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Old 09-25-06, 11:03 AM   #1
dbg 
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Mysterious observation while touring

Part of what I love about bicycle touring are these kinds of daily immersive experiences...

We stopped early one morning at a somewhat remote crossroads in central Wisconsin (our annual ride across WI) to regroup and snack. It was a cool and misty summer morning. There were numerous, strangely old looking vats in a nearby field. These were large vats, maybe 12' across and 10' high, with some pipes that interconnected them. The field was filled with them, maybe 50 to 75 vats total. We wondered what might be inside. They were too rickety to hold anything as valuable as wine. One suggestion was cranberries. One brave person wiggled a valve on the piping to get a drip of dark looking liquid. He tasted it, found it salty and harsh, and he lived. We rode on wondering what all those vats might contain.

We discovered the answer later that day. Any guesses?
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Old 09-25-06, 11:16 AM   #2
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Pickles or olives?
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Old 09-25-06, 11:43 AM   #3
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Pureed cow poop.

I loved my tour across (more like daigonally, from northwest to southeast) Wisconsin. Green, green, and greener.

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Old 09-25-06, 12:18 PM   #4
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Around here anything that looks remotely like a vat would most likely contain oil. You can't ride more than about 5 kms without seeing something related to the oil industry.
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Old 09-25-06, 12:30 PM   #5
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soy sauce?
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Old 09-25-06, 12:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJRoberts
Pickles or olives?
Clearly an intelligent forum. I'll have to hang around here more often.

Pickles is correct! (You win Carl Kasell's voice on your answering machine.)

A shop down the road described how these vats are often left uncovered to allow sunshine in and keep mold from forming. They also said these vats can store pickles for long periods of time allowing the grower (fermenter) to wait for favorable market prices.
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Old 09-25-06, 01:32 PM   #7
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Bicks used to have such vats, and they were open right next to a local light rail line. People looked into them with disgust, and eventually a fence was erected. It was reported the vats were left open to allow junk to fall in that was apparently necesarry to kick off the fermentation. Or so said the WSJ.
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Old 09-25-06, 03:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
Around here anything that looks remotely like a vat would most likely contain oil. You can't ride more than about 5 kms without seeing something related to the oil industry.
Wisconsin, to my knowledge is one of the states that has no petroleum hydrocarbon production.
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