Belly Of The Whale

Some explores are just meant to be. I was already home and writing about the day’s adventures when Ian texts me to make sure we were meeting at 10:30. Any normal person would have said yeah, and you missed it by 10 hours already. I figured, why the hell not, let’s go for round 3, and called everyone i knew that missed the morning chance. Which was mostly people who had never even been to a drain before, but I’ve never been one to judge. I’d had a sneaking suspicion since last summer, and known almost certainly since that clusterfuck with Trent and co. in November, I just might know where something epic that could only be done on a cold winter night was.

We couldn’t have made much less of an entrance, except perhaps with road flares and spotlights. As it was, we had trampled a very snow covered playground trying our best not to look suspicious, or at least as normal as crowbar-wielding adults can ever be on a playground at night. Somehow Tom found the jackpot under a foot of snow, and pried it open. The mellifluent stench of fresh sewer was unmistakable, the watery, metallic echo far too distant to be anything less than the Whale itself!

A landwhale in a drainwhale

Notice the cable running along the ceiling: this is the Monroe County ‘sewer optic’ network. In this one particular instance, the internet, at least 5GB/s of it, is indeed a series of tubes running under the city!
Sewer Optic

These helpful street signs let you know what you are 150 feet under. There is no way to most of these streets, and only one way from them: down a vertical concrete shaft with no ladder.

In some places, the tunnel approaches 30 feet tall

Into the darkness… this probably goes on for miles under downtown and beyond. But that’s for next time…

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