The day started in high style: woke up from a relaxing sleep in my tent to find Carl Nelson already up and walking around the Finks' lawn. We listened with much delight to that day's Rock River Ride, which aired that morning on WNIJ.
Soon our group assembled for breakfast: Professor Fink and his wife and young daughter, Carl and me, and this morning we were joined by bicyclist and Rock River frequenter and enjoyer, Dom Cozzi. We biked into Beloit, the six of us, on a bracing and hilly route into Beloit, which Carl and I found somewhat challenging before breakfast.
At breakfast we met Theresa Oldenberg, who told us all about the new Nature and the Confluence center, where the Rock River and Turtle Creek meet. She also introduced us to a nice fellow named Bruce, who is kayaking the Rock. At 20 to 30 miles a day, he started at the Horicon Marsh a week before we got there, and will be ending in Rock Island many days after Carl and I finish.
After bidding adieu to our new friends in Beloit, Dom, Carl and I headed south to the fjord of the Rock -- Rockford -- where we enjoyed the scenic bike path into town, and lunched at a local brewery.
That afternoon we talked to Tom McNamara, a nice guy who had some interesting things to say about the Rock River and its importance to him personally -- and as a spirit for Rockford. He also happens to be the mayor of the city.
Carl, Dom and I ended our sadly too-brief tour of the Forest City by checking out a local legendary bar, Mary's Place, where the music was loud, the beer was not expensive, and the guys playing pool don't mind jabbing you in the back with a cue, if that's what it takes to make a good shot.
The 26-mile ride to base camp in Oregon was hilly and scenic and, while the skies threatened, the only moisture we felt was dripping off our exhausted faces as we rode. We've gotten past the halfway point in our journey rather tired and hungry but looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
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