I never did know quite what to think of meeting people from the Internet, least of all to go exploring in some unknown, supposedly dangerous location. Some combination of sanity and remnants of my parents’ sheltering brainwash kept me reading the forums on UER for years before I dared post, let alone go to a meetup with the friendly local serial-trespassers. I’m not sure why I picked this day of any. Nothing about it screamed “exploring”: it was about -5 degrees, and I was dragging around yet another pounding Chi Phi hangover. As soon as I met these people, one thing was clear. These were real explorers. Looking back on it, I had one job — to become part of that rarefied group. Needless to say, I stepped right off on the wrong foot, and just about every pas was faux from then on. Starting with getting and bringing everything UER said I’d need, from the useful (flashlight, water bottle) to the downright useless and ridiculous (hard hat, goggles and a respirator; 4 flashlights; black ski mask)
So once I came this far, I figured I’d just go for it. They brought me out to the drains for some training. I’d read something once about some so-called ‘drainers’ in Australia… I never thought I was about to become one. Unfortunately for them, I ended up taking a liking to sloshing around in freezing subterranean water, and wanted to go back again and again.
(note from 2013: sorry about the ancient phone pictures here… smartphones weren’t a thing yet, and I didn’t even think I was a photographer)
The elusive, and troublesome, drainwhale in its natural habitat:
Fun with lasers!