Popping Manholes on a Friday Night

I didn’t intend to spend my Friday night wandering around town popping manhole covers; in fact, I didn’t plan on doing much of anything on my Friday night. But sometimes circumstance has other plans and when the opportunity presents itself you just have to roll with it and engage in some middle of the night shenanigans! It was around 8PM and I was bored. I had a buddy who was supposed to be coming over to hang out in a few minutes and no really pressing problems on the agenda to solve. As I often do when I have nothing Continue Reading

Finding the Bowker Creek Headwaters

“Bower Creek is an urban stream in the Victoria-BC area which originates in the wetlands near the University of Victoria and snakes it’s way through several municipalities before eventually outflowing to the ocean.” This is the way I introduced Bowker Creek way back in October of 2019 when describing my first draining adventure. While the description is accurate, something always bothered me about it; I never actually visually confirmed where Bowker creek originated, was it interesting, and most importantly; were there more tunnels? The answer to all of the above was yes; otherwise there wouldn’t be a blog post about Continue Reading

Discovering a New Drain

As we cautiously moved forward into the darkness I stopped my buddy and pointed ahead; a section where the weight of the buildings and earth above us had partially crushed the steel pipe in which we found ourselves. Not dissuaded, but much more cautious, we continued deeper into the Sandy Freeway. Since my last explore in April a lot has changed in the world. The spread of the COVID19 Carona virus, and the subsequent withdrawal of society, made going out on mundane excursions feel like an urban explore – deserted streets, abandoned shops and an overwhelming feeling of stillness gave Continue Reading

The Transforming Tunnel

As I crept forward, the shallow water splashing around my ankles, I quickly came to the realization that this drain was not the one I was expecting. And I wondered just where it would lead. Since my last post, I’ve gone on a several more explores, which I’ll get to posting about in good time but I wanted to post about my latest adventure while it was still fresh in my mind; the Transforming Tunnel – one of the longest drains I’ve explored to date. An accidental discovery While examining some GIS maps, I came across what I thought was Continue Reading

A return to Bowker Creek

After my successful exploration of the Douglas Darkie in October, the infamous Victoria rains arrived; rendering additional underground adventuring unsafe. I was forced to content myself with with reviewing archival images, online anecdotes and GIS mapping services for some time while awaiting better weather. The hiatus allowed me to conduct research and and formulate a list of new sites to explore, and first on the list was a return to familiar ground. Bowker Creek and it’s many tributaries As discussed in my original Bowker post; the creek is an urban stream that spends most of it’s life underground, flowing through Continue Reading

Exploring the Douglas Darkie

Hello readers! After my first draining post about exploring the Bowker Creek Tunnels I assumed I wouldn’t be writing about another draining adventure until the summer dry season; after all the region get’s a fair amount of rain during the Fall and Winter and the rule “never drain when it rains” was instilled in me from day one. Since that first post though, a couple of things happened; 1) I met another local storm drain explorer who gave me some great advice about the local systems, and 2) We experienced the driest October in 40 years – the stage was Continue Reading

Exploring the Bowker Creek Storm Tunnels

As you proceed through the near complete darkness, boots slish-sloshing through ankle deep water, your feeble light catches a familiar, yet unexpected object. You turn your head and squint at the yellow figure and as you approach you find your self muttering in surprise: “is that… Pikachu?” Welcome to the Bowker Creek Tunnels. What are the Bowker Creek Tunnels? Bower Creek is an urban stream in the Victoria-BC area which originates in the wetlands near the University of Victoria and snakes it’s way through several municipalities before eventually outflowing to the ocean. While the creek was once a vibrant aquatic Continue Reading