August 30, 2012

Gillette Island UM 675 to McGrogor, Iowa UM 634

We wake early this morning to another beautiful day on the river. As I lay in my bunk shaking off the nights sleepiness I smell the unmistakable aroma of coffee brewing. Gator has started a pot and is looking at a beaver looking at us. We spend several peaceful hours sipping coffee and just soaking in the serenity and beauty of the river.

Gelette Island

We shove off out into the channel where we meet the strong headwind coming in from Isaac. It seems to be even stronger today. We haven’t made very good time due to the waves and the wind but we’ve already decided that we are not out for mileage, just fun. Even with these conditions, we are noticing a prominence of houseboats. There’s lot’s of people out enjoying the river, camping, skiing and though I’m not as brave as Tom from 2009, there are even people swimming…..I guess you have to be “one with the river” afterall.

Lansing, Iowa came into veiw and we slipped in to the marina to top off our fuel. While docked, I take the opportunity away from the “high seas” to some breakfast, bacon and egg sandwiches, yummy. Gator and I use the facilities, purchase some ice and shove off once again.

Lansing, Iowa

Cutting across 10 rough miles of Lake Winneshiek with 30 mph gusts and 3-4 foot waves crashing over our bow, we make it to lock and dam # 9. Our wait here was about 1-1/2 hours. We pull over to river’s edge and tie off to some driftwood on the bank. There is a conveinent store within sight and we decide to kill some time. We scale the bank and as we walk the railroad tracks we hear the locamotive’s horn, step off the tracks a few feet and watch as 100 cars packed with coal roar down the track. Of course we don’t have our video camera with us to record the upclose encounter. Soon we approach the store where we buy some much-needed water. Finding a shortcut back to the boat, we sit by the railroad tracks pitching stones at selected targets and talk about 60 year old men sitting by the railroad tracks pitching stones at selected targets. Life is good!

Passing through lock #9 we sail on down to what we’d hope would be our spot for the night at Prairie Du Chein, WI. We leave the river on the east channel but were unsuccessful in finding the marina listed in our guide. Exiting the channel we spotted the town of McGregor up river a piece and we made for it. As the light began to wane, we slipped in to the marina there and tied off for the night. Needing some nurishment, we walked up to the “River View Inn” and chowed down. Back on “the Joanie Belle” we passed out fairly quickly. Sometime during the night I would wake to the sound of the tow’s moving ever so slowly down the channel, their spotlights searching the night. It amazes me how the riverboat captain’s manuver these waters with such skill. Unable to sleep, I get up and catch up on the blog. Soon sleep overtakes me once again.

McGregor, Iowa








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4 Responses to “August 30, 2012”

  1. tcflykat Says:

    The blog is great. I feel like I’m there with you. But I have to wonder about the dreams you’ve mentioned. Too disturbing to write about? Come on! The shrinks say it’s good to talk about your insanity! LOL Have a drink for me!

    1. livinlif Says:

      Noted, love ya bro!

  2. Ned Z Says:

    Did you use a solar panel to help supply power, or did you solely rely on your outboard to recharge your battery(ies)? Did you have one or two batteries? I’m planning on my pontoon trip down the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tenn-Tom in Fall, 2018. I’ve really enjoyed your blogs, starting with Bacshortly. Thank you!

    1. livinlif Says:

      Ned Z,
      I did use a solar panel hooked to a second battery and an inverter to power my music, laptop and recharge cell phone batteries. The second battery was also a backup
      if the first died. Great to hear from you. Let me know if you need further.
      River Dog

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