Sept. 6, 2012

UM 389 to LaGrange, Missouri UM 336

The wake from a passing tow woke us this morning. We rise from our bunks and enjoy coffee on the small dock. Once again, the sunrise over the water was incredible.

Sunrise on the Mississippi

We make way towards Fort Madison, a nice little harbor town along the river. Five miles down on glassy waters we pull into “River View Marina.” This is the place we stayed at last year where the trains passing in the night kept us awake all night. We were told that around 80 trains pass each night and our berth was only 50 yards from the tracks. They litterally would rock the boat and our brains as they passed. We chose not to stay here this time.

We secure “the Belle” and walk down town to our favorite breakfast spot, “Jake and Walt’s Fort Diner” home of the “Wallyburger.” This is a tiny road-side diner reminiscent of the old trailer-type diners that were prevalent back in the day. Walking in we see a motley crew of locals eating breakfast before heading off to work and of course Carrol. We remembered Carrol from last year as she was very pleasant to talk to as we ate our breakfast. Gator had the “Mess” and I ate my usual bacon, eggs and hashbrowns.

“Jake and Walt’s Fort Diner”

Much Thanks Ladies! See you next time.

We finish our meal and head down Avenue “G” to the Aldi grocery outlet for some supplies. Many of the shops downtown are advertising for the big rodeo coming to town. We browse the isles at Aldi”s for select items of interest, paper towels, lunch meat, bread, etc. and stop for some cash at the ATM on the way back.

Passing small river towns along the way, Nauvoo, Montrose, Gallends, we enter lock 19 where we drop forty feet inside the chamber, the biggest drop on the river. The gates open to glassy waters and as we rock to some Joe Bonamassa, we cross into Missouri.

Missouri Waters

Lock 20 is ahead and, calling the lockmaster, we are told that they are locking up a tow heading north and it will be about 30 minutes. We pull “the Belle” over to an awesome little beach and tie off. Gator grabs the frisbee and we throw for a while. Too bad there is no one here to get a picture of this, 2 old guys throwing frisbee like we were back in college…it’s like riding a bike.

The northbound tow exits the lock, toots his horn and glides by. As the massive structure floats by, the lockmaster beckons us in. Skirting the wake from the tow, I ease into lock 20, 6 more to go to St. Louis.

After lock 20, we ease on down to LaGrange, Missouri and pull in to a small dock by the town boat ramp, we love little docks. We scan the area and see a “Casey’s” convenient store about a block away. There’s a bank, a small library, town hall and a little ways up river is a grain silo, a little riverside campground and a casino. Yep, a casino. We are unable to locate a bath house and feeling nasty and sticky from several days travel, we decide to become “one with the river.”

Getting “one with the river”

After cleaning up, we cross the street and visit Casey’s, the local convenient store in these parts. We browse the shelves for any interesting items that we may need. I buy a slice of pizza and head back to the dock. We pull out our chairs, mix a beverage and enjoy the evening. We call home, chat with the family and just chill as the darkness falls. I’m the first to bed and Gator follows. It’s been a great day.





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2 Responses to “Sept. 6, 2012”

  1. tcflykat Says:

    OK, now I’m really missing the river. The diner is a great memory I have from last year. Walking from the Belle down the street into town with my brothers… yes, simple pleasures. Even the memory of the night next to the train tracks makes me smile. Can”t wait to get in on the next adventure with you guys! See Ya!

  2. tcflykat Says:

    BTW, it’s now Sept. 8th and I’m wondering where Sept 7 post is. You should be getting into St Louis. Hope all is well! Gotta be better than last year!

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