Miles Covered:  um 455- to um 389 (66 miles)

 Closest towns or landmark (chart): Muscatine, Ia. to just past Dallas Island

 Original Post date: June 4, 2009

Muscatine, Io Muscatine, Io

 Woke up at the Muscatine harbor dock after a great time running around town the evening before. We did our ‘bacshortly’ bar-hopping thing – that is, have one beverage here and then go to the next establishment. If we found one that was exceptionally appealing, we would return – “bacshortly”…


 ….and then as the evening wore on we visited our ‘French Quarter’ friends dockside in/on their boat. It was all good-times, even managed a couple of those hearty laughs until tears moments. 

French Quater at Muskatine

The next day we returned to the river. As we idled towards the next lock, the French Quarter passed us, so we pushed the little bird to make it and ‘lock-through’ #17 with them. Afterward, we returned to the idle pace we had become accustom to and wished them well .


In the past couple of days we have passed numerous duck blinds along the Upper Miss. We can only imagine that they would have to be replaced after each large flood – simple thoughts as we ride the current.

Pleasure crafts passing have subsided lately. Occasionally, when we are bothered by waves or the obnoxious changes of ‘civilization’ which breaks our cycle of river tranquility, we have developed a simple saying that seems to fit pretty well, especially after a couple of afternoon beverages – it goes something like (but not exactly) “doggone people!” Breaks us in to a simple laugh and lightens up the place – and of course it varies as to trains, tows, and to the occasional pleasure craft that do shove us around with their wakes.

-but the day is mostly about taking in the sights and sounds of the River – simple observations, evaluations, speculations, and summary’s – continuous idle chat slightly enhanced with mixed beverage.


We stopped later in Oquawka, Il and walked to the local diner (which is pretty much at waters edge) – I’m on a hamburger binge and Tom had the catfish sandwich. The little town was simple and while we were there we saw several folks drive to the end of main street, (which was waters-edge) stop and peer at our boat – we spoke with several and it was neat to hear them mention how they would love to have made a trip like ours.


– and then there were lots of miles in between – to walk the deck, pilot, or sit/lay on the roof……


Lock 18 (holding the rope routine). This kept us from drifting while the water was lowered.


As we put another lock behind us we began noticing the homes along the shoreline, yes, “doggone people!” The homes are built way up on pilings as to offer some high-water protection, even trailers are up on stilts – a funny sight to those unused to it – but we thought it was a practical idea.


Burlington, Iowa – we went to the local Marina and fueled up, changed the prop and plugs on the motor. Tom took the opportunity for a birdbath under the hose with ‘hot’ water (the hose was laying in the sun). There were some older kids here laying in the sun, playing on sea-doos, so they do actually swim in the Mississippi.

 Burlington Marina Burlington Marina 

The Marina owners were nice and told us we could stay the night at no cost, but we moved on down river to the nearby Big Muddy Restaurant – they had a dock so we tied up and went in.


The Big Muddy Restaraunt and bar, riverside at Burlington is an old train depot that you would swear was brand-new.  The crowd was a little light this night but the good food hit the spot.  Christian was the bartender and he introduced us to Karla, one of the owners (who was working as hard as anyone there). We talked a little of the town – and going down the river. If nothing else on this trip, we haven’t met with an uninterested ear or friendly smile, makes it all worth it.

 Big Muddy Rest - Big Muddy Rest – 

So it was evening after the Big Muddy and rather than bunk down, we decided to continue down the river into the evening darkness – we did – it was worth it too, because with the sun at our back the orangeish shoreline was again as beautiful in clarity as it was through the Savanna reservation a few nights earlier – something else that seems to make this all worthwhile, the natural moments of this river, the clarity  – its there for you.


We continued into the darkness where anchorage become a more difficult task – but finally we located a place in the mud, oh yeah – the dark mud that you have to wipe off…..but that’s another story….



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