Sept. 1, 2012

“Hawkeye Marina” UM 589 to Casey’s Island UM 549

Last night the wind picked up to a point where it was bouncing us around in the harbor. It felt like a storm was brewing. I got out of my bunk and stepped out on the dock to check out the night. The moon, which has been close to full, was barely visible behind an overcast sky. I realized then that we weren’t really prepared for a storm, our ropes and tie-downs not in place, tarps not ready. Not much I could do then so I climbed back in my bunk.

We woke this morning with the wind still blowing. As Gator made a pot of coffee, I sat out on the dock with my computer catching up once again. We drank coffee for a while as the sun came up and headed out around 9:00. As we cruised down-river a flock of pelicans flew majestically overhead and we watch the shore-line pass at a steady 5 mph.



After passing through lock # 11,  the town of Dubuque, Iowa comes into view and we make for the Dubuque Marina to top off our fuel. Here we meet Sean, the gas guy, another great soul along the river to share stories with. He takes us up to the Tiki hut where they are just opening for the day. The cook is brewing coffee so we make ourselves at home with a cup and tell our tale.

Sean at Dubuque Marina

Dubuque Marina

Once back on the river, the wind dies down and we cruise for several hours taking in the sights. As we listen to some Stevie Ray Vaughn on the CD box, we watch as the horde of boaters fly by, houseboats, fishing boats,  jet skis, all out for a good time on the river. Soon we pull into lock # 12 without a wait. Once inside, the massive gates close and we hold on while the water level lowers by about 10 feet or so. This process usually takes about 10 minutes, time enough to get any needed information from the lockmaster who will typically come out to check out our craft. The lockmaster tells us about a ski show going on right outside the lock in a town called Bellevue. The gates then open and we spill out down river to find the bank lined with folks watching skiers in multi-colored attire performing. We pull “the Belle” into an eddy outside the lock and tie off. Up the bank we go to check out this spectacle. We walk down main street watching the people and the skiers performing. Very cool. We take the opportunity to stop in to a convenient store for a few items and then enjoy a quick meal at the “Richman’s Cafe.”

Bellevue, Iowa

Richman’s Cafe in Bellevue

Back at “the Belle” we head out, skirt the ski area and mosie down river.

Makeshift Shade

Life is Good

Down river a piece we move into an area called “Savanna Depot,” a 13,000 acre tract of land where the military used to test weapons. We skirt this area and eventually find a beautiful sandy beach to stay for the night. It just happens to be right next to an inlet we stayed in last year when the river was flooded.

The perfect campsite

It’s about 6:00 and we have plenty of time to chill before darkness falls. After securing “the Belle” for the night, we make a cold beverage, pull our chairs out on the beach and enjoy the evening sunset. As we sit and talk, we watch the sky as it changes color with the setting of the sun, the clouds moving about. The orange glow on the tree-line is indescribable. To us, this is why we do what we do every chance we get. Two eagles fly directly overhead. Words just can’t describe this picture.


This is what it’s all about!

Soon, darkness falls so we step gingerly back through the Mississippi mud onto “the Belle” for what will be some really good sleep.

Sleep Easy Gator….









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2 Responses to “Sept. 1, 2012”

  1. tcflykat Says:

    Yes, life is good! It’s labor day, and I gotta go to work! See Ya!

  2. Bill Farrens Says:

    Keep up the good work!! Terry and I enjoy reading about your adventures on the Mississippi.
    Bill and Terry Farrens

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