One of the things we like best about our new neighborhood is the walkability. From the apartment, it’s a short 25-minute stroll to downtown and the riverwalk. There are dozens of shops and businesses within walking distance — restaurants, bars, the grocery store, the gas station.
Though I suppose there’s no reason to walk to a gas station unless you’re craving a Monster energy drink or a lotto ticket.
We’ve been lacing up our shoes and taking advantage of this as much as we can before winter sets in. Most mornings before work, I leave the apartment shortly after 5 a.m. The sky is still dark, the stars a brilliant mosaic of pinpricks dotting the black fabric of the heavens. By the time I reach the river, the dawn’s first rays of light are gradually painting the eastern horizon shades of pink and orange as ducks paddle across the placid water.
Fort Atkinson sure is scenic. I kinda feel like we threw a dart at a map and it randomly landed on this small community in Jefferson County. All I can say is, good throw.
Sydney, for her part, isn’t much into walking. She’s discovered the windowsill in our bedroom and loves to curl up there, either watching the world pass by or (more likely) sleeping.
Friday, I left work at 3:20 thanks to that flexible schedule. Tara and I walked down to Brock’s River Walk Tavern & Grill for the quintessential Wisconsin Friday experience: Brandy Old Fashioneds, cheese curds, and a fish fry. We got there early so we could snag a table next to the window.
Two and a half hours later, we walked back home while the nearly full moon rose. Stopped for soft serve ice cream at Frostie Freeze, which always has a long line. A few licks into our cones and we could see why.
Always pay close attention to the locals. They know the scoop. (Yeah, pun intended.)
Saturday, we ventured into Madison to hit up a record store. Didn’t realize it was game day. This is the second weekend in a row we’ve driven into the city while massive throngs of Badgers fans decked out in red have been streaming toward the stadium. Oops. Going to have to pay attention to those home game schedules more.
On the way home, we stopped at Dorothy Carnes County Park just to check things out. It’s a few minutes from where we live, and there are hiking trails, picnic tables, and some great scenery. Pretty sure this will become a regular hangout.
Today could not have been more opposite weather-wise. We woke up to rain and flood watches. It’s been coming down all day and shows no sign of letting up.
Fort Atkinson is right in the bullseye. Seriously, 3-5″ of rain?! That’s crazy. And wonderful. I have missed rain so much. I can count on one hand the number of times in which it rained all day in Rapid City. Coming from the PNW, that drier climate was a shock to the system. The rainfall in southern Wisconsin is roughly double that in Rapid, so rainy days like today aren’t uncommon.
We didn’t let a little rain stop us from venturing out, either. Took a drive to Indian Mounds Park on the shore of Lake Koshkonong. Here’s a little history: between AD 650 and 1200, groups of Native Americans throughout the southern half of Wisconsin and portions of adjacent states built earthen mounds of various shapes and sizes, including mounds shaped like animals, today called effigy mounds. The 11 mounds preserved here were part of a larger group of 78 mounds and include symmetrical and animal shapes, resembling birds, turtles or lizards, and perhaps spiritual figures.
It was just really cool to walk around and check out the mounds — not to mention the surrounding forest. All this green flora is kind of a shock to the system. We had to bundle up because it was a cool 58º. Fall is definitely right around the corner here.
After all that walking around in the rain, we ducked into a little bar and grill to warm up. A bite of food and a couple of drinks later and we were good to go.
Since it’s so cool today, I’m going to make an inaugural pot of Italian wedding soup, our go-to fall/winter meal.
Bring on the rain and bring on the cold!
Is it feeling like fall yet in your neck of the woods? How’d you spend your weekend?