Boating Down The Mississippi June 2018

June 19-30 Brother Dave and Phil headed down the mighty Mississippi River in Dave's boat. 
June is a really nice cool time to do this trip with few (this time no) mosquitos. 
We run Dave's unsailboat (sailboat without a mast) with two nice quiet Johnson 9.9 four stroke motors.
We cooked, slept and lived onboard.



The Mississippi river 30 miles north of Winona
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We put in at St. Paul and meandered down 200 miles to Prairie du Chien, Iowa
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In St. Paul you see majestic buildings and interesting other sites (a private boat built by Disney)

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During an island lunch stop at Hudson, Wis. we mixed with a sailing school and a dozen avid 8-12 yr old sailor's
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We also made a 50 mile side trip up the St. Croix River

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That evening we stayed in a quiet cove at Stillwater, Minn

Stillwater, is a real old fashioned river town, with all the river attractions.
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On that June week night, all those river boats went out, filled for dinner cruses.

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The next evening we spent moored in a very nice (and inexpensive $15) marina in Red Wing. MN
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Then on down the river meeting large river boats, and on into Lake Pepin, 30 by3 miles
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We were lucky to arrive at Lake City, on Lake Pepin, during "Water Ski Days",
a many decades long annual event. The was a carnival, music, dancing and eats.
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Lake City Marina at Dusk

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Next, we overnighted on a beach south of Lake Pepin.
We spent the evening with many other boaters over nighting there.
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During our trip we passed through 8 dams, all with locks. As we approached, we would call Ch 14 VHF and ask to lock through. Sometimes we were told there were barges coming through and we would have to wait 1-2 hours. But a lot of the time they would simply open the upper lock gates and let us in. Then they would open huge under water valves to let the water out of the lock until we dropped to the lower level. Normally that would be 4-6 ft, but during our trip the river was at flood stage and the dams were wide open. Finally, they would open the lower gate and let us out.


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Fountain City  and Winona with a "Tow" of barges

Our night in Winona was spent back in what looked like a "bayou",
because the flood waters were coming over the islands, and through the trees surrounding us.
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On that island, there were many fairly nice floating homes.
They were safe from the flood if they did not get swept away.
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Lunch on a beach, as we waited for a lock to be free.
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Just north of La Crosse we stopped and and climbed Trempealeau Mountain.

The rain that day was cool and refreshing


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The next night we spent tied to a tree in a flooded beautiful park in La Crosse, Wis. See our boat above.
From there we walked to a large food store to replenish our supplies.


The next day we shopped at the "Driftless" Museum.
It depicted the area we covered in our trip, where the most recent continental glacier simply missed.
That is why there is very unique geology there, including bluffs on both sides of the river and very unique rocks.


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Every night we would hear that we were just at the crest of that flood.
It was about 4-5 ft above normal.
We rode the crest for 200 miles, almost doubling our land speed.
Heavy rains in Wisconsin has broken a dam and caused the flood.
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Blackhawk Park near De Soto, Wis, normally a beautiful area, was covered with 4 ft of water
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We spent the night near that park in a beautiful "bayou". Full moon at midnight above.




Sunset on the Mississippi, near Lansing, Iowa


On our way back, in Winona, Minn, we hit a wild thunder storm.
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Before, and a few minutes later.