Monday, November 28, 2011

Milk Truck Cave

As any fellow Urban Biff knows, doing recon is half the fun of urban exploration. Discovering urban ruins, stumbling across waterfalls created by an underground stream, or popping a manhole on a hunch not only pays off, its just plain fun.
Similar to every recon mission, Biff and I did our research firsthand and headed out with a vague idea of the location to the recently opened Milk Truck caves. Stumbling up and down crumbling rock cliffs is not recommended by anyone, but somehow ol' Biff and I end up doing just that.
We came across urban ruins and sat and had a glug
small crawl tunnels in sandstone bluffs, small underground streams and the like. So, we headed off in a different direction and almost immediately stuck gold and headed underground.

The CiTy filled in the caves within the last 10 years with rubble in hopes to deter partying local kids looking for a new place to hang out. The caves are filled with construction material, bricks, cement, metal and anything else to make things difficult for Biffs like us. Regardless, the caves are maneuverable and filled with all sorts of shit, so the best idea is to watch your footing and take it slow.

During the time Biff and I were in the Milk Truck caves there is a dig project underway in hopes of breaking through into yet another forgotten cave. Worn out saws and chisels tossed aside littered the new dig site, along with pizza boxes, beer cans, water bottles, candles and other rubbish. It was more than apparent to Biff and I that we we not the first to discover this dig site.
There was a pulley system with an attached sled, buckets, shovels, eye protection, worn out gloves, measuring tapes, etc. Needless to say, the site had been there for several months, and in that time there had been quite a bit of progress into the dig. Now, I nor Biff know exactly what cave system is attempting to be reached, but whoever started this dig knew what they were doing.

Being the fun-heated fellows that Biff and i are, we decided to contribute to the dig before we left and chip away and  hauled out a bucket each.

  Biff and his little Biff Shovel. Took him 25 minutes to fill up a bucket.

True to the name, there are several Milk trucks from the 1950's buried within the caves.

You can crawl inside the milk truck and take a seat on a recently refurbished bench and take a load off and soak in the history. ( This is a view of the inside of the Milk truck). 

Tell ya' what, the milk truck caves are pretty cool. There is a sandstone "stairway" that leads up 30 ft. or so, which leads to a dead end that was rumored to connect to a long lost fraternity house that deserves a climb. There are side passages and dead end crawl tunnels that all make the caves interesting and intriguing.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Haunted House Caves

There was a time, not too long ago, when Biff and I thought the U.E. well had dried up in the metro and we had to either hang up our biff boots, or explore elsewhere. We were under the assumption that all the spots around the twin cities had been sealed off for various reasons and rendered inaccessible to the general public. We went to Satan's cave four or five times in a row, just to take the edge off. Then on Halloween we took a group of biffs to the caves and just happened to run into 25 or so people already underground. After talking with Mr. 'N SYNC for a while, we realized that there was far more out there than we had ever imagined.

After every adventure that we do, Biff will proclaim that we will never top what we had just done. That was our thinking about Helix, Amphitheater, Satan's and Santa's Caves, Crushers, various bluff drains and glug spots. We would get discouraged while doing recon and think that our brief ride underground had come to an end....Then we found Haunted House Caves...

Our first trip was filled with stumbling up and down the bluffs, walking around the area, following the river up and downstream, and doing basic recon.

After several hours of aimlessly walking around, we finally found what we were looking for. 
This was our first trip to the caves, and not knowing what exactly we were doing in there, and the lack of our carbon monoxide detector, we wandered around for an hour or so and we decided to rejoin the surface dwellers.

Both Biff and I agreed that what we had just done was hands-down the most epic thing either of us had done before. We were proud of our accomplishment and headed home to celebrate.

We returned the very next night with a renewed sense of being and the knowledge of how to infiltrate the caves. 
After the trek in, we soon encountered several other Biffs that were exploring the caves as well. We all decided to roam around together and find the old Haunted House attraction buried somewhere deep inside the earth.

This was an epic night with our new Biff Buddies. We learned so much about the layout of the cave, air quality, which tunnels simply dead-end, etc. So, ol Biff and I once again agreed to return the following night.

The very next night Biff and I brought a few friends with us and headed underground for the third night in a row. We couldn't stop thinking about the subterranean Haunted House, otherwise known as T.O.T. So, down we all went. Although ol' Biff and I were the only two of the group that had ever been underground, the group did well and made us both proud.

 This was a fantastic time for all involved. We had found the cave on our own and explored every inch of the subterranean world. The folks that we brought underground absolutely loved the experience and made us promise them that we would take them along some other time. The world under our feet is full of history and needs to be shared with others who are curious about the unknown and unseen.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tripple Helix Drain

The Triple Helix drain kicks ass. Probably my favorite drain to date. There are three spiral staircases spread out throughout the drain. The first staircase is dry, the second is wet, and the third is dry and enormous. Biff and I just happened to stumble across this drain one day while doing recon. The one piece of advice i can offer is to bring your biff-boots.

Third Helix.

Second Helix. Water cascades down this spiral staircase.  

Amphitheater Drain.

The Amphitheater Drain smells like shit. You can smell it from 50 yards away. There is an overwhelming amount of graffiti, trash and dead rascals (sewer rats the size of possum ) . There really isn't too much to see in the drain. Taggers have had a field day inside and out, but besides that, who really cares?

Entrance to the drain. Laughable security.
Giant green methane cloud. Turn around!