Listening to the Tunnels of Duluth

An old dining chair found in the drainage tunnels underneath Third St. last Tue, Jan. 18.

The shining full moon reveals the city of Duluth. It’s a numbing January night.

The wind is biting my face and snow is collapsing under my boots as I approach one of the hidden entrances to the Chester Creek tunnel system.

. The sounds surrounding me go from cars slushing through the streets to crashing ice, rushing water, and the sound of droplets trickling off of icicles. The only light that accompanies me is my headlamp and the occasional flash of my video camera.

Composed of red brick and weathered plywood, the tunnel extends to no visible end. The air went from cold and dry to warm and dense, and I could taste the moisture of the runoff. Ice that once concealed the covert melts into water. I begin, and the echoes of my feet wading — whooshing–through the water rings through the tunnel.

It reeked of decomposed matter and minerals. This, then coming across an aluminum beer container preserved on the small concrete bank, made me wonder about all the different materials that could leak into the drainage system.

The graffiti plastered on the walls became dimmer as the moonlit entrance disappeared. I rounded the corner and the small circle light of my headlamp was the only thing keeping me from being swept away.



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Peyton Haug

Journalism B.A. in-progress // Passionate about Climate Science and Culture // Freelance Writer and Photographer for hire (inquire at: )