May 27, 2011
Now whether you are hiking the AT or traveling down the Mississippi, one of the hardest things to do is get out of your warm sleeping bag in the middle of a cold night and take care of business, if you know what I mean…..Anyway, it’s morning and it’s frigid. Richard is up making coffee and I drag myself out of my bunk. We waste no time getting back on the river to avoid any early morning marina proprietors looking for an overnight rental fee. Usually, there is dock space for transients but not in this marina. As we travel down river we are becoming good at locating porta-jons and bathroom facilities. I will leave that reasoning to you and say no more about that.
Well, one of those stops was at Lynxville, Wisconsin, one of many sleepy little towns along the river. I walked up to a little hot dog stand and chatted with the lady for a bit about the flooding conditions and how it affected this area. “Not bad here,” she says. She explained what a cheesecurd was and being well informed now I headed back to the “Joanie Belle” to continue our journey. I should also note that along the way we meet folks I like to refer to as “doomsday messengers.” These are the folks who just want to give you bad news and warnings of what is to come down river. Some news is helpful but most of the time it is their insecurities and nothing more.
Lock and dam #9 was next and we were able to lock through with no wait. As the eagles flew with us and the morning passed, the town of McGreggor came into view.
This is a cool little down at the edge of the river. We pulled in with a hunger for some good food. We found just that at a tiny bar and grill at river’s edge. Friendly folks greet us and as we enjoy our meal we watch out the window as townfolk return their dock to it’s previous location. During the flooding, people move their docks to safe haven via small tugs and then return them later. It’s pretty cool how they manage.
We head back down river and soon encounter lock and dam # 10 where we lock through quickly. It’s great not having to wait.
Guttenburg, Iowa now drifts into view and being late afternoon, we pull in to a brand new marina and dock in a slip. There are no other boats around so we decide to spend the night here and enjoy what the town has to offer. In town we meet folks along the way and end up at a place called “Moxies,” a local establisment and apparently the place to be on a Friday night. We partake in a beverage, chat with the locals briefly and head back to the Belle before supper. As we’re battening down the hatches for the night, a couple comes over to check us out. Meet Lori and Derrick from Cedar Rapids. Derrick is a fireman and we invite them aboard to sign the Belle. This is what it’s all about on the river, meeting folks and swapping stories.
As the rain drizzles in we head up town for some food at the “Riverside Cafe” and then back to “Moxie’s” for a nightcap. As we walked back to the boat we talked about how things are turning out great so far and what adventures lie ahead. It’s much warmer tonight, around 50 degrees and sleep overtakes us quickly.