Water World

Scuba diving! Heated pools! Giant catfish! This is Athens?
Deep Blue See: Dinnertime at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
Photograph by TPWD/Larry Hodge

I went to Athens to check out Ray Price’s tour bus. Of course, Ray wasn’t in this particular bus, since it broke down long ago and now sits at the bottom of a 35-foot-deep, eight-acre reservoir at Athens Scuba Park, along with a triple-decker houseboat, a space capsule, a military transport jet, and dozens of other wrecks. Left on land, such machinery is junk. Sunk in a former clay quarry that closed more than half a century ago, such machinery is an adventure. At least that’s how avid scuba diver Calvin Wilcher saw it in 1987 when he and his wife, Shannon, bought what had become a de facto dump, hauled off the hundreds of refrigerators, couches, and chunks of concrete that


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