Day 391: Monday, September 30, 2013
Port to Port: Little Soup Bone Island to Dubuque, Iowa
Underway: 6:53 am Motor Off: 1:58 pm Miles Traveled: 38 Stayed At: Marina
First Things First: Saw our fist gigantic preying mantis – it was huge.
Mile 542 to Mile 580: Another chilly start today but, again, the temps rose into the low 70’s making for shorts and t-shirt weather by late morning. The sun is still intense at this time of year especially when you are out in it all day.
We made steady, wind-assisted progress mostly north again today. We were actually cruising at or just below 6 mph upstream for short bursts today. Thankfully there wasn’t significant fog this morning so we could get an early start. Traffic was light again with only a few fishing boats, the Twilight and one tow passing us during the day. The scenery is beautiful with just barely turning trees, high bluffs and lots of small islands. It’s hard to believe that in a month or two all the leaves will be gone and the ground could be white in places.
We arrived at the Dubuque Municipal Marina early in the afternoon giving us time to get some boat projects done and have time to wander around town. This is a high quality marina – they spent more on the aluminum ramps down to the docks than most marinas spend on there entire system of docks. We stayed here last fall for free because they had not opened yet (they missed the whole season). We didn’t mind. This time it cost us $1/foot but everything was open and working. What was surprising was that there were only two boats in the entire marina – a couple less than last fall. It is late in the season but most of the marinas we have been to still have had most of their boats in the water. Downtown Dubuque is not a huge boating destination but hopefully they will figure out a way to attract some business. It is one of the nicest facilities we have been in all year.
We wandered around exploring and ended up splurging on the buffet at the nearby casino. It always sounds better than it is but we enjoyed it and won’t have to eat for a day or two (but we will anyways, I’m sure). We are within spitting distance of the southern Wisconsin border – we should pass it 10 minutes after leaving the marina tomorrow morning. Now we just have to get to the Minnesota border. But we can’t get home before Wednesday of next week. Sarah has a business trip on Monday and Tuesday so we will have to suffer and slow down and enjoy the scenery an extra day or two. Rough life.