June 1, 2011 Back on the River

Today was a relatively mindless day, a day of beautiful weather cruising down the Mississippi the way we had intended, not a care in the world. Now if you have been following the blog, you know what challenges we’ve been up against. All that drifted away as we left Fulton, Illinois and all our problems behind. We had problems and good people came to the rescue, thanks once again to you all.

Gator and I spent the day easing down the river listening to our music and really feeling alive again. What a good feeling. Other than stopping for ice, we cruised traveling about 60 miles and lovin’ every mile. Our motor is running great and we are approaching lock and dam #16.

We contact the lockmaster and he says come on in. The light is green and Gator throttles up. The next thing I here is Gator shouting that we’ve lost the motor. What!!!!! I look back and see that the wooden transom (the part of the boat that holds the motor on) has broken in two and the motor has tipped back into the water being held on by the steering cables only. At this point we are adrift again, only this time we are precariously close to going over the dam. Now being as skilled at boating as we are….we proceed to FREAK OUT!!!!! NOT AGAIN!!!! &%$#@* and so on and so forth. I radio the lockmaster telling him that we are “dead in the water and heading for the dam.” Their staff of 2 races to get their rescue boat in the water and get to us before we get to the dam. You see, due to the massive turbulence associated with the dam, people have died in this situation. Truly, our only luck in surviving this ordeal is the fact that due to the recent flooding, the water is up and the dam gates are partially open. The lockmaster instructs us to try to steer through a gate….like we have any choice in the matter. I quickly deploy my trolling motor to help guide us through but I don’t think we will fit under the gate. If we don’t, the “belle” will crash and burn and our fate will be sealed, literally. Somehow, I steer through the gate and we miss the gate by inches. After passing through the turbulence, we are flushed out the other side into calmer waters. At this point, the lock staff gets to us with their boat and guides us into an eddy on the opposite side of the river. This is all they can do and leave us to our destiny. Now that we are secured for the moment, I shake my head and laugh….I just cannot believe what just happened. Gator and I jump out and try to secure the motor up out of the water with ropes.

Now we must get across the river to the Muscatine side. I make some phone calls and eventually we get the search and rescue boat coming to rescue us.

With lights a blazin’ they tow us over to the Muscatine Marina where we tie off for the night. Ann, a leiutenant with the rescue company gives us ride to a nearby hotel. There, we shower off the day and ponder the evenings event and wonder if there is more to come. Someone or something is trying to tell us something……we love a good challenge but enough is enough. Gator falls out quickly and the sound of his snoring lulls me to sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.

June 2, 2011


8 Responses to “UM June 1, 2011”

  1. lucy Says:

    looks you be hittin that thing,maybe you will find a (cat)for the house you live in.close one door open another.u r grounded!!

  2. Tom Haynie Says:

    Being back on the river was the best day of them all, hope its as good for you guys too.


  3. Gretchen Sopko Says:

    Lovin’ following your Livin’Life adventure on the Mississippi with map at my side.

  4. Nancy Says:

    I’m glad to see you guys got back on the river to continue your journey. Best wishes for a safe trip. Your new friend @ the Fulton Harbor and Marina.

  5. Tom Haynie Says:

    Keep it going Carl and Richard, your trip seems to be building alot more ‘content,’ maybe even drama than of summers past – accomplishments have to be earned, I think you guys are about there.

  6. Glad you guy made it back on the river! I stopped at a camp site in Montpelier, IA on Wednesday to wait for a friend to visit for the weekend. I suppose you two have already past me and will be days a head of me by the time I get back down the river. Good luck out there!

    1. Ann Brumback Says:

      We are stil in Muscatine. Back on the river in the morning. You are still ahead of us. We will try to make Burlington tomorrow.

  7. Tom Haynie Says:

    You are only one day behind the previous trip’s pace.

    Hopefully the roughest part ahead will only be the walk for supplies, maybe some heat, and a few determined mosquito’s (but you are ready for those) = New Orleans….

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