Miles Covered:  um 546- to um 491 (57 miles)

 Closest towns or landmark (chart): Savanna, Il riverside to Island near Hampton, Il  

Original Post date: June 2, 2009


Tom got up at first light and tried to catch up with his writing. I could tell that he was struggling to keep up with his blog, it was difficult for him to find the time. He didn’t want to miss anything. It seemed like it became an unwanted chore… but he stuck with it.



This morning it is still a little rainy so it all starts a little slower, but once we begin to move everything falls into place. I still can’t get over how well I’ve been sleeping. I guess it’s a combination of  cool evenings and the gentle rocking of the boat.


 We undo all the tarps that protected us from the night’s elements, start the coffee pot and stow the gear – basic organization – then we push out into the current as the coffee perks and ride the current for a while.  This morning the breeze held its own against the current.  Tom and I seem to work good together – we spent several years together as part of the Rescue Company for Asheville NC Fire Department. Things get done on board with the least amount of conversation – in it all we have found a pattern to the start of each day.  


 We stopped in the town of Savanna, Il and found breakfast, shower, and a store.  Unexpectedly, there was a pay shower in the restaurant (lots of riverside establishments provided these for transients moving on the river). It didn’t take but a second for Tom to figure out what he could do while waiting for his order.

Clothes needed were minimal – a couple bathing suits and t-shirts seemed to go the whole trip – if the colors were different you could alternate schemes (like different drink combination’s), no rules apply, it just didn’t matter – we liked that.


We found too that most of the day we spent standing or leaning (like in a bar). The captain’s swivel chair on the boat wasn’t quite right for piloting on the river, a stool sits higher and feels better during the day as you look at the chart and puruse the horizon. The captain’s chair did come back into play in the evenings as a more comfortable place to relax. Long story short we picked up a John Deere bar stool for the boat at the store next to the restaurant.

 I took the kayak for a spin around an island chain while Tom stayed in the channel – a nice morning with plenty of wildlife and a gentle breeze to our backs.  

Above the lock in Pool 13 we passed an island that was just loaded with birds, white pelicans mostly, but totally a squawking delegation of feathered fowl.  And foul they were. The smell coming off the island was enough to knock you down.

 Near Clinton, Iowa we took a ‘chute’ channel  passing an industrial section before ending back out on the Mississippi a few miles later – I’m sure everyone has become more conscious of what they put back into the river in the past few years – but the discharges still run.  The industry here appeared to be ‘trying.’



  One thing we found to be true on any excursion that supplies less than the normal comforts in life, little things matter. And a trip like this is no different. The following picture illustrates one of those little things that just popped up, or should I say pooped up?


So the wildlife, neat homes, bluffs, trains, tows, and people along the way really made for a nice day on the river.


Even though the day started out rainy and overcast, it turned out nice.  As we exited lock 14 we found an island to the left and called it a day..



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