June 4, 2011

We wake up with a renewed sense of well-being this mornig and head down to the lobby to meet our ride back to the marina. Ann picks us up and delivers us to the marina around 7am. We load our craft, say our goodbyes and leave Muscatine behind. We can’t thank Ann and the rescue guys enough for their support. Keep up the good work. The world needs folks like you!

Many Thanks

The river is calm this morning and it is a beautiful day. We crank up some “Rare Earth” and get back in the “Mississippi groove.”

Today was a day of relaxation, cruising in the sun, sipping our cool beverages and enjoying the sights that the river’s edge has to offer. Along the way we see barges being loaded and unloaded with corn, coal, etc. It really is amazing how much commerce moves up and down this river.

We breeze through locks 17 and 18 with no wait and as the day slips by we wonder where we will meet up with our younger brother, Chuck. It turns out that he flew into St. Louis where he rented a car and drove to Burlington, Iowa. He calls us and tells us to meet him on the riverfront just past the railroad bridge. As we approach the railroad tressle, we begin to search the river bank. The next thing we see is this guy floating in a
pool float under some trees and yes, it’s our crazy brother. We swing around and pick him up.

After greeting each other, we continue our cruise to Fort Madison, Iowa. Here, we pull into a small marina and dock for the night. Now we go through a docking routine that we have developed along the way,
tieing off the canoe and the “Belle” securely, battening down the hatches in case a storm visits us in the middle of the night, getting our racks ready for sleep and basic organizing. When all is done, our next step is to look for the nearest bar and grill to hopefully get a meal and some entertainment. Tonight, it’s going to be “Captain Kirk’s” Cafe and Bar.

We enjoy some good food, drink and listen to some live music. The place is packed with locals on a Saturday night. We eventually retire back to the “Belle” to suffer through what truly could be called “hell on earth.” Let me explain. The marina and our craft is about 50 yards from the railroad tracks where we here that on average over 100 trains come through each day. It is my opinion that 90% of those trains come through after midnight, about one every fifteen minutes. We are also right next to a bridge that sounds a siren every time it raises for a barge to pass. This occurred about 3 times during the night. We can here the band playing loudly from Captain Kirk’s, the people talking and laughing, the vehicle traffic, the ambulance sirens and an occasional fart close by. When the bar finally closed down for the night, the real torture began. Apparently the staff that cleans up for the night really enjoys rap music and we were forced to endure about an hour of the worst crap I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t wait for the next train to come through and drown out that noise. The train, by the way, shook the boat when it passed, it was like thunder rolling through my brain and of course they had to blow the whistle right in front of us. Needless to say, we did not sleep a wink. I actually remember laughing maniacally at this symphony of noise. What could happen next you ask?

Around 5:30 am we were struck with another Mississippi River Valey electric storm. I mean the God’s were shooting bolts of lightening at us followed instantaniously by thunder that would shake the fillings out of your head. Again, I laugh maniacally………not much else to do but hang on for the ride.

June 5, 2011


4 Responses to “UM June 4, 2011”

  1. Tom Haynie Says:

    Higher tide in a few days from St.Louis (coming from the Missouri River) on, “just a part of it,” hope you find some neat stuff floating…..

    You gotta good run going.

  2. Tom Haynie Says:

    So you’re already picking stuff out of the water…….. (save the tube :-))

  3. Ann Brumback Says:

    You boys are just too funny for words. You have a flood warning all the way to St. Louis. The river is closed at mile marker 0 where the Missouri and Mississippi rivers join. Will keep in touch with the corps to see if I can find out more info.

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