Sunday, August 31, 2008
Today we skipped church and took Suzi up to Stump House Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls in Walhalla. Jordan has to work tomorrow (Labor Day) so we decided to spend time together today. The tunnel was intended for a railroad, but when the Civil War began funds ran out. Ever since then it's been a long tunnel with no light at one end. However, it hasn't been useless; Clemson University once used it to age their famous blue cheese, and now it's a popular South Carolina park. Suzi had a good time playing outside in the stream.
We didn't think it would be safe to take Suzi to the bottom of the falls, as you have to climb a bit on the way, so we just looked instead.
The air inside the tunnel is cold and damp--much cooler than our air-conditioned house. The further you go into the tunnel the darker it gets, and it goes a long way. After a few yards you come to a metal doorway. At first we assumed the door would be locked, but when we reached it it was open. Not far past the doorway is a large opening in the ceiling, and it rains into it even when there's not a cloud in the sky.
If you walk a couple more minutes there is another door in a brick wall, and the tunnel goes back further than you'd expect.
Flashlights are a must if you want to go more than a few yards in. The ground is uneven and water pools on the sides. Near the middle, you must balance on railroad ties if you don't want your feet to get soaked. Where they stopped construction, there's a stairlike structure. We walked all the way back and Jordan climbed it, but I am not inclined to show those pictures because of all the ugly graffiti on the walls.
But, no matter how far you've gone, if you just turn around you can always see the light at the end of the tunnel.