulled up about 60 yards away. I'm pretty sure they never saw us, but we got out of there pretty quick. We took our time getting back to the parking lot, and split up.

The river was like glass

It's fun exploring with awesome new people, so hopefully, we'll all go do something like this again soon, but somewhere besides Nicollet Island. Its kinda starting to get old now, and conditions down there don't seem likely to get better to soon, so its time to find somewhere new, maybe a grain elevator, we'll see...

Me on top of a light tower next to the Hennepin Ave. Bridge

Preacher or dictator?


Making a point


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness" DVD Release Party

December 6th at the Riverview Theater, 7pm.
The fun plan includes a screening of the film, possible live music, and very interesting people watching!

The details

Official Film Website