Return to Hell

My descent on rope into this canyon from the cliffs above was startling. Dropping down in fits and starts I noticed a severe change in my surroundings. The harsh glare of sunlight disappeared and plants grew thick and lush. A thick humidity hung in the air fogging my vision. Finally I landed, sinking into moss that felt like a wet sponge. Each uncomfortable step in this hidden jungle squeezed water out from under my feet, but I finally I stood before the entrance of this once grand structure; one time known as the eighth wonder of the world, now all but forgotten.

As I enter the temperature drops sharply and I pull my jacket closer. Near the opening someone has re-styled this fading path into the darkness. I cross the barrier into a frozen hell. Where the tunnelís cold air meets the thick heat and humidity of the outdoors there is a near impenetrable fog. Continuing through the haze I come to the first gate.

Standing before me is a wall of monolithic proportions. The rough stone walls merge seamlessly into this concrete barrier. At the bottom there is a pipe, barely large enough to fit through. Removing my backpack, I push it in, following I crawl slowly through the iron pipe as cold water flows around and over me. Do I believe in God? Maybe not in the sunlight, but down here I prayed there was an opening on the other side of this pipe.

Finally I emerged in a stone tunnel larger than the one before. I traveled through this maze of paths bordered by pits of water. Strange underground springs sprayed icy water from the walls at surprisingly high pressures. Coming to yet another concrete barrier and crawling through a similar pipe I was now confronted with an underground lake whose depth could not be determined. Again removing my pack I set to inflating the small rubber raft I carried.

Passing under a final brick arch I saw my exit. Drifting out of the underground slowly on my boat I learned I had passed more than a mile through these strange tunnels 450 feet below the ground.


See the world, they
told me...

bayou goula towhead

the sea test

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
death valley

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

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
sinister 2
sinister 1
new chapter

like sedona?
torn in two
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
pick up lines

revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
in their footsteps
a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
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
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning