Posts Tagged ‘Crawling’

Not day, not night. Twilight. Chaotic, moody twilight. That’s when I like to stake out a new locations and possible future haunts.

It was a Thursday morning when I first stumbled onto the edge of small barely there creek. By twilight, it was more than a new shortcut.

The Reason: There were several small (unknown to me) tunnels. There were three easily accessible ones and two not so accessible.

Area Status: Lonely small town creek.

Everything was in place for a twilight tunnel crawl. All I needed now was my partner; Charlie Sparxx. Sparxx leads a different kind of life. Not so different from me but different enough that we get along without having to try too hard. That’s just how we do our thing. To put it simply: We don’t Shit, where we Eat and don’t Fuck around! Instead, we pass the time by Exploring our mostly Urban landscape. It’s no concrete jungle but this little creek side tunnel will have to do.

To go on a good crawl, you need to be prepared.

Here’s What You Need:

  • FLASHLIGHTS (PREFERABLY WATER PROOF)
  • SHARPIES (THICKEST ONE YOU CAN FIND)
  • MAP (OR PAPER TO DRAW A MAP)
  • WRITING/ DRAWING TOOLS
  • LIGHTERS
  • BACKPACK/ MESSENGER BAG (EITHER WILL DO)
  • SHOES YOU’RE WILLING TO GET DIRTY
  • CLOTHES YOU DON’T MIND GETTING DIRTY
  • ZIPLOC BAGS TO PUT TOOLS IN (FOR WET AREAS AND IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS)

Fun Suggestions:

  • MUSIC PLAYER WITH SPEAKERS
  • CAMERA
  • CIGARS
  • SPRAY PAINT (SOMETIMES)

We pack up, pick a theme song for the closing party, and get out the door just as the sun is starting to dip in the sky. The creek is only six and a half minutes away. The tunnel itself is eight minutes away. Normally, I don’t sweat minor details but Sparxx felt like we should put it out there. Sparxx is nice. Can’t say the same for myself.

Making our way to the tunnel is the easy part. We just made our way done to the creek and skipped a few stones over to the tunnel entrance. That said, we need to focus on not getting wet or stuck on the pointy and thorny shrubbery nearby.

Rule number One: Avoid Bleeding!!

Rule Number Two: Avoid Getting Wet!!

The Tunnel Crawl is the real challenge. Where a tunnel begins is clear. Where it ends is a whole other story. This tunnel is creek-side and laced with bits of moss. That puts it in the somewhat wet category. Based on this we can assume it is a drain tunnel. That means the width of the tunnel will be ever changing and that we need to be very careful. Never a good idea to get stuck anywhere, let alone a tunnel. Most tunnels change vary in size as you go in deeper but drainage tunnels tend to surprise you. Recent weather reports and a quick Google search tell us the last couple of days have been dry. Dry means we have the green light to go in.

The first thing we do is put our phones on silent. Then we pull out the flashlights and Sharpies. With the Sharpies we scribble our initials near the entrance. In case this tunnel snakes around, we will be sure to find our way. The Sharpie scribbles are our breadcrumbs. After we lay down the first mark we start making our way in.

Rule Number Three: Pay Attention!!

Sparxx and I are listening carefully. You never know who else may be lurking. As a rule of thumb our pocket knives are always within quick reach. In some places, homeless people sleep in tunnels. To avoid having a bad day, we enter with caution. Some tunnels need to be staked out for days before we enter. Others are lonely areas that do not need to be staked out. Although Sparxx and I love a good brawl, we strongly suggest you avoid fights and be prepared.

Back to the new tunnel. As I was saying, we went into the tunnel knowing there would be a variation in sizes throughout so we came prepared to duck. Lucky thing too. The first part of the tunnel (the entry way) was wide and short. To make it through this part we had to walk hunched over. Not bad but I prefer upright movement. The first part goes on for 20 to 25 feet. At that point there is an overhead grate that lets light, water, and anything that hits the floor in. The space was limited. Just enough for Sparxx and I to stand for a few minutes.

Part two of the tunnel was even lower. To cross this part we would have to duck walk. Now, if you have no clue what a duck walk is, let me tell you. It’s when you squat down without touching the ground and move by bringing one knee up and forward followed by the other. The real trick is to keep it from touching the ground. Good luck doing that the first time. After two minutes most people’s thighs will burn. First time Tunnel Crawling is a love it of hate it kind of thing. Most people are not fond of change and chance. For us, it comes with the territory.

Although, part two was lower, it was shorter and led to a bigger area with a grate. Being this far in offered us the opportunity to relax for a bit. Most people like to go into tunnels but their curiosity ends once they reach the first stop. Sparxx and I like to push beyond the general small thrill and get dirty, which is no easy exploit. Mud and dirt are like battle scars. No matter how much you wash up, the memory never fades away. Each crawl has a signature dirt, design, tag, or color that keeps it fresh in my mind. When I think of what Sparxx and I have in common, memories seem to be it.

Rule Number Four: Always Leave Clues!!

As part of every crawl we leave our initials behind. They show us the way back and act as signature for any future Crawlers. So if you ever crawl in the Midwest, find us:

Lenny Rokkitt  and  Charlie Sparxx!

We put our letters down, took a breather, and drew our essentially straight line of a map. Once we figured out where the grate was located, more or less, we wrote some notes on our map. This will help you find the tunnel above ground later. At this point, we are about 30 to 35 feet into the tunnel. The grate area is big enough for party of five or six people. Knowing that we are making plans for group crawls in the future. Satisfied with the information we gained we decided to leave. This tunnel is not fully known.

What we do know is that part three of the tunnel would require an army crawl or a skateboard. Neither of which we had prepared for, so that we will look into on out next crawl. Until then, we’re breaking out the cigars and some good music. I thought I should go into more detail about this crawl but Sparxx said, “The Basics come first.” So there you go. Now, you know who to pick a fight with.

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