We all met immediately after work one summer afternoon at the parking lot for the Hartford Advocate on Wawarme Avenue. Across the street from the Virgin Mary shrine to be exact! Meir Rinde, a Hartford Advocate writer and co-worker, Julie Singleton a co-worker from my p/t job at EMS and myself made up the team.
And the South fork of the Park River goes underground! You can actually see the top of this tunnel from i84 East, just before passing over Park Street. We chose the left tunnel. Both run parallel and are identical in construction.
Tales from the Underground after the jump!
Yeah, that’s a car. Late 90’s Mazda 626. I paddled this route again a few years later and the car was a mile further downstream and upside down! The power of water. I wouldn’t wanna be in here after a spring thunderstorm!
There is all kinds of stuff down there. Lots of grocery carts. Construction debris. Rocks. Never saw a rat though. Or any fish. No lion, tigers or bears. There’s a smell to it, but not overwhelming, just kinda there, ya know?
The Junction Room where the North and South branches of the Park River converge somewhere around Laurel St. and Capitol Avenue. You can feel the highway traffic. Absolutely dark when headlamps are off.
Two parallel tunnels leave from the Junction Room heading towards Bushnell Park and eventually the Connecticut River. The left tunnel may have an eight foot wide stream of water pouring in from a side pipe during the summer full of downtown buildings’ AC run-off! It is a lot of water and not to be taken lightly. I have paddled up to it from the Connecticut River and didn’t feel safe passing the torrent of water blocking the entire tunnel.