Paddling Along With Huck Finn

Day 386: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Port to Port: Keokuk to Oquawka, Iowa

Underway: 6:52 am      Motor Off: 4:54 pm      Miles Traveled: 50      Stayed At: Anchor

Mile 365 to Mile 415: We have been so incredibly lucky so far on the Mississippi – the weather has been phenomenal, the traffic light and Aurora and Boris keep chugging along. Today was no different – bright sunshine, wispy clouds, borderline hot by the afternoon and light winds. The piece of wood trim we keep knocking on is starting to get a dent worn in it.

We left early as usual just behind Randy on Timeless. He was soon way ahead and out of sight – he planned to go 90 miles today so we probably won’t see him again. We started noticing our first fall colors today. They are faint but some trees are definitely starting to change adding some variations in the green we see all over the hills and cliffs. The Mississippi is a gem that not many people get to enjoy. It is a bit of a challenge to navigate but, as long as you stay in the channel and use caution and a little local knowledge when you can find it, it is fun to explore.

We thought of stopping in Burlington but we didn’t need anything and we were making good progress. At least they had some nice courtesy docks to use, unlike many towns along the river. Our first anchor spot – the same one we used last fall – would have allowed us to avoid going through any locks today but we arrived there by 2 pm – way too early to stop on an ideal travel day. Plus a nice bridge operator at the Burlington swing bridge told us the lock wasn’t expecting any tows soon so we kept traveling 5 miles to the lock and were glad we did. We didn’t even have to slow down – we just motored right on in and we were out the other end in about 15 minutes. Well worth the hour travel. Our only challenge now was finding a new spot to stay for the night. There are a lot on wing dams, shallow water and stump fields surrounding the islands in this part of the river. We first spent time checking for any docks in Oquawka but they were too shallow (even for us) so we backtracked and slowly motored in behind a U-shaped wing dam in front of a small island. Thankfully, the wing dams are 4-5 feet above the water so they are easy to see and there weren’t any stumps in our chosen area. In fact, it was one of the best anchorages we have had so far on the Mississippi.

We enjoyed one of our favorite dinners – beef tips with rice – al fresco sitting in the cockpit watching the sunset get more and more stunning. We were serenaded by the ubiquitous cicadas on the islands surrounding us. Tomorrow we stop in Muscatine IA. And, instead of a 50 mile day, we have whittled that down to only 40 miles by “working” a little harder today. Rough life we live.

In Passing:  Nauvoo, Devil’s Island, Fort Madison, Lead Island Chute, Turkey Island, Goose Pond, Dollar Island, Two Mile Island (not the radioactive one), Willow Bar, Honey Creek Bar, Baby Rush Island, Burlington.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>