Miles Covered:  um 389- to um 345 (44 miles)

Closest towns or landmark (chart): just past Dallas island to Polly island

Original Post date: June 5, 2009

After cruising into the late evening, it took two efforts for us to find anchorage – where the cruise was nice, the darkness complicated the tie-down process – another reminder to look for a place earlier and to be tied down by 6. We found ourselves in an area where you could be fifty yards away from an island, and then you’re stuck in the mud…. real mud – the kind that just hangs on to you (almost black and ‘oily-like’).  

 – this is where we learned (or were reminded) that the railroad still runs along the river and the nearer to a city you are – the more they blow their horns at crossings.  So through the wee hours of the night – wooooo wooooooo, wooooo wooooooooo, – “doggone trains!”

We keep learning the smaller things, like get away from the city, tie-down early, and come in parallel to ‘ wing-dams.’


This morning, while Tom was preparing the ‘trigger’ on the coffee pot, he saw a cruiser heading our way at a pretty good clip creating a large wake running up the shore towards us.  He said it appeared as though it would throw us up onto the mud-bar – so he hollered at me in a very urgent manner. I sprang from bed like a new rookie on the firetruck and just as I leaped over the bow into the mud, Tom said “WAIT, it’s ok.” ……. wakeup call…thanks Tom! Later, of course, it provided us with a decent laugh.

Drifting and Perking

I went ahead and set us adrift since I was already in the water. So, its early morning and we are adrift with coffee perking – drifting towards Ft. Madison Iowa.

We stopped in nearby Fort Madison, Ia. so Tom could find a plug and download some things for the blog. I needed my breakfast and constitution. We talked to a few folks hanging out around the bar and dock, several which had recently lost their jobs in a company that made steel plates for construction machines – so they were having a beverage at 11 am (hey, its five o’clock somewhere).


We passed the renovated Fort that was once part of their history. ESPN, as we found out, was coming here this week to televise a large fishing tournament – that was the buzz around the town..


We pointed the “bird” down river, and at idle speed we took to the current – headed south at 5 miles an hour…….believe it or not, it’s plenty fast enough.  Tom put Patrick in the Captains chair, tied the steering wheel and let him drive a while so we could play some cards – I’m ahead at the moment in Rummie – five games to 500 – loser has to jump in (if you saw the water you would understand).

We passed the 350 mile point for the upper portion of the river, my original half-way point – we’ve been really fortunate to have the cool and gentle breeze at our back and made superb time –


We stopped later for a wait prior to lock 19 ( a drop of 36 feet) at The Keokuk Marina, nice folks there –




It was an informative stop just before the lock. They suggested that we go to a place called “The Purple Cow” after the lock for refreshment – of course we had visions of a place as nice as this Marina – but what we found was on the far end of the scale.  We think that it was a little purple building along the river, but there was only a beer sign and a couple of folks ‘pitchin horseshoes – wasn’t sure so we looked further, by that time we were too far passed – river only flows one way.


So we cooked rice and bullion on board as we floated, it was pretty good. Later we  found a great place and threw the anchor out – didn’t hear one train all night.

So off to Day 8 – all is fine on board, no mud fights yet – putting southward – and continuing to work on new and exciting mixed beverage combination’s. Life is deffinately good!


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