I promised everyone tunnels, and so here are tunnels.
In a far, far away land called Madison, Wisconsin there lives a half
retarded, completely crazy bum who stands a whopping 6', 7" and who
is quite appropriately named "Tunnel Bob". This is because he is the
foremost expert regarding underground labyrinths of tunnels in the
Midwest, especially in Madison. He goes into the underground several
times a week. I have been in contact with Tunnel Bob for several years
now, and so when he offered to take me into the tunnels last Friday,
I couldn't say no.
I invited my equally curious tunnel searching friend Alex Applegate
along for relative safety.
Bob's email wrote, "If you come to the union at 9:00 pm and meet me by
the Stirtskeller, I then may decide to take you into the tunnels." And so we
were there at 9:00 and at about quarter after when we still saw no Bob
and began to worry that he may not show, we decided to take a walk around
and look for the man ourselves. We found him pacing a hallway with a
confused look on his face, but upon seeing me became glad that we had found him.
After a free coke from the workers there who know him all too well, we
began our walk to one of the closest entrances of the tunnels that he had left
open for us earlier in the evening.
The tunnels stretch for countless miles in all directions many feet
below the ground, their purpose to pump steam heating through all
buildings on UW's campus. Because they are steam access tunnels,
they are a scorching 120 degrees, and are filled with hot pipes,
wires, water, latters and various controls.
After exploring several miles of tunnel for an hour and a half, we
crawled out into the fresh night air and walked back to the union to
enjoy cold cokes with Bob and talk about more nonsense.
Our tunneling appetites far from quenched; Alex, Bob, and I venture
down into the tunnels again this friday to explore many more
sections deep under Madison.