Rock River Ride Day 2: Watertown to Beloit

Jun 12, 2018

We started the day in Watertown, where Carl Nelson and I were pleased to discover the weather had improved considerably.  Instead of cold, it was pleasant and, instead of rain, it was no rain. We had breakfast at a cafe and were met by Chris Fink, Professor of Literature and Wisconsin Awesomeness at Beloit College.

Dan Libman (L) and Carl Nelson.
Credit EMILY WALSH/Daily Times

Fink showed us that it was okay to look in bluebird nests and even more okay to look at Fort Atkinson, where we arrived at 10 a.m. and, because of Fink, we didn’t leave until well after 3 p.m. In those brief five hours Chris showed us the poetry wall, which contains six words of a poem by Wisconsin poet Lorine Faith Niedecker: fish fowl flood, water lily mud. We were so taken by the poem, we visited Niedecker’s cabin, and then Chris showed us further into Black Hawk Island where we found the Island Bar and Grill, which -- a hundred years ago -- Niedecker’s father owned and ran (under a different name). 

We then took the road into Milton, where we saw a cabin on the Underground Railroad and the site of Milton College, and then took a ride south to Janesville where we saw the rock that gave Rock County its name.

The ride into Beloit was difficult, as the police stopped us from taking Afton Road; but Professor Fink came through again, finding a route through a copse that got us to his “finca” in no time. We ended the day at Lucy’s Burger Bar in Beloit, with the Cozzis and the Finks preparing for a relaxing night camping on the Finks' lawn. 

Tomorrow I’ll tell you how it went. 

Dan Libman
Sent from my iPad