Day 7 – near Dallas Island to Polly Island

Miles Covered:  um 389- to um 345 (44 miles)

Closest towns or landmark (chart): just past Dallas island to Polly island

Original Post date: June 5


Day seven; after cruising late into the late evening from Burlington, it took two efforts to find solid anchorage – where the cruise was nice, the darkness complicated the ‘tie-down’ process – another reminder to stop earlier and to be moored long before nightfall.  Doing so, there will be more river moments to enjoy.

We found ourselves in an area where you could be fifty yards away from an island, and then you’re stuck in the mud…. – the kind of mud that clings to you (black and ‘oily-like’).  We ended up along a nearby island and had a decent nights sleep – 

We keep learning the smaller things – like get away from the city, tie-down early, and come in parallel to ‘ wing-dams.’


and we continue to be reminded that the railroad still runs along the river, the nearer to a city you are – the more they blow their horns at crossings.  So all through the wee hours of the night – wooooo wooooooo, wooooo wooooooooo, – “doggone trains!”

It was real early and as I prepared the coffee maker when I noticed a cruiser approaching in the distance, it was not quite plained-out and at that mediocre speed ‘bow-up’ creating a large running wake which was rolling down the shoreline.  It appeared as though this wake would throw our vessel further onto the mud-bar – so I hollered and Carl sprang from bed like a rookie on the firetruck.  Carl jumped out of bed and flew into action crossing the deck and plopped into the mud.  Of course as he was in the air over our bow when I said “WAIT! – it’s going to be ok”……. wakeup call…

He was in it – So Carl set us adrift since he was already knee-deep in mud.  This didn’t change our mornings, which are special – coffee and drifting.  The black mud is hard to get  off and that enhanced the conversation (and laughs) of the morning – ask Carl.

Next stop was Fort Madison, Ia. allowing me some computer time, Carl was pressing for a breakfast and constitution – so as Carl ambled off to a diner.


I remained to download some pictures and spoke with a few folks which were hanging around the bar and dock.  These folks had recently lost their jobs with a company that made steel plates for heavy equipment – now they were having a beverage at 11 am instead (hey, its five o’clock somewhere).


Once on the river we passed the recreated Fort that was once part of the local history, the city has done a real nice job on the park.  The other buzz around town was of the network ESPN’s anticipated visit this week to televise a fishing tournament..


Pointing the ‘bird’ down river and at idle speed we took to the current – south at 5 miles an hour……believe it or not, it’s plenty fast enough.  It was  possible to put Patric in the Captains chair and tie the steering wheel so that we could ‘throw’ several hands of cards – Carl’s ahead at the moment, five games to 500 – loser has to jump in (if you saw the water you would understand).

Passed the 350 mile marker for the Upper River, Carl’s ½ way point – we’ve been really fortunate to have the cool and gentle breeze at our back and made superb time –


Moniker stop here, and then another stop later at the Keokuk Marina to wait for lock 19 ( a drop of 36 feet) to open.



It was an informative visit just before the lock, they suggested that we go to The Purple Cow after the lock for refreshment – of course Carl and I looked forward to it with the visions of place as nice as this Marina


We think that it was a little purple building along the river where some locals were pitching horseshoes in the sand, but there was only a small beer sign and dockage looked uninviting – wasn’t sure, and with that moved along with the current – river only flows one way.


So we cooked rice and bullion, a poor second choice but it was still pretty good.

.… still hunting some grits.




So off to Day 8 – all is fine on board, no mud fights yet – putting southward – and continuing to work on new and exciting mixed beverage combination’s.


Noted ‘Towboats’ for the Day;

The Virginia Ingram

The Norma Christina

The Bernard G

The Issaquena

The Jennie K

Next post, Days 8,9 to Hannibal

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