The Riddle




On my own for a few days in an unfamiliar city I decided to take a step back into my past and find some storm drain tunnels to explore. I spent a day reviewing local maps and set out early the next morning to scout the likely areas. An overgrown patch near a coil of highway ramps yielded a promising passageway, but it wasn't until I entered and was approaching the first fork when I knew I had stumbled upon something truly spectacular.



Painted over the first intersection, was a teasing challenge; "Follow the sun and moon, to symbols with meAning nearby". Over the left hand tunnel had been painted a yellow sun, and over the right, a blue moon. Thus began one of the strangest adventures in my experience.

Chasing the sun and moon signs to the 'symbols with meaning' was no small feat. The paths wandered great distances throughout the drain, and down narrow crawling passages that seemed to stretch endlessly, before reaching another sign. But following the paths also yielded further clues, and deepened the mystery.

One room contained an elaborate chandelier fixed to the ceiling, and filled with mostly melted candles, others contained a series of capsules containing small messages that seemed to hint at the purpose behind the symbology. In the furthest point of each respective path hung a medallion, at the left fork or sun path's terminus, hung a brass sun, and for the moon path's, a brass moon.

What was the purpose behind this elaborate riddle? The entire apparatus had clearly been set out with a clear intent. The craftsman must have had an intricate knowledge of the tunnel layout, and the determination to carry out their vision with exacting detail. The puzzle spared no expense in tormenting it's players; long crawls through small tunnels in flowing water, a sheer drop-off that had to be climbed up, miles walked hunched over, and deep waters.

I took nearly six hours in seeing the entire system. I finally left the tunnel the way I came in, only more bruised, and more sore than I had been in months. The journey had been rewarding, but questions haunted me: Who? Why? And perhaps most importantly could I solve the riddle?




A symbol, in the shape of a keyhole, can be seen to the left, over the pipe.


The chamber of the sun medallion.


Sun medallion detail.




Water gushed from older tunnels into the newer system via this disjointed break.



home
contact


See the world, they
told me...


-2016-
bayou goula towhead

-2015-
the sea test

-2014-
the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
falling dream
the darkness
one hell of a mile 3&4
he will return
the believers
the horror pt2
the horror pt1
traces
death valley
whiteout

-2013-
paradise of outlaws
the mountain climbers 1&2
brought to surface
one hell of a mile 3
primordial
the lost world
inner gorge
a ghost story
the riddle
slaying the minotaur
heart of darkness
bayou
public lands
organ music
two sought adventure
the virgin river
the road north
preparations

-2012-
steal the world
the end of the world
el dorado
the valley of the kings 2
the valley of the kings 1
one hell of a mile 2
one hell of a mile 1
the mountain climbers rr4
heroes rr3
rainy roadtrip 2
rainy roadtrip 1
the transgression
sandstorm
sinister 2
sinister 1
dehydrated
anatomy
sleepwalking
new chapter

-2011-
like sedona?
torn in two
blink
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
harquahala
hole
pick up lines

-2010-
revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
chute
monolith
freeze
slice
in their footsteps
a dance with death


-2009-
goodbyes
undercurrents
casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
sanctuary
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
forsaken
the lower depths
underground lake
stretch sewer
the hidden lab
shadow movements
meager rations
sw8: the conclusion
sw7: lost gold mines
sw6: the big tubes
sw5: gold!
sw4: el calderon
sw3: redondo
sw2: ghosts
sw1: westward bound
leviathan
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning





    www.flickr.com