A good weekend

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Happy to report that the weekend treated yours truly quite well. It started with a decent fish fry (review will be coming shortly) and ended with some gorgeous weather. I had a chance to hang out with my friend John from Minneapolis - it's always great to see him, and it's even better when I can combine a visit with a trip to a local brewery.

On Saturday, I met-up with John in Potosi, WI. Potosi is near the Iowa/Wisconsin border - it's about 1.5 hours south west of Madison. John was there diving in a flooded mine shaft (John is an accomplished SCUBA diver) and invited me to drop by and check things out. So, I hopped in the 'ole truck and made my way down highway 151 to Potosi.

I arrived at about 3:00pm, just as John and his dive buddy were surfacing from their dive. Here they are, coming out of the water:


The area that they're exiting from once served as the main entrance to the mine. From what John said, the mine flooded in the 1960s; it provided both copper and lead back in the day. John said they had to swim about a half-mile into the mine before they got into the actual tunnels. It sounded really interesting; he also provided me with a DVD that of dive footage from the mine - I can't wait to check it out.

Here's John exiting the water - check out that diving rig:


He uses what's called a "re-breather" - that's the large thing that's hanging on his back. A re-breather captures the expended air bubbles as you're diving, cleans the carbon monoxide from the air, salvages any remaining oxygen, and then uses a chemical reaction to create new oxygen. It's all computer controlled; it allows you to dive for longer periods of time without having to carry several extremely large oxygen tanks. It's a cool device, but is extremely pricey (and quite complex).

Here's a closer-shot of the dive rig:


He wears a dry suit so that he can dive to some incredibly deep depths without getting too cold. Under that suit, he wears an electrically-heated jacket/pant suit as well. It's a really cool set-up.

Finally, I mentioned that John had some video footage of his last dive to the flooded mine. He also has an amazing video camera set-up... check out this crazy contraption:


So after leaving the mine site, we headed into Potosi for some dinner and a brew, compliments of the Potosi Brewery. The Potosi Brewery has been around since 1852 - it's one of the older breweries in the area, and from what John was saying, the brewery just recently re-opened, thanks in part to a government grant. The place was apparently left in shambles after closing its doors in 1972; the new owners have done an amazing job of restoring the buildings, which include a museum, the brewery, a restaurant, and a gift shop.

Here's the outside of the brewery:


When you walk in to the brewery, you cross over a glass covered portion of the floor; the glass shows the spring that feeds the brewery's water supply. It's pretty neat:


The bar's no slouch, either - it's very nicely done:


We took a seat at one of the tables and promptly ordered some cheese curds, some root beer (which Potosi makes onsite), and an Imperial Pale Ale (also made onsite). The curds arrived after a short wait - they were ok; nothing great... a bit greasy and slightly over cooked.


After wolfing down the cheese curds (I had ridden 45 miles and ran 15 earlier that morning), I ordered a grilled chicken salad. John opted for a grilled cheese with chef's vegetables. The salad was super good - one of the best I've had:


It was extremely fresh tasting; the chicken was perfectly prepared, and the veggies were crisp and of extremely high quality. John reported that his grilled cheese was excellent as well - it looked incredible. We chatted for a bit and then called it a night. John had a 5 hour drive back to Minneapolis; I had a 1.5 hour drive back to Madison, so we called it good.

Finally, I mentioned the weather - wow, what a gorgeous weekend we had. I woke up fairly early on Saturday morning and hit the road for a nice ride, followed by a good run. I threw on the compression recovery tights and socks in anticipation of Sunday's weather, and thankfully I wasn't disappointed...

This morning, I was greeted by a beautifully sunny morning, with temperatures in the high 50s, light winds, and not a single cloud in the sky. Donned the bike gear and hit the road - I had planned to do another 45 mile ride, but the weather was so incredible that I just kept going. Here I am at around the 55-mile mark:


It was so nice to be out on the open road rather than stuck on the trainer. One of the best things about living in Madison is that you can go from city to "middle of nowhere farmland" in about 10 minutes, as evidenced by this picture from the bike:


I made my way back to the apartment and was surprised to see that today's ride spanned 65 miles. Not bad, especially for such an early-season ride. My legs felt pretty good, so I hit the road for a short run. I didn't want to overdo things, so I kept the run on the comfortable side. I'll get up tomorrow morning and do my normal circuit.

So, that's about it - the weekend in a nutshell. I'll crank out a fish fry review tomorrow; we hit the Alchemy Cafe on Atwood - not a bad place!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on April 11, 2010 10:12 PM.

Trainer Tech - Your Questions Answered was the previous entry in this blog.

Alchemy: Fish Fry Review is the next entry in this blog.

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