Our Current Location

On a the link bar (to your right) you will find a route to see Our current location (WHERE WE ARE), check it out as we travel the river (and you may even get a little highway).

We’re enroute….

Kentucky migrants

Kentucky migrants

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On your mark……

This week;

Monday – Memorial Day Holiday, final pack – Mom/Kristi made a great afternoon lunch which we shared with Richard (Janis was working) – mowed the yard (will really miss mowing!!!), generally taking it easy with a beverage remembering little things………..

Tuesday – Normal work-day, 24 hours

Wednesday – Time to migrate North, leave from work and up the asphalt (or concrete) highway, travel day/nite.

Thursday – Arrive in La Crosse, Wi,  hopefully with some rest – final assembly in the Best Western Parking lot’- enjoy the evening. and a final nights rest in a real bed

Friday – the river adventure begins… Jason and Brian return with the truck

Saturday – a day and a night on the river, 56 more to go.

Sunday – be thankful as we appreciate the wonders around us

Note: Our friends the Hucksters have shoved off – two young men fresh out of college with a whole life ahead of them, in a canoe – enroute from upper Wisconsin to Nawleans – hope to catch up with them along the way.

(Water temperature at St Louis today, 71 degrees)

Two weeks to ‘go’ ….

I’m about as ready to go as I can be – but still, two more weeks.  One more run of extra shifts to work, but from there it should be clear sailing, to speak.  All the ‘gear’ is in one place, mostly loaded on the truck – new wheel bearings on the trailer, boat motor serviced and prepared, truck serviced and tires rotated.  The road part concerns me as much as the river part – not the traveling because I love to cover the miles – but just the little things that cause breakdowns along the way.  My Dad was an ‘old-school’ traveler, always traveling with an extra quart of oil, can of tobacco, water, tools, and crackers/peanut butter – which on more than one occasion were used to get us there or back. I plan on ‘babying’ the truck for the long ride, and if it goes as well as the 60 mile ride from the lake (the bird pulled easily in tow) it should be fine.

Motor Maintenance

Motor Maintenance

Two firefighters (Jason and Brian) are helping me get the bird to Wisconsin and then returning 1000 miles with the truck, their help is invaluable and much appreciated.  We have done a lot of kidding around the past few months around the fire station about the long day/night ride in the truck (“like migrant workers”), and travel food arraignments (“crackers and peanut butter”), and bathroom needs (“we’ll throw you an empty milk-jug”) – yet they have remained steadfast and loyal for the task.  I have done nothing to make the ride sound glamorous (“expect the worse”) – as I’ve said about it all, expect crude – we’ll work up (the trip for me is a break from ‘expectations’).

Migrant Quarters

Migrant Quarters

Plans are to leave from work the 27th, drive all night and then assemble the bird in the Best Western parking lot the following afternoon – Carl aka riverdog will ‘fly in’ (wuss) and meet us there, all ‘fresh’ and ready to go – I guess the first round (or two) maybe even supper will be on him.  Then after a final night in a real bed (for two months) we will “shoot-the-bird” and start the river trek – Jason and Brian will return with the truck.

While on the river thirty miles a day would be a clean average, leaving room too for days that we could remain in place for one reason or another (visiting, or recreational reasons) and of course ‘Mother Nature.’   I’m hoping that last year was the year for long-term closures of the locks due to spring storms and flooding – and thinking that this doesn’t occur every year, maybe this year could be the one for a clean run.

We will keep you up with our adventures each and every day that we have internet service – which I believe will be frequent on the Upper Mississippi, and sporadic on the Lower Part – within it all I expect every bit of wet, incredible, miserable, wonderful, boring, awesome, frightening, fun, impressive, surreal, and in the end, fulfilling – please stay tuned as we find the appropriate words of description to complete our list…….……

BacShortly bird

Bac in a few months

(River temp 66 degrees at St Louis)

Out of the Nest

I’m wondering if it I should call it a boathouse or a birdhouse….. but anyway with the beginning of spring showers and thunderstorms the level of the lake is up a few inches, and yes, being that I built it IN the boathouse (or birdhouse) the getting her out of the nest was looking like a challenge.

The high water had her locked in and with rain continuing for the next few days the water was only getting higher.  I couldn’t wait for the water to go down, so as I went to bed last night I contemplated sawing a hole in the boathouse to get it out – only lacked about 5 inches.

Prodding........

Prodding........

Funny how things come to you when you get just away from it, after resting on the thought I found just the right tool – a large trough filled with water, maybe the weight would lower it enough…………and  it worked…..

Pontoon with a bilge !........

Pontoon with a bilge !........

So ‘she’s out of the nest and loaded, even had a few chill bumps (“chicken skin”) as I putted over to the dock thinking about the next time it will be in the water –

Nestled.....

Nestled.....

– we’ll be migrating down the Great Mississippi.

Post soon

Another post and pictures of our own soon – I promise, next week I will head to the lake and remove the ‘bird’ and bring her home – then final prep, maintenance, thinning and a next to final cut of any unnecessary weight/accessories/baggage.

I have taken on lots of extra work over the past few months, this has dissapated my focus and posting as I would like – it has also left me somewhat ‘burnt’ and ‘frayed’ from all the hours – so I’m eager to blend back into the mindset of that lazy current – 26 days to go (on the river May 29th) and then we can kick it all into ‘neutral’

How to find neutral

How to find neutral

 

we can ‘cast our lines’ – then spend at least 57 days/nights, coasting in ‘neutral’ on and along ‘The Great River, ‘ Minnesota to Nawleans our goal…………..

so just a short note, I’ve not forgotton this very large part of it – there will be plenty of pictures (our own) and words each day when we begin, promise.

– the moment can’t get here fast enough.

BacShortly

(water temp 61 degrees at St Louis)