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Tue Dec 6, 2022, 01:50 AM

My childhood trip into the sewer system, underground...

Not too smart ?? Yeah...

(At the time I was too young to have any idea of 'noxious gases' that could be present down there...)

It was a very warm summer day... and I was with our little 'neighborhood gang'. (OK, we weren't really a 'gang', just all the friends in the small neighborhood, one block's worth of a city street really..)

At the south end of our street was property owned by the local radio station, which amounted to about 4 city blocks, containing their transmitting towers.... it was open, poorly maintained (nature had control of most of the area), and it was often our favorite hunting ground to capture and collect butterflies (for a year or two when we were into that), and when we were older, we would go there to smoke cigarettes, and set off illegal fireworks (which was anything more than a "sparkler", when I was young... one night me and my best friend almost set the entire field on fire, lol, but we stamped it out in time)...

Anyway.... I was a 'follower', not a leader--- but one day one of the more forceful members of the neighborhood suggested that we open the manhole cover at the north end of that space, and go down there and look around... so we all did. I think I was between 9 and 12 years old at the time--- the field in question was part of my route home via the path, from my elementary school in 4th grade, so it was familiar ground--- above ground...This was in the early 1970s.

This was probably the worst act I participated in, at such an age--- I knew damn well, we shouldn't be down there, but peer pressure and curiosity prevailed...lol. We were all boys... lol

We descended into a pipe 4 or 5 feet tall, with a tiny trickle of water running down the bottom.
There was evidence of other people having been down there, a little graffiti on the wall, and a few empty beer cans discarded...

So we began to traverse it for a distance... Every so often we could see where the "sewer inlets" from the street connected from the side... At times there was a smell of 'sewage', but no evidence of it in the tunnel we were navigating...

A block or 2 from our entrance point, the bravest of us traveled up a ladder to another manhole, and lifted it enough to "take a look". It seems it was in the middle of the road there... I was not one of them. LOL

We wandered for maybe as much as an hour before making our way back to our entrance point... We never did that again, at least I never did... it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life, at that age--- but I was usually a pretty 'good boy' so I felt extremely guilty. lol

Thank GOD my Mother never found out!!!! lol

Now in my adulthood, I realize how dangerous that could have been--- but at least it was a very dry day in mid-summer...
if a sudden big rainstorm had occurred while we were down there, that would have been a 'bad thing'..

Also, I now know, that this would have been one of the safest places to be, in case of a direct nuclear attack on our town...

Anybody else every do this ??

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Reply My childhood trip into the sewer system, underground... (Original post)
DemocraticPatriot Dec 2022 OP
radical noodle Dec 2022 #1
Otto_Harper Dec 2022 #2
DemocraticPatriot Dec 2022 #4
Inkey Dec 2022 #3

Response to DemocraticPatriot (Original post)

Tue Dec 6, 2022, 01:59 AM

1. Did you see Pennywise down there?

I never went into a sewer system, but I grew up in the country... we had no sewers.

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Response to DemocraticPatriot (Original post)

Tue Dec 6, 2022, 02:08 AM

2. There's a guy on YouTube who posts videos of doing this very thing

Here's a link to one of his videos of wandering around in drainage and other long lost underground systems:

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Response to Otto_Harper (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 6, 2022, 02:33 AM

4. Crazy! lol

Much bigger tunnels there... and much more water/debris... we only had a tiny trickle, but we didn't go very far--- maybe 2 or 3 city blocks, then we headed back out...

Some of what's in the video reminds me of what I have seen of Los Angeles storm drains, in films...

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Response to DemocraticPatriot (Original post)

Tue Dec 6, 2022, 02:31 AM

3. Not a sewer but an old mine shaft

We had discovered a hole in a hillside while wandering
around the local woods. It was a muddy opening that
led us into a 5x5 foot shaft into a coal seam.
We could feel fresh air circulating, so we thought
we were safe enough to explore this unusual cavern.
We found a few paths that were filled with knee high
depth dark water, but explored further out of
curiousity. We didn't have flashlights but we did
have candles to light our way. There were notches along
the walls where would place a candle to mark our
trail. A few mining tools were found along the way.
Several years later there was some mine subsidence
under a few homes over this area.
A few of us talked about this adventure twenty
years later, filling in some of the history of this
shaft. During the the Depression people needed
the coal to heat their homes. Being that was
right under their feet, they thought it was easy
pickings. The mine extended about a mile.

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