As nobody has any further clever ideas about the crater... (This isn't a knock. I can't find anything else to do down there either. Yet.)
From the hilltop, another quarter-hour of hiking brought me to the towers.
There are two of them, but they're situated on either side of a large square pit. I don't mean a crater -- this is clearly artificial. It's forty feet across, maybe twenty feet deep, and the walls are smooth white tile. The pit floor is flat, but there's a lot of mud down there, so I can't tell what it's made of. Four heavy hatch covers stick up above the mud, one near each wall. (All closed.)
The towers themselves aren't very exciting. Two small wooden shacks on stilts, raised twenty feet in the air. Each has a doorway facing the pit. One is on the west side of the pit -- that's the one I can reach, obviously -- and one is on the opposite side.
What's more interesting is the T-shaped structure *between* the towers. It rises up out of the pit: a long horizontal pole, of dull metal, balanced on a heavier vertical pole. The vertical is rooted right in the center of the pit, and it's about thirty feet high -- meaning that the horizontal beam is ten feet above ground level. And forty feet long -- the full width of the pit.
And a rope ladder hangs from each end of the beam. The western one is right in front of me, as I stand between the tower and the pot. Annoyingly, the ladder is only twenty feet long. So it only goes halfway up to the tower *and* only halfway down to the bottom of the pit.
Oh yes: the brush presses tightly in on the north side of the pit, but there's enough room on the south to circumnavigate it without falling in. I think.
So now what? Ladders, trail around the pit, towers? Back to the crater? Or feel free to ask further questions about the things I've encountered.
(Of course I don't mean *back* to the crater. I Reltoed out to post this message, so it's actually a question of whether I *stop* at the crater next time I link back to Plum Lake. Take the back-and-forth for granted when you read this thread -- I won't mention it much.)
Andrew Plotkin -- Seltani founding member