Day 5, Lock 14 to Muscatine, Iowa

Previous Day

Miles Covered:  um 491- to um 455 (37 miles)

Closest towns or landmark (chart): Island outside of Lock 14 to Muscatine, Ia.

Original Post date: June 3

Last night we settled just outside of Lock 14 on the ‘inside’ of a small island – that’s where we left one warped and worn-out bar stool before heading down river to Muscatine.  Again, not a high pace day, just an easy clip with the breeze once again at our back and a setting alive with an abundance of white pelicans.


It all started once again with a simple vessel organization (like the FD clean-up routine we are so use to) and then out to and down the river.  We may have been spoiled with the breakfast’s so far on the ‘upper’ Mississippi, but on this date and even though we were near Davenport, Ia – we couldn’t locate breakfast (‘land-food’) riverside.  Thinking that one restaurant was open (because a fire truck was in the lot) we stopped and ambled on up to the door – it was the Davenport Fire Department doing a pre-incident plan.  Aw well, the guys walked back out to the river wall where we spoke a few minutes before shoving off – still, we remained hungry.

Wasn’t long before we were into the co-co puffs and soft Oreo’s that had been staring back at us from our improvised ‘bar’ area – I was good with soft cookies/milk and Carl was ok with co-co puffs from a cup, with milk .  Yes Mom, I brushed my teeth (she kept an eye on us during the trip).


From Lock 14 we began to pick up a few mayflies (Hexagenia mayflies) small flying nuisances (but not biting) of insects that just like to hang around – seems to bother Carl more than myself, I figure they will move on with the right wind.


Example of the hexagenia mayfly invasion in 2017, the @72 hour lifespan of these critters can be a nuisance to all that is covered – on the positive side it is said that the perpetual summer life-cycle is a sign of a healthy river…

On the freebird I am finding that computer concentration time is limited too, so I make some quick crummy notes to ‘jog’ my memory and plan to return later to ‘color it in’ with memory/association.  ”Absorbing all that I see seems to be the top priority of each day.

Without the sunshine the past few days the battery dedicated to our electrical inverter is running low too – camera battery is down also, please send the sun… today it was 66 cloudy with occasional rain – even so it all remains very awesome, fun, and simply entertaining as the river continues to carry us gently southward.”

There are marina’s along the ‘upper’ Mississippi, occasional opportunities to change the rhythm of the day by simply stopping to ‘top-off’ our fuel tanks.  At this lonesome marina the sign on the unattended shack stated to “push the buzzer,'” well I did and the result was a BLAST from the FOG HORN! just above my head – after all that peace, I jumped a mile! – a good laugh for Carl.


Our Huckster buddy’s from college are just now getting to the Mississippi near Prescott, Wi, they have a neat and very arduous adventure ahead of them; we wish them perseverance with it.


As we “locked through” lock 16 there was another boat making a similar trek, the ‘French-Quarter.’ These guys were having a blast and working their way to the Gulf, via the Tenn-Tom –


Moving much slower and with the town in sight, a ‘one-with-the-river’ was in order, didn’t take but a minute – and I was glad of it later.  We proceeded to the Muscatine, and the comfort of their harbor.

At Muscatine, Iowa we entered the protected harbor and tied-down, then spent the rest of day and evening roaming the streets stores and bars of this historical little town..


We visited the local pubs, The Pearl, the Hubble, and the Button Factory – seems years ago they made buttons from clam shells collected from the Mississippi – a lost business, now a restaurant.  The folks were interesting and the beverage made us feel a little more at home…


Thank goodness it was just Tuesday or I think we would still be out roaming the streets – even came close to getting a tattoo.

The other boaters Tom, Holly, and Pat aboard the French Quarters were great conversation during the evening and later on their boat –  it felt nice to be a part of the ‘dockside’ community, a great ‘feel’ to it.


Somehow the day and ‘river-life’ felt a little more complete, even though it was my first visit to Muscatine – it felt like I had closed one of those ‘little-circles‘ in life.


Once in bed and asleep – our vessel felt as fine as any other.


Noted ‘Towboats’ for the Day;

The Deana Ann

The Tom Behringer

The John M Rivers

The Reggie G

The Show Me State

The Samantha

Next post, Day 6 to near Dallas Island

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