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    Day 5 trains gotta cross the river too
from Beartrap  
7/21/2012 11:04:38 AM



lot of the pivot type railroad bridges on upper river..


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   Day 5 "lucky Indian arrow" from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:06:48 AM

it came floating by when I was stopped for the first my grandson has "lucky Indian arrow" on his wall....


   day 5 this 5 year old rainsuit from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:17:06 AM

I'm a big "unpaid" fan of Cabelas rainsuits....I believe it rained 14 out of 18 days and I spent many hours running 20-25 mph with rain beating against that suit and I never got wet...


   day 5...towboat entering lock from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:18:38 AM

this towboat is headed downriver...


   Day 5....towboat in the lock from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:24:24 AM

notice all you can see is top of towboat superstructure as the lock is letting the water out and lowering the towboat and barges down to the level of the downstream pool.....when it reaches that level,they will open the gates and he will head downstream....typically it took about two hours for a towboat to lock through...most of the time consumed was them jockeying into position inside the lock and tieing the barges off.........usually took me about 20 minutes from time I entered the lock until I was able to exit........


   Day 5...took this guy a little longer to make the trip from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:29:26 AM

Hans Hlawty started in May at the headwaters of the Miss. about 125 miles above Minneapolis and finished in early October.....he could travel about 40 miles each day and he had to take a month off...due to flooding,they closed the main river at St. Louis so Hans stored his boat,flew home for a month then came back and resumed his trip...


   Day 5 you can rent a horse and buggy from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:32:32 AM

in Muscatine,Iowa but you can't rent a taxi...the closest motel was 8 miles away and no way to get closest motel was two locks and 50 miles downriver...


   Day 5 not a very good picture from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:34:28 AM

but Burlington,Iowa right before dark was welcome sight......


   Day 5 journal from Beartrap   7/21/2012 11:38:24 AM
Day 5......Wind Gods smiled but motel and rain Gods frowned

Interesting day...lot happened good today and some not so good....wake up at 6 a.m and hear
thunder ... not a good sign....get my stuff together and Gary takes me to marina...load my stuff in
boat and skies open up accompanied by thunder and lightning..Mike Nestor pulls up and tells me
to hop in his car and ride out the storm...I've already thanked Gary profusely for everything so I
hop hour and half we resume our conversations about hunting and about 9 a.m. the rain
lets up. I push off and idle out as Mike takes pictures......turn south into light rain but thankfully
no wind....
9:40 a.m reach lock 13 and ockmaster tells me it will be two hour wait which I had expected...see
my first bass boat, a Gambler heading north up on the pad (for the non-fisherman, that's a man
and his toy, i.e. fisherman in a bass boat running over 60 mph throwing a roostertail of water
behind the boat).... sky starts to brighten and rainsuit comes off. ... Had passed a kayak a few
miles upstream and he comes into view and pulls into same cove above the lock that I'm floating
in....We introduce ourselves and he turns out to be Hans Hlawaty from Corvallis, Ore...a bright
young man probaly in his late 20's. He's on his way to New Orleans in a "pedal type"
kayak...Hans said he started at Lake Ixtaxca, headwaters of the river on May 15....He said in the
real world, he worked in the movie industry "casting characters" but decided to "quit his job, piss
away his savings and go on a big adventure"......he added that he hiked the Pacific trail from
Canada to Mexico leading a pack mule last year and tries to call his wife each night.. (Mrs.
Hlawaty, wherever you are, you win "Understanding Wife of the Trip" by a landslide).. he is
camping out along the river this year and makes me feel a little guilty for finding a motel each
night but Hans has a lot less birthdays and body fat than me.....get call several days later from
Hans, he asked how my trip was going and said he was stuck in St. Louis because they had
closed the river to pleasure boats right after I had gone through there...He asked about strength of
current in Ohio river and was considering hiring someone to take him below the closed zone on
Miss. River and possibly try going up Ohio, Tenn. rivers and down the Tombigbee.
Amusing thing happened when we finally got in lock....I was first in the lock, followed by Hans,
then a small cabin cruiser....We were holding on to the lock wall ropes and woman was standing
on front deck of the cabin cruiser, all within earshot of each other...Hans and I were talking about
size of our boats and Hans mentioned he would like to have a bigger boat like mine and I replied
that I'd like to have a bigger boat like the cabin cruiser and the woman laughed and said, we'd
like to have a bigger boat, too.... all agreed, boat owners are never satisfied with the size of their
11:40 a.m. lock opens, I wave goodbye to Hans and head south.... 12:10 p.m. pass Albany, Ill at
mile marker 513.5 and slow to take a picture...rain returns and I put rainsuit back on...1:10 lock
14..lockmaster directs me to go back upriver and use auxiliary lock...I idle back 200 yards and go
down a long idle zone then have to thread my way through numerous Corp of Engineer barges,
towboats and dredge boats to find entrance of lock....right ahead of me, a small cabin cruiser tries
to cross behind a towboat that is pushing a barge into position..the prop wash almost slams him
into another barge but he is alert enough to give his boat full throttle and his stern misses being
slammed into a barge by inches....the towboat operator sees me approaching and radios for me to
hold up and he will back off so I can cross his wake....I thank him but I wasn't about to cross
until he shut his engine down. My boat Dumarse ain't got enough horses to try that.....rain is
getting harder as I enter lock....the boater stops right in front of me in the lock, and when he
comes out on rear deck, I tell him he did a great job missing that barge.....he's an older guy and
says "that one almost caught me sleeping at the wheel."
2:20 p.m approach Quad cities area..I had taken a picture of the river as Scott and I had crossed
on interstate 80 bridge so I slowed to take a picture from water level (see photo gallery)...switch
tanks after 115 miles with probably two gallons left in front tank...Locks 15 and 16 go quickly,
I'm in and out in less than 30 minutes at each...river still calm and able to run almost top
speed...sun starts to peek through and off comes rain suit.
4:30 p.m. approach Muscatine, Iowa, and call Holiday Inn to send shuttle to Marina at municipal
harbour....I had called a month previously and lady at Holiday Inn had told me "no problem, they
would send shuttle to pick me up"...this time Holiday Inn doesn't know what I'm talking
about..they don't have a shuttle, the motel is eight miles from the harbor and there is no taxi
service in Muscatine...I check my river guide for options and it's 50 miles downstream and two
locks's 5 p.m. and I'm not real sure i can make it before dark....I've got enough gas but
not a lot to spare.
I shave every buoy downstream (taking the shortest route possible) and get through the lock
lock 18...I approach the lock and see a towboat just upstream from the lock waiting to go through
and another tow emerging headed upstream....hadn't done this before but I ask the lockmaster if I
could go ahead of the tow or I'm gonna be stuck out here after dark...the lockmaster radios the
captain of the Sierra Don and asked him, and the captain said go ahead ... thank the Captain...and
if we ever meet off the river...the beer is on me....8:10 p.m... pull into Bluff harbor marina, no
one around but I tie off and call A2Z cab company.
By the time I get my stuff loaded and up the gangplank to parking lot, a nice older lady shows up
in a cab that has seen better days. It's about a 20-year-old small Buick that spit and sputtered
when she gave it gas and the front end shimmied so much we couldn't go over 40 mph but it got
us to the Howard Johnson Motel, which the cab driver had assured me was the most convenient
for having restaurants nearby....As always, the desk clerk tells me they have rooms and the
Internet worked...this was one of those motels with a huge indoor swimming pool and there must
have been 200 kids in that pool screaming and yelling..I find out why in the morning....they
assign me a room way down at far end of motel on outside..I look across the parking lot and a
whole wing of the motel was boarded up...Check Internet connection and it was so weak, I
couldn't log desk and asked to be moved..they move me up nearer the office and Internet
still doesn't the office and ask them to reboot the system and they tell me, as cheap
motels always do..."you can use the Internet in the lobby"..and my reply was, "If my shower
doesn't work in the morning, do I get to use the swimming pool.?" ....had it been earlier, I would
have checked out and walked across the highway to a Holiday Inn Express but I was tired and
decided not to...had texted family/friends earlier that I was off water...walk across street to
Mexican restaurant even though I don't particularly want Mexican food...order a taco and burrito,
which either wasn't bad or I was hungrier than I thought....decide then and there to award
Howard Johnson in Burlington, Iowa, the dump motel award of the trip....and that was before I
tried to eat breakfast there the next morning...text my brother to put something on Bass fishing
home page that I didn't have Internet access and turn lights off at 11 p.m.
140 miles today and went through 6 locks.. from the best motel of the trip to the worst in one
day.....trying to keep in mind, "the difference between ordeal and adventure is attitude"
attitude is pretty crappy tonight.




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