The epic saga continues for the boys as Missouri is just off in the distance. Since we’ve last posted, the boys have cruised a solid 75 miles, hunkered down in a ridiculous storm and putted in on fumes to our last marina. With a strong northernly wind and our trusty Evinrude motor, we flew through the second half of Iowa. Jerry-rigging some pulleys by the motor, we’ve been able to control the direction from the interior cabin and even the front deck.
Yesterday, just north of Burlington, we become alerted to heavy cloud masses heading our direction. Monitoring the situation while still pushing forward, lighting sparked violently and thunder rocked our ears seconds after. “Not a good sign, perhaps she’ll pass before we get there.” Flowing on, the visibility weaken and greyed, it began raining over Burlington. The river grew intensely choppy and boats quickly flew to their destinations. “Lets wait this one out, I’m heading to shore to anchor.” Within five minutes, just after throwing the anchor into the sandy beach, a fury of rain and wake unleashed from the south. Still tossing rain tarps over two of the raft sidewalls, battling a 30+ mph wind burst, our anchor began to lose its grip..sliding off the shore. “Oh sh$!!” Nothing but downed trees and stumps in the direction we were heading. Rushing to the anchor, it took both of us to tug the raft back in position and set the anchor again. Whew! Soaked and finally sheltered, we waited twenty minutes for the storm to dump.
This heavy afternoon storm produced a rainbow on the river right next to us. We could actually see the end of the rainbow..sadly, there was no gold for us, only five-foot swells raging up from the south. Departing, we rodeo rafted the swells and chop a mile to Burlington where two cops cars eagerly greeted us. “Someone call about a raft sinking..and WHAT kind of dog is that!?” Haha, we must have scared a few bystanders, but our raft was as solid as ever. After settling the locals’ fears about us sinking in the rain storm, we took a break to walk around with Skully. Following the storm, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset that mirrored itself off the still water (Skully too).
As for tonight, the welcoming Keokuk Yacht Club has given us slip space for night, pizza and hot showers after we tackled roughly 5 miles of the widest section of the Upper Mississippi (Lake Cooper)! Tomorrow, we descend 20 feet through the rivers’ largest Lock and Hydro-dam (Lock #19). This concrete fortress and the city of Keokuk is all that stands in the way of us and Missouri. Bring it on!
Bridges crossed so far: 22
Number of items lost off our raft due to high wind: 3 (luckily just towels)
Hot showers taken: 3, thank you Dubuque, Lindsay Park and Keokuk Yacht Clubs!!
Times we’ve thought the coast was clear to go #1, accidentally flashing a patient fisherman, or an older couple relaxing on their boat: Twice
Word of the day: “WHOOPSIES!”