It ain’t big enough

It ain’t big enough

11-Jul-2021 Sunday Wabasha City Marina (~UMR mile 759) to Wabasha Parkside Marina (~UMR mile 760) (1.3 nautical miles 1.5 statute miles)

44°23’11.5″N 92°02’27.1″W
44.386527, -92.040848
Elevation: 666 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet
States (1): Minnesota

Locks (0):
Thank goodness

Destination Mississippi River Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 70
Remaining number of Locks: 2

Along the Way

We just can’t seem to get way from BUGS!!!

The boat lift at the Wabasha City Marina wasn’t large enough to pull out yes dear… so we can switch out the props. We needed to move to Parkside Marina on the north end of Wabasha.

Dale opened the lift door to the cockpit storage/genny compartment door to pull something out. Ugh! It was lined with mayfly carcasses. There is no escaping these bugs.

Neighbors

Parkside Marina is really green with lots of bottom weeds too. The water is low and it has been hot. Prime weather for growing weeds.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

  • Bald eagles have a wingspan of 5 to 8 feet long and a body that ranges from 2 feet to just over 3 feet long.
  • The female bald eagles are larger than the males. On average, male bald eagles weigh 25 percent less than females.  Females weigh around 13 pounds, while the males weigh around 9 pounds.
  • Bald eagles live around 20 to 30 years old in the wild. Captive individuals have been known to live longer, with one eagle almost reaching the age of 50.
  • Bald eagle pairs typically bond for life around 4 or 5 years of age.
  • Bald eagles build the largest nest of any North American bird. Nests have been found that are as deep as 13 feet and up to 8 feet wide. Some bald eagle’s nests can weigh as much as 2000 pounds!
  • Once an egg hatches, the baby eagle will be confined to the nest anywhere between 8 to 14 weeks before fledging (taking their first flight).
  • Once they can fly, the parents will continue bringing the juveniles food and providing protection for another six weeks! During this time, they continue to develop their flying and hunting skills before heading off on their own.
  • Bald eagles can fly as high as 10,000 feet.
  • While on the hunt for prey, eagles can dive up to 100 miles per hour. But in regular flight, they can travel about 30 miles per hour.
  • Bald have two centers of focus. This gives them the ability to see forward and to the side simultaneously.
  • Bald eagles can swim, sort of. Eagles have hollow bones and fluffy down, so they can float pretty well.

We didn’t see ANY eagles around Wabasha.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call an eagle that plays the piano?
Talon-ted!

Canawanagetthere

Canawanagetthere

10-Jul-2021 Saturday DeSoto Bay WI (~UMR mile 662) to Wabasha City Marina (~UMR mile 759) (89.5 nautical miles 103.0 statute miles)

44°22’43.4″N 92°01’09.8″W
44.378725, -92.019401
Elevation: 666 feet feet Elevation change: 26 feet
States (3): Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota

Locks (6):
Lock 8 – mile 679, Genoa, WI
Lock 7 – mile 703, La Crescent, MN and Onalaska, WI
Lock 6 – mile 714, Trempealeau, WI
Lock 5A – mile 728, Fountain City, WI and Goodview, MN
Lock 5 – mile 738, Minnesota City, MN
Lock 4 – mile 753, Alma, WI

Destination Mississippi River Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 71
Remaining number of Locks: 2

Along the Way

We picked the world’s worst anchorage last night. We knew there would be trains. (Along the rivers there always are.) We hadn’t expected them blowing their horn for EVERY little road they crossed. We also hadn’t expected the factory whistles and other industrial noises all night. (For the record, we couldn’t see the factory from the river.)

We’d been feeling pretty smug about no bugs for the past couple of of days. Then this happened. Last night we were inundated again by mayflies. Our nice clean boat 🙁

At least we weren’t inundated with other pesky little bugs.

Sunrise was about 5:30am this morning. It was 61 degrees. Days are noticeably longer, earlier mornings later nights. We are further up north than we’ve been for a long time.

There must have been a bass fishing contest today. Bass boats were as plentiful as mayflies before we got underway.

It started as another bleak day and was pretty much a bleak day all day. The scenery was phenomenal. It looks a whole lot like the upper Hudson River valley.

Lock 8 – mile 679, Genoa, WI

Sand dredge islands. The dredgers need someplace to put the sand. There are a fair amount of them and they are huge. This is the only area on our entire trip where we see this singular formation.

Lock 7 – mile 703, La Crescent, MN and Onalaska, WI

Lock 7 was another lock we got to sit and enjoy the view for an hour until the southbound barge pushed out. There were 6 rec boats waiting go up and another 7 at the top waiting to go down. We had to tie up, rather than float through, because there were other boats in the lock with us. Locks are a lot faster if you can float through.

It lightly rained off and on throughout the day.

Lock 6 – mile 714, Trempealeau, WI

Trempealeau was celebrating Catfish Days. The lock was open for visitors to explore. There were a lot of visitors exploring.

The day warmed up but it never got sunny. Leave it to Minnesotans to still get out and enjoy the water and sand.

Winona area eventing. A day on the water is an event for people in Minnesota, and I suppose Wisconsin too. It seems they have the ability to enjoyed more than anywhere else. Probably because they don’t take it for granted like the Florida people do.

I canawanagetthere. Lock 5A – mile 728, Fountain City, WI and Goodview, MN is the forth lock of the day.

Our timing has not been good today. We had another wait at Lock 5A for another tow.

Thankfully the Lockmaster lifted the rec vessels through the lock before he took the waiting tow. I suppose he just wanted us out of the way.

An enormous Corp of Engineers tow passed us headed down river lugging a little bit of everything. It included two large tow boats (on pushing, one being lugged), an extra large dredging barge, crew cabin/office barge, land equipment/earth movers, at least four small tow boats, and several crew runabout boats in tow.

A second Corp of Engineers tow followed it from a distance of the time it takes to raise and lower a lock. It carried dredging pipes and other pieces of equipment.

Oopsies. I hate oopsies. I accidently bumped a button on my camera.

I canawanagetthere. Lock 5 – mile 738, Minnesota City, MN is the fifth lock of the day. It sure is pretty around here even on cloudy days.

I really canawanagetthere. Lock 4 – mile 753, Alma, WI is the sixth lock of the day. Our personal best was 7 locks in on day. That happened twice while we were on the Erie Canal.

🙁 We hit a submerged object. A wreck your day kind of object. yes dear… has a small shimmy so we will have to swap out her props:(

We are less than 100 miles from the Twin Cities.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Drolleries and Yuks

A Different Lens

A Different Lens

9-Jul-2021 Friday Port of Dubuque, Dubuque IA (~UMR mile 580) to DeSoto Bay WI (~UMR mile 662) (78.5 nautical miles 90.4 statute miles)

43°25’47.0″N 91°12’25.2″W
43.429712, -91.206998
Elevation: 620 feet     Elevation change: 22 feet
States (3): Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin

Locks (3):
Lock 11 – mile 583, Dubuque, IA
Lock 10 – mile 615, Guttenberg, IA
Lock 9 – mile 648, Lynxville, WI and Harpers Ferry, IA

Destination Mississippi River Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 168
Remaining number of Locks: 8

Along the Way

Entered Wisconsin just before we reached Lock 11 – mile 583, Dubuque, IA

We had plenty of time to look at Lock 11. The lock had just started moving a southbound tow into it. Two hour wait.

We are in the Driftless Area. Rugged rock bluffs and huge hill on both sides the Mississippi River. The upper Mississippi River is a great place to end our great run.

It was a gray day. It was time to try a different lens. Here’s to hoping things look cheerier.

Guttenberg

Things do look brighter!

We got to spend a little over an hour looking at Lock 10 – mile 615, Guttenberg, IA while we waited for a tow to pass. Fortunately it was a small one 2×3 barges. It could all fit in the lock at one time.

Our turn. The lockmaster squeezed us through while a barge was disassembling for passage.

By the time we got to Lock 9 – mile 648, Lynxville, WI and Harpers Ferry, IA the sun was going down but the sky was brightening up.

There were quite a few people camping along this stretch of the river.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The Driftless Area is a region in southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois, of the American Midwest. The region’s distinctive terrain is due to its having been bypassed by the last continental glacier. The term “driftless” indicates a lack of glacial drift, the deposits of silt, gravel, and rock that retreating glaciers leave behind. It is characterized by steep, forested ridges, deeply carved river valleys, and karst geology characterized by spring-fed waterfalls and cold-water trout streams.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call an unpredictable camera?
~A loose Canon.

How do you weigh a millennial?
~In Instagrams.

Dubuqued

Dubuqued

6-8-Jul-2021 Tuesday-Thursday Port of Dubuque, Dubuque IA (~UMR mile 580) (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

42°29’42.2″N 90°39’34.6″W
42.495045, -90.659622
Elevation: 598 feet     Elevation change: 25 feet
States (1): Iowa

Locks (0):

Destination Mississippi River Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 250
Remaining number of Locks: 11

Along the Way

It’s been really hot. One day for fun we walked around the freezer section at HyVee because we just wanted to be cold. Unfortunately HyVee had really thermal freezer doors so we had to settle for the cold meat and dairy sections. I purchase a bottle of water and slammed it down. Instant brain freeze!

It was so warm in the beginning of the week the potable drinking water on yes dear… was warm to the taste. Having air conditioning on the yes dear… has been a blessing.

Dubuque is a pretty river town.

It has an old history of painting on the sides of building. Sold signage is visible on many buildings.

Dubuque also has a modern history of painting on the sides of building. The downtown area is filled with murals. Below are just a couple of them

The walk took me past Bimbo Bakeries. Bimbo Bakeries USA is part of Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company. Some of their brands include Sara Lee®, Entenmann’s®, Brownberry® Bread, Thomas’® English muffins and bagels. We can smell the freshly baked bread from the marina.

All of the above pictures were take on my cell phone when I walked to HyVee for groceries. Thursday morning. My camera was still on break.

Neighbors

The Twilight departs for 1 and 2 day cruises.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

A brain freeze is actually called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgi.

Ponder This

Muffins spelled backwards is exactly what you get.

4th of July Observed

4th of July Observed

5-Jul-2021 Monday Le Claire, Iowa (~UMR mile 498) Port of Dubuque, Dubuque IA (~UMR mile 580) (71.3 nautical miles 82.1 statute miles)

42°29’42.2″N 90°39’34.6″W
42.495045, -90.659622
Elevation: 598 feet     Elevation change: 25 feet
States (2): Illinois, Iowa

Locks (3):
Lock 14 – mile 493, LeClaire, IA
Lock 13 – mile 522, above Fulton, IL and Clinton, IA
Lock 12 – mile 557, Bellevue, IA

Destination Mississippi River Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 250
Remaining number of Locks: 11

Happy 4th of July Observed

I observed the holiday.

I’m feeling guilty about taking blog days off. The river run between Davenport(yesterday) and Dubuque(today) is pretty and I should have taken pictures. You’ll have to run it for yourself sometime, I guess.

By the way….. I will probably be taking Tuesday, July 6 – Thursday, July 8 off. We are going to hang out here in Dubuque for a couple of days.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Americans Will Enjoy 150 Million Hot Dogs During the 4th
According to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council (NHDSC), Americans are expected to eat 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th holiday. This is part of an estimated 7 billion that are expected to be eaten during the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Americans consume about 150 million hot dogs while celebrating Independence Day. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, that amount of dogs can stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times.

Ponder This

The Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 white guys with an average age of 44 wearing wigs, tights, heals and rouge.

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

4-Jul-2021 Sunday Burlington IA (~UMR mile 402) to Le Claire, Iowa (~UMR mile 498) (87.5 nautical miles 100.7 statute miles)

41°37’12.4″N 90°20’40.7″W
41.620105, -90.344624
Elevation: 57 feet     Elevation change: 55 feet
States (2): Illinois, Iowa

Locks (4):
Lock 18 – mile 410, Gladstone, IL and Burlington, IA
Lock 17 – mile 347, New Boston, IL
Lock 16 – mile 457, Muscatine, IA
Lock 15 – mile 483, Rock Island, IL and Davenport, IA

Destination Mississippi River Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 332
Remaining number of Locks: 14

Happy 4th of July

I took the holiday off.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The Declare Independence wasn’t signed on the 4th of July 1776
The official Declare Independence vote actually took place two days before on July 2 and the “Declaration” was published in papers on July 4.
Only two men Signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Charles Thompson and the infamous John. The other 54 delegates signed over the course of the next month.

The Declaration of Independence was written on a laptop
… Okay, not a modern laptop, but still. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on a writing desk that could fit over one’s lap. This device was referred to at the time as a “laptop.”

Three presidents have died, and one was born in the Forth of July.
Thomas Jefferson, 82, and John Adams, 90, both died on July 4, 1826 within five hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe, the nation’s fifth president, died just a few years later on July 4, 1831.

The country’s 30th Commander-in-Chief, Calvin Coolidge, was born on July 4, 1872.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why doesn’t fire get to enjoy a day off on the Fourth of July?
~ Because fire works.

What did the little firecracker say to the bigger firecracker?
~“Hi, Pop.”

How did one flag greet another flag?
~It waved.

How come there aren’t any knock-knock jokes about America?
~Because freedom rings.

What did the colonists wear to the Boston Tea Party?
~Tea-shirts.

What do you call an American revolutionary who draws cartoons?
~A Yankee Doodler.

Which colonists told the most jokes?
~Punsylvanians!

Locks in the Heartland

Locks in the Heartland

3-Jul-2021 Saturday Above Lock 22, Hull IL (~UMR mile 302) to Burlington IA (~UMR mile 402) (91 nautical miles 104.7 statute miles)

40°46’49.8″N 91°04’45.6″W
40.780490, -91.079324
Elevation: 518 feet     Elevation change: 60 feet
States (3): Illinois, Missouri, Iowa

Locks (3):
Lock 21 – mile 32,5 Quincy, IL
Lock 20 – mile 343, Canton, MO
Lock 19 – mile 364, Keokuk, IA

Destination Mississippi River Pool 2 Statute Mile 830
Remaining Statute Miles: 428
Remaining number of Locks: 18

Along the Way

Looking back at Lock 22 – mile 301, Saverton MO

Hannibal MO

The Lover’s Leap story goes … It was given this name about 1840, by some genius who applied to it the scene of the oft repeated story of the Indian Maiden who dashed herself down from a rock precipice rather than wed a warrior she did not love. Since the whole story is an invention of a romanticist, the Indian maiden could have really married the “buck” selected for her by her father, and is indifferent about the matter altogether.

Triple Crown (TC; a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern), is a bi-modal transport network servicing the eastern part of the United States. It uses a hybrid technology combining specifically designed trailers with rail bogies (called RoadRailers) to form trains. The trailers also have truck wheels. The load units (trailers) are not transferred from road to rail (and vice-versa) like a usual train. Instead, the load units (trailers) are simply assembled in rail convoys at the origin and disassembled into truck trailers at the destination.

Inside the levee.

Outside the levee

Lock 21 – mile 32,5 Quincy, IL. Most of the locks on the Upper Mississippi River follow a similar design. They have an iconic set of 4 large pillars near the center of the lock.

The buoys have take a beating this year. So many are missing and so many are out of places.

Lock 20 – mile 343, Canton, MO

Heartland

Many of the towns along the Mississippi River through Missouri, Illinois and Iowa remind me of ‘Steampunk Cities’.

Lock 19 – mile 364, Keokuk, IA

Construction of the privately built Keokuk dam began in 1910, and was completed in 1913. The movable portion of the dam is 4,620 feet long with 119 separate 30 feet rectangular, steel-skin plated, sliding gates. The gates are either installed or removed and river flow is controlled by the number of gates installed. They are removed by a gantry crane that travels on the service bridge above the dam. At the time it was completed it was second in length only to the Aswan Low Dam on the Nile River.

Barge exiting the lock

Stupid little boat! The tow captain was most unhappy with the stupid little boat. The little boat sat right in front of the barge to watch it come out of the lock. The tow captain knew the little boat was there but the little boat was too close to the tow for the captain to be able to see him.

After the tow’s initial 1 prolonged blast warning I am leaving the lock the little boat did not move out of the way. The tow captain had to issue two different sets of 5 short blasts (danger!!!) before the little boat finally moved. Stupid little boat!

Keokuk Lock. I like this lock. It’s interesting.

Fort Madison IA

Evening settling in

Good Night

When we stopped to drop anchor we were inundated with thousands of small, < 2 inch long white mayflies. It looked like it was snowing.

Thankfully mayflies flew off about 30 minutes after landing.

Happy 3rd of July fire works. We were on the wrong side the island for the big show.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why are frogs so happy?
~They eat whatever bugs them.

The River says we are good to go

The River says we are good to go

2-Jul-2021 Friday Grafton Harbor, Grafton IL (IL WW mile 0) to Above Lock 22, Hull IL (~UMR mile 302) (77.3 nautical miles 89.0 statute miles)

39°38’51.5″N 91°14’54.4″W
39.647629, -91.248453
Elevation: 458 feet     Elevation change: 40 feet
States (2): Illinois, Missouri

Locks (3):
Lock 25 – mile 241, Winfield, MO
Lock 24 – mile 273, Clarksville, MO
Lock 22 – mile 301, Saverton MO (no Lock 23)

Remaining number of Locks: 21

The river says we’re good to go .https://www.weather.gov/lmrfc/obsfcst_mississippi_riverwatch

Along the Way

Ewh. What happened last night?????? A mayfly hatch. I had to sweep them off to pull lines. There’s going to be a lot of fat baby birds around here.

Morning flag check.

Good to go. We started heading for Minnesota at exactly 6:02pm. We left the marina running 10 knots at 1200 rpms. yes dear… was surfing down the Illinois River towards the Mississippi River on the current. 

Once we rounded Illinois River – Mississippi River confluence we ground down to 5.4 knots at 1600 rpms. It’s going to be a slow ride back to Minnesota.

Lock 25 – mile 241, Winfield, MO. The lock lift is only 1 foot today from all the rain.  Normally it’s ~15 foot lift.

The Mississippi River is exceptionally muddy. Silt from wave splash was settling on yes dear’s… swim deck. I’ve never seen that before.

There are a lot of wing dams on the Mississippi River to help direct the water. Some are U shaped and others are simple line dams.

We chased this tow up the river.

One great thing about traveling the Mississippi River is that statue miles are clearly marked on both the charts and corresponding daymarks.

Lock 24 – mile 273, Clarksville, MO. The lock lift was only 6 feet today from all the rain.  Normally it’s ~15 foot lift.

Lock 22 – mile 301, Saverton MO (no Lock 23). This was a little high, but close to normal lift.

The lock master said we could float through and didn’t need to tie off. Raising and lowering locks create strong currents in the chamber. We still fender one side incase we need to catch a wall.

Unfortunately they let Saverton’s village idiot in the lock with us. He positioned directly on our port side, the side that I had fendered. Dale pulled forward. He pulled forward. Dale pulled forward. He pulled forward. I politely asked him to move either in front of us or behind us. He might be a good fisherman. That’s all I going to say.

I was looking at the logs when I took the above picture. You can tell the water has recently been high. What caught my eye was all the lines with hand holds, safety lines in case anyone fell in or was swept in.

Shortly after we cross the lock we dropped anchor for the night.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The Ascent. Lock 25 – mile 241, Winfield, MO to Lock 2 – mile 815, Hastings, MN

Drolleries and Yuks

When does it rain money?
-When there is ‘change’ in the weather.

We are rich today!

Waiting out the Weather and the River

Waiting out the Weather and the River

30-Jun-2021 Wednesday Grafton Harbor, Grafton IL (IL WW mile 0) (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

38°58’04.8″N 90°26’19.6″W
38.968002, -90.438771
Elevation: 418 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet debatable
States (1): Illinois

Locks (0):

Along the Way

I thought I’d check in. We are still waiting out the weather and the river. The forecast for today was this.

The past couple of days have been altering every other hour between severe thunderstorms and 98 degrees heat with high humidity. Today was cooler, but still a lot of rain. We’ve been spending a lot of time on the yes dear…

Yesterday the log count was 3-5 logs bigger than I am moving past yes dear… per minute on the Illinois River. Today it’s about 1 log per minute. The water level has dropped considerably, but it is still high.

We’ve got a great view of Grafton’s US flag and the Mississippi Palisades from yes dear’s… mid deck. I check it every morning and several times a day when I do the log count.

Grafton Harbor Marina has ‘free boat detailing’. The rain has scrubbed yes dear’s… exterior. The fish are eating the moss or whatever off her bottom and the grackles and sparrows have picked all the bugs and spiders off her.

There’s a grackle nest just off yes dear’s… sun roof aft corner. One of the grackle parents is really wary about us being here. The other one doesn’t care. Besides watching logs all day, I’ve been watching the birds. Oh, yah. We also did laundry today too.

3:00pm checks

The log count is still around one log per minute.

3:00pm grackle check

It took about 15 minutes for the grackle to build up the nerve to go feed the babies.

The weather and water will be good enough for us to leave tomorrow morning. But we are not. Grafton Harbor Marina has a Looper Special that if you stay three nights you get two nights free. We are staying for both our free nights and will be leaving Friday morning, July 2.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

I’ve said this before, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service is a boater’s friend. Not only does NOAA provide a weather service it also provides a river watch service. River observations and forecasts.

xxxx https://www.weather.gov/lmrfc/obsfcst_mississippi_riverwatch

The Illinois River, where we were last week before the rain, is still having hard time with flooding. Below is a NOAA River Chart for the Starved Rock Lock in the Illinois River. (Glad we aren’t there now.)

This is a NOAA River Chart for the Quincy IL lock on the Mississippi River. We are heading this direction.

Drolleries and Yuks

How do you make holy water?
~You boil the hell out of it.

Changing Colors

Changing Colors

27-Jun-2021 Sunday Grafton Harbor, Grafton IL (IL WW mile 0) (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

38°58’04.8″N 90°26’19.6″W
38.968002, -90.438771
Elevation: 418 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet debatable
States (1): Illinois

Locks (0):

Along the Way

I bet everyone up river is thankful for their dikes. The water keeps rising. The water level in the marina is noticeably higher than it was yesterday morning. Nineteen feet in the past two days. It’s apparent in the height of the dock poles and the angle of the floating dock ramps.

We watched a continuous onslaught of trees making their way down the river ALL DAY.

The locks and dams must be a mess with all this junk. Locks close down if water is too high. Grafton Harbor Marina has temporarily stopped renting their rental boats. They don’t want them damaged in all the debris.

We also watch the Grafton IL/St. Charles MO Ferry fight the current in and out.

Weather altered between extreme hot and muggy and rumbling, heavy thunderstorms through out the day.

Changing Colors. During a break in the weather we mounted our just delivered, Platinum Loop burgee. The Platinum burgee my only be flown by Loopers who have completed the Loop 2 or more times.

Per Kimberly Russo, Director of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGALC)
“This is an unusual year due to COVID.  Not many boats began the Loop last year, so we’ve had very few completions reported this year.  In most years, about 500 boats show that they’re in progress in our database.  In the last “normal” year (2019), we had 162 new Gold Loopers and 14 new Platinum.  Total Gold through 2020 is 1817.  Total platinum through 2020 is just under 100.”

There are more people that climb Mount Everest each year than complete the Loop. Approximately 800 people attempt to climb Mount Everest annually.

The sun stayed out so we wandered out

Vince the Pirate had to leave to go back to Seneca 🙁 But of course it had to start raining AGAIN as we headed out to use the marina courtesy car.

It quit by the time we got to the Alton Amtrak station.

We already miss you. But I must say it is a whole lot quieter without your “Tweety Bird” phone chirping all the time.

It’s raining again. Alot. Maybe it’s a good thing we live on a boat.

We are currently under a river flood warning here in Grafton until Wednesday afternoon. The water is expected to crest near 25 feet. Rainfall heavier than forecast could cause river levels to rise even higher than predicted.

More thunderstorms are forecasted for all day tomorrow. The weather outlook for the week is not promising. We are going to sit tight here in Grafton until the water and weather settle down. Most-likely I will not create another blog entry until we are on the move again.

I am washed out.

Well, We are here

Well, We are here

26-Jun-2021 Saturday Buckhorn Island, Montezuma Township, IL to Grafton Harbor, Grafton IL (IL WW mile 0) (42.6 nautical miles 49.0 statute miles)

38°58’04.8″N 90°26’19.6″W
38.968002, -90.438771
Elevation: 418 feet     Elevation change: -6 feet
States (1): Illinois

Locks (0):

Along the Way

We anchored last night in 7 feet of water, but pulled anchor this morning at over 9 feet of water. The river rose 2 feet overnight. Over four inches of rain fell yesterday. One inch fell within 20 minutes.

The anchor rode needed to be cleared. It had collected an eagle’s nest worth of logs and branches. It was not an easy job.

As we sipped our morning coffee we noticed a pontoon floating down river that was tied to another pontoon, that was floating down river.

We issued a sécurité on channel 16, pulled anchor and went over to investigate. By this time the pontoons were in the middle of the channel. One pontoon was flipped over. No one was on board the second pontoon and the motor was tilted up (not in use). There was too much current and too much debris for us to do anything to salvage the good pontoon or get them both out of the middle of the channel.

A northbound barge was about 2 miles away heard the sécurité and thanked us for the heads up.

We are a blood thirsty lot. We stayed around long enough to see if the barge would hit the pontoons as it came up the channel. We are pirates.

The tow captain reported the pontoons to the Coast Guard. Take a look at this! The tow’s name is Paul Tobin. It’s from the great state of West Virginia.

We continued down river. It felt like we were playing ‘Frogger’ on the river as we dodged logs.

Grafton!

To “cross our wake” means that we have officially finished the Great Loop. Today we crossed our wake for the second time. We are now Platinum Loopers!

Too early for supper we headed back to yes dear….

The Grafton IL/St. Charles MO Ferry was having a nasty time trying to dock/undock. The current was extreme fast and strong.

Partying with the Pirate. It was time to explore Grafton.

As we walked past the first place we heard the band announce ” I don’t play no Miley Cyrus. No Taylor Swift either.” They went on break so we continued on.

We had to stop at the wood store. It’s too interesting to pass by.

One stop shop.

Our destination was the Bloody Bucket Saloon.

Two years ago we were here with Vince the Pirate when he was the first patron to autograph the newly sided men’s room walls.

Yes, I was in the men’s room watching him do it.

Vince the Pirate called for another celebratory drink. Rumple Minze. It tastes like Christmas and warms your cockles of the heart.

A couple of of the many eclectic things in the Bloody Bucket Saloon.

It had rained like crazy again while we were in the bar. When the rain was over we headed back to yes dear …

There were a few pictures from today I wasn’t sure I should share in the blog or keep them for blackmail.

This wasn’t the end of the night. I just quit taking pictures. What happens in Grafton stays in Grafton ….

Floccinaucinihilipilification

We ‘crossed our wake’ stats:

Trip start: 9-OCT-20 St Paul MN to Grafton IL
Nights in a marina: 1
Nights on the hook: 9

Loop started: 19-OCT-20 Grafton IL
Loop ended: 26-JUN-21 Grafton IL
Total Days on Loop: 251
Nights in a marina: 176
Nights on free docks: 24
Nights on the hook: 51

Total Days on Trip: 261

Disambiguation

in·cor·ri·gi·ble
adjective
(of a person or their tendencies) not able to be corrected, improved, or reformed.

Warm the cock·les of of my heart
idiom
To gratify; to make someone feel good. This term comes from the Latin for the heart’s ventricles, cochleas cordis, and has been used figuratively since the late seventeenth century. “This contrivance of his did inwardly rejoice the cockles of his heart,” wrote John Eachard (Observations upon the Answer to Contempt of Clergy, 1671).

Ponder This

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Boat on the Run

Boat on the Run

25-Jun-2021 Friday IVY Club, Peoria IL to Buckhorn Island, Montezuma Township, IL to Buckhorn Island, Montezuma Township, IL (108.4 nautical miles 124.8 statute miles)

39°30’02.7″N 90°35’22.2″W
39.500739, -90.589485
Elevation: 424 feet     Elevation change: -15 feet
States (1): Illinois

Locks (2):
Mile 157.6, Peoria Lock & Dam
Mile 80.2, La Grange Lock & Dam

Along the Way

Boat on the run! Peoria is bracing for floods with 4-6 inches of rain expected by Monday, four days from now. We took off at first light to get south of it. The rain started last night.

New bridge going in next to the old bridge. They built a temporary bridge for the crane so it could bridge the new bridge.

Peoria

Mile 157.6, Peoria Lock

There are levees along most of todays run.

We are world tourists. We we’re in Havana today. Earlier this month we were in Peru, Frankfort, Rome and Troy.

Dang there were barges in the La Grange Lock with the more barges and the tow down below. It was wait……

With large barge tows and large locks the tow will break apart it’s tow into smaller section and run them up the lock separately. The first set comes up without the tow boat. The barges get pulled out of the lock by a cleat on a rail when they get to the top.

The cleat

The La Grange Lock dog is a local dog that comes down to the lock pretty much every day and hangs out with the workers.

The La Grange Lock had a lot of work done to it during last year the 2020 Illinois Waterway shutdown. All new cement and new doors.

Blades. The tow boat had to really stretch its neck to see over its load. The barge needs less than 3 feet of water bottom clearance.

Rain started. We obviously didn’t out run it. If a boat can’t take water it shouldn’t be a boat

(The All Terrain Armored Transport, or AT-AT walker, is a four-legged transport and combat vehicle used by the Imperial ground forces.)

Lucky for us the rain was soon over.

Boat on the run! It looked like it was coming our way again.

The ‘better weather ahead’ didn’t last for long. The rain came. It was like driving your boat through a car wash. At times we couldn’t see the bow on yes dear… or the sides of the river. Micro bursts of wind pummeled us. Vinnie the Pirate took the helm and followed the charted red line. Dale and I stood vigilance, one on each side of him watching for logs and other debris between the lightening flashes. An orange bolt traveled down the river at us. Dale and I ducked waiting for the sound of it hitting the boat, blinded as it flashed through the helm. Thunder rumbled. Vinnie the Pirate just kept following the charted red line.

Lightning flashed non-stop. It was too dark for my camera to take pictures until the storm began to lighten up.

We were NOT night running. It was about 6:30PM.

When it was all over it was still hot and humid.

Disambiguation

Levees protect land that is normally dry but that may be flooded when rain or melting snow raises the water level in a body of water, such as a river. Dikes protect land that would naturally be underwater most of the time. Levees and dikes look alike, and sometimes the terms levee and dike are used interchangeably.

Drolleries and Yuks

If lightning strikes an orchestra, who is most likely to get hit?
~The conductor.

Why does lightning strike a tree before a person?
~Because it takes the path of leaf resistance.

What do you call a cow struck by lightning?
~Ground beef.

Did you know that when lightnings strikes a church, insurance companies refuse to pay?
Reason: Act of God, in other words, deliberate destruction by owner.

We picked up a Pirate

We picked up a Pirate

24-Jun-2021 Thursday Mariners Marina, Seneca IL to IVY Club, Peoria IL(73.9 nautical miles 85.1 statute miles)

40°44’55.5″N 89°33’25.0″W
40.748751, -89.556953
Elevation: 440 feet     Elevation change: -44 feet
States (1): Illinois

Locks (2):
Mile 244.6, Marseilles Lock
Mile 231.0, Starved Rock Lock & Dam

Along the Way

An armada of vessels from Mariners Marina is leaving today for a weekend in Peoria. We joined the fleet. The group assembled for coffee at 5:30 AM. Butch called the Peoria lock master and he told us to wait for an hour before we headed down. There were a couple tow boats and barges already in the queue.

We were off. yes dear… and four other boats. We picked up a pirate. Vince the Pirate is on board and riding with us to Grafton. Welcome aboard maty!

Marseilles Lock. Our first and last lock of the day and we had a green permission light to enter. The Lock Master personally greeted Butch over VHF. Butch had worked on the lock for 6 months when it was down for repair last year.

Out and on our way

Starved Rock Lock

Onward

Illinois Valley Yacht (IVY) Club

We checked out Rizzi’s, a local Italian eatery. Great food!

Floccinaucinihilipilification

There are various local legends about how Starved Rock got its name. The most popular is a tale of revenge for the assassination of Ottawa leader Pontiac, who was killed in Cahokia on April 20, 1769, by an Illinois Confederation warrior. According to the legend, the Ottawa, along with their allies the Potawatomi, avenged Pontiac’s death by attacking a band of Illiniwek along the Illinois River. The Illiniwek climbed to the butte to seek refuge, but their pursuers besieged the rock until the tribe starved to death, thereby giving the place the name “Starved Rock”. Apart from oral history, there is no historical evidence that the siege happened.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why are claustrophobics so creative?
~ Because they are always thinking outside of the box

We met the Colonel

We met the Colonel

23-Jun-2021 Wednesday Billie Limaches Bicentennial Park free wall, Joliet IL to Mariners Marina, Seneca IL (31.1 nautical miles 35.8 statute miles)

41°18’01.8″N 88°37’05.3″W
41.300500, -88.618129
Elevation: 484 feet     Elevation change: -54 feet
States (1): Illinois

Locks (2):
Mile 286.0, Brandon Road Lock
Mile 271.5, Dresden Lock & Dam

Along the Way

We called Brandon Road Lock before we left the Joliet’s Billie Limaches Bicentennial Park free wall. The lock said all is clear. Come on down.

The Mc Donough Str Bridge (16.5 ft) was really tight. Dale aimed between the low support beams to make it through. It would have been bye bye bimini if his aim was off.

Check out the guy in orange sitting on the back of the barge. After every couple of scoops he checked the markings on the barge to see how low it was sitting in the water.

This is our 3rd run on this section of the Illinois Water.

Brandon Road Lock

We got to meet the Colonel at Brandon Road Lock.

Colonel Sattinger is the only military office supporting Illinois Waterway, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, about 900 people. He’s the guy who was in charge of the extensive lock repair closures last year, 2020.

I told the Colonel a joke so he told me a joke.

Do you know why Airborne training is only 3 weeks long?
Week 1 – separate men from boys
Week 2 – separate out the idiots
Week 3 – let the idiots jump

Always progress new bridge

The Dresden Lock is 600 ft x110 ft with a lift ~22 ft. It takes 66,000 cubic feet of water (493,714 gallons of water) per foot of lift.

Auto pilot is a great.

Woo Woo! Mariners Marina!

Oopsies. I forgot to take pictures of our friends.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Illinois Waterway from Chicago to the Mississippi River. 8 locks

Ponder This

Why isn’t phonetic spelled that way?

Furthermore, Colonel is pronounced ˈkərnl. It took me a couple of tries to spell it correctly because I kept trying to put an ‘r’ in it.

Water Warriors

Water Warriors

22-Jun-2021 Tuesday McKinnley Marina, Milwaukee MI to Billie Limaches Bicentennial Park free wall, Joliet IL (112.5 nautical miles 129.5 statute miles)

41°31’24.7″N 88°05’14.4″W
41.523529, -88.087320
Elevation: 538 feet     Elevation change: -41 feet
States (2): Wisconsin, Illinois

Locks (2):
Mile 327.4, Chicago Harbor Lock
Mile 291.0, Lockport Lock and Dam

Along the Way

Water Warriors! We were on our way a few minutes before 5:00AM

The sun rose at exactly 5:15am right on the nose as predicted. The sunrise got prettier as the sun climbed. So did its reflection on the city. I’d said my goodbye so the camera stayed at my side while my coffee and I quietly enjoyed it.

When I stood to pour my second cup of coffee I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to take a picture. The reflections continued to grow until it was too bright to even look at the city without burning my eyes

On to Chicago!

Lake Michigan took its last licks at us as we headed into the Chicago Harbor. It just had to hit is hard on the beam one last time for measure.

Chicago Water Cribs. The water cribs are structures built to house and protect offshore water intakes used to supply the City of Chicago with drinking water from Lake Michigan. Water is collected and transported through tunnels to pumping stations located onshore, then to water purification plants Jardine Water Purification Plant (the world’s largest) and the Sawyer Water Purification Plant (operating since 1947). The water is treated and pumped to all parts of the city as well as 118 suburbs.

The city has had nine permanent cribs of which six are still standing and two are in active use.

Sailing ships upon the seas

Chicago. The breakwater wall surrounding the Chicago Harbor is surprisingly low! I bet waves just pound over it on windy days.

The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse (1893) was actually moved and altered in the early 20th century. The breakwater was extended in 1918, so the city relocated the lighthouse relocated to new southern tip.

Water Warriors! It was too early in the afternoon to call it a day so we headed into the Chicago Harbor Lock.

Out of the lock and into the city.

We are still checking clearances. The game’s changed a little bit. The dinghy boom and the radar are back up so we need to account for the additional height. Only one bridge will have to open for us (fingers crossed). We’d rather not wait for bridges to open if we can squeak through. Going down the Erie Canal with so many low clearances numbed the terror out of passing under low clearance bridges. Current water level is always a wild card so we had to proceed with caution.

Two of the many tour boats of many styles.

Heading out of Chicago

The river quickly became more industrial with a few small marinas tucked in.

Water Warriors! The feared, stationary CSX Chessie Railroad Bridge. If a boat can’t clear this 17 foot clearance bridge they need to turn around, go back through the city and take the Cal-Sag Waterway to continue south to the Mississippi. Besides backtracking, the Cal-Sag Waterway (41.9 miles) route is longer than the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (15.2) route.

Not any Erier than the Erie.

The Erie Canal didn’t look like this. Interesting repair work.

The confluence of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (left)and the Cal-Sag Waterway (right).

Electronic fish net to prevent Asia carp from spreading into the Great Lakes.

Lots of dust in the air from heavy machinery working.

Mile 291.0, Lockport Lock and Dam

Water Warriors! A couple of close call bridges in Joliet IL

Neighbors

We tied off for the night on Joliet’s Billie Limaches Bicentennial Park free wall. The police station is directly across from the park and Harrah’s just up river.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The Chicago River is the only river in the world that permanently flows backwards. It flows away from Lake Michigan, which supplies the city’s drinking water. This was done around the turn of the 20th century to stop contamination from the river into the lake. Every year, the city dyes the river green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Drolleries and Yuks

What kind of plants goes in the bathroom?
~Toilet trees

I love Milwaukee

I love Milwaukee

21-Jun-2021 Monday McKinnley Marina, Milwaukee MI (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

43°02’49.1″N 87°53’16.6″W
43.046982, -87.887951
Elevation: 579 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet
States (1): Wisconsin

Happy first day of summer!

Along the Way

I love Milwaukee. The city is filled with museums, art galleries and public art installations.

At 10am the large white wings situated atop the Milwaukee Art Museum slowly open. It has the wingspan of a Boeing 747, and contains sensors that will automatically close up if winds reach 23 mph or higher. The wind was over 23 mph today. (Good call by us to stay in port and not travel on Lake Michigan today.)

When the wings are open, as they were yesterday, it reminds me of the Oculus in NYC.

The weather beacon shaped as a natural gas flame was added to the top of the Wisconsin Gas Building in 1956. It indicates the weather forecast by its color and flicker.

Building cleaners

We took the River Walk to see the Fonz.

The Pabst Theater, built in 1895,it is the fourth-oldest continuously operating theater in the United States.

From 1850 to 1870 there was a trend to clad some commercial buildings in cast iron panels. The panels were durable and fire-resistant, and they could be applied to a structure without having skilled stonemasons on site. Milwaukee’s Iron Block building (1860) is one such example. The Iron Block building was initially called the Excelsior Block bluilding.

The Chamber of Commerce Building (aka. Mackie Building) housed Milwaukee’s Grain Exchange Room (1879)

There are beautiful contemporary building in Milwaukee too. I didn’t find them as interesting as the old stuff.

Milwaukee Public Market

Installation Art

Neighbors

Floccinaucinihilipilification

I’d like to come back to explore Milwaukee’s museums and galleries.

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) collection contains nearly 25,000 works of art, making it one of the largest museums in the world.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is home to the world’s largest dinosaur head. A 9-foot-by-8-foot Torosaurus cranium, along with a partial skeleton, is on display there.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call a person from Wisconsin who always has alot to say?
~A Milwaukee-Talkie

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly

20-Jun-2021 Sunday Port Washington Marina, Port Washington WI to McKinnley Marina, Milwaukee MI (23 nautical miles 26.5 statute miles)

43°02’49.1″N 87°53’16.6″W
43.046982, -87.887951
Elevation: 579 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet
States (1): Wisconsin

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and especially to Dale, the father of my children, and to Jake who is celebrating be a father for the first time in his life.

Along the Way

We were among the last to leave the marina this morning at 5:30am. All of the sport fishing boats left more than half an hour before us.

Today was a great day for traveling except for the weather forecast. Waves were under a foot, four second swells. Severe thunderstorms predicted to start around noon. We had hoped to make Chicago today decided on Milwaukee, less than 25 miles away. Milwaukee will be a lot more interesting to sit out the sit out the weather than Port Washington.

Fishermen

For the record, I really hate flies.

Milwaukee

We pulled into McKinnley Marine’s fuel dock at 8am and slapped down our credit card for two nights. We will be pinned in by weather till at least Tuesday. As it looks today, there is a slim chance we can head to Chicago on Tuesday. If we can’t get out then we will be in Milwaukee for about a week. But who knows for sure. Weather changes.

The rain came and I took a nap. When I awoke there was a pink pig flying at the end of our dock.

I went back to bed.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The idea for a day honoring dads is generally attributed to Sonora Dodd, a woman raised by her father after her mother died in childbirth, according to the Library of Congress. In 1910, Dodd was apparently listening to a church service on Mother’s Day, which itself had only existed for a few years and was still unofficial, and she began to think about everything her father had done for her growing up. The first Father’s Day celebration took place where Dodd lived, in Spokane, Wash., in June 1910.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would be officially known as Father’s Day, saying that we look to fathers to “provide the strength and stability which characterize the successful family.” In 1972, President Nixon made the day a national holiday.

Drolleries and Yuks

When does a joke become a dad joke?
~When it becomes apparent.

What’s the difference between a high-hit baseball and a maggot’s father?
~One’s a pop fly. The other’s a fly pop.

What did the mother bullet say to the daddy bullet?
~We’re gonna have a BB!

On Wisconsin

On Wisconsin

19-Jun-2021 Saturday Betsie Lake, Frankfort MI to Port Washington Marina, Port Washington WI (90 nautical miles 103.6 statute miles)

43°23’15.1″N 87°52’03.0″W
43.387515, -87.867488
Elevation: 579 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet
States (2): Michigan, Wisconsin

Along the Way

Following seas were predicted for today’s float plan. Leaving Frankfort before first light 5:30am.

Autopilot was set to 229 degrees, RPMs to 1500 and we were off. Voila. We will be there in Sheboygan in~10 hours. Looking back at Frankfort. You can barely make out the lighthouse.

Garden style rain showers were predicted for about 10:30am.

It did rain.

What we hadn’t expected was lightening. Dale pulled out one of our USPS (Power Squadron) manuals to see if it had any advice for what to do if your vessel gets struck by lightening. It didn’t offer up much but said lightening wasn’t as bad as either capsizing or sinking. OK.

The time zone changed from EST to CST.  Sunset is one hour later tonight. Decisions. Decisions. Do we stop as planned at Sheboygan at 4PM or West Bend at 6PM?

With the weather in our favor we turned 14 degrees to the south, zipped open the isinglass and cruised, with a new heading of 215 degrees, West Bend.

Various time during the day the waves were so jumbled it was hard to say what direction they were coming from. That’s one of the reasons that makes Lake Michigan so dangerous.

The nasty old flies were back, but not in the masses we had earlier.

Someone had suggested using peppermint spray to keep them away. It helped but didn’t solve the problem. They started landing on me.

The jury’s not out for me on the peppermint spray. As long as the peppermint aroma lingered the flies stayed away. I had used diluted diffuser oil. Perhaps if I had used a stronger scented peppermint oil, like a cooking peppermint oil, it might have worked better. Either way it worked well enough to keep the spray bottle at hand.

With Milwaukee in view we pulled into Port Washington. We initially anchored inside the breakwater. Unfortunately the swells were coming straight in so we decide to head into the marina. Dale will sleep better.

The harbor wall wasn’t protective enough so a wall was added above the wall.

Charter fishing is big business in Port Washington. The marina is filled with fishing a boats. At least a dozen of them are charter fishing boats

Good Night

Tonight we are on Wisconsin.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

“On, Wisconsin!” can be traced back to the American Civil War where Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur Jr. exclaimed these words in the Battle of Chattanooga at Missionary Ridge to help rally his regiment. This exclamation worked so well that he was rewarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts.

“On, Wisconsin!” was written W. T. Purdy and designated as the state song in 1959. The state song lyrics are different from the “On, Wisconsin!” the University of Wisconsin fight song lyrics.

State Song Lyrics:

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Grand old badger state!
We, thy loyal sons and daughters,
Hail thee, good and great.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Champion of the right,
‘Forward’ – our motto –
God will give thee might!

BTW Wisconsin also has a state ballad ‘Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams’ and a state waltz ‘Waltz of Wisconsin’.

More Floccinaucinihilipilification

The Sea Lamprey is the most dangerous fish in Lake Michigan. It is also the most dangerous fish in the entire Great Lakes area. Sea lamprey attach to a host fish, rasp and puncture its skin, and drain its body fluids, often killing the host fish. Their preferred hosts are salmon and lake trout, however they also feed on other fish species, including lake whitefish, walleye, northern pike, burbot, and lake sturgeon. Many of these fish species are important sportfish, highly prized and sought after by local and visiting anglers.

Drolleries and Yuks

Two goldfish are in a tank. One says to the other, “Do you know how to drive this thing?”

Doable

Doable

18-Jun-2021 Friday Petoskey City Marina, Petoskey MI to Betsie Lake, Frankfort MI (79.5 nautical miles 91.5 statute miles)

44°37’36.5″N 86°13’52.8″W
44.626812, -86.231333
Elevation: 579 feet     Elevation change: 0 feet
States (1): Michigan

Along the Way

It can’t always be sunny. The morning started with much needed rain. Today is ‘Doable’, not ‘Desirable’. We usually don’t do ‘Doable’. We did today.

The Windy app said it was 2 feet waves 3 seconds. Mary said it was 4 feet waves 3 seconds. It was particularly rough crossing shoals and rounding points. Lake Washing Machine (Lake Michigan) did not disappoint in its reputation today. Fortunately the rain passed and the wind laid down some after we rounded Traverse Bay.

I decided to skip they lighthouse pictures today and take pictures of sand dunes instead. I have to say again today, upper Michigan is beautiful.

Sleeping Bear Dunes rise as high as 460 feet above the lake and cover 4 square miles.

There is a ‘walking path’ from the top of the dune to the shore. If you can super zoom in on the below picture you can just make out a few people near the top of dune, some in the path and some along the shore. I think its highly doubtful that you make the trek to the bottom more than once in your life.

Empire Bluff

Betsie Point, Lighthouse and Dunes

The Frankfort harbor has breakwater walls about .4 mile long. It really helped for entering the harbor in the wind.

Good Night

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Sleeping Bear Dune is named after an Ojibwe legend of the sleeping bear. According to the legend, an enormous forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake for shelter, determined to reach the opposite shore. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she waited on the top of a high bluff. The exhausted cubs drowned in the lake, but the mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would finally appear. Impressed by the mother bear’s determination and faith, the Great Spirit created two islands (North and South Manitou islands) to commemorate the cubs, and the winds buried the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes where she waits to this day. The “bear” was a small tree-covered knoll at the top edge of the bluff that, from the water, had the appearance of a sleeping bear. Wind and erosion have caused the “bear” to be greatly reduced in size over the years.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call a bear without any teeth?
~A gummy bear!

Which type of bear is the most condescending?
~A pan-duh!

I’m Pondering This

Someone told me that I should write a book. It’s a novel concept.

Petoskey Stones

Petoskey Stones

16/17-Jun-2021 Wednesday/Thursday Petoskey City Marina, Petoskey MI (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

45°22’38.2″N 84°57’37.1″W
45.377284, -84.960293
Elevation: 579 feet     Elevation change: -3 feet
States (1): Michigan

Along the Way

Wednesday. WOO WOO. We rented a car. The only car available for rent in the area. Enterprise said we could have it as long as we promised to have it back by noon the next day as it was already booked for a 2pm pickup. The car was Lincoln Navigator 2021. Way too good for the Tobins.

I wonder what’s going on here. It will be interesting to see if anyone falls in. Having rented cool wheels, we didn’t stay around long enough to find out.

Family first. We went to Traverse City to visit Dale’s Aunt Marilynn. She’s 88 years old and in great health. Aunt Marilynn and Uncle Stans (deceased) were extremely kind to us when we lived in Michigan in the early 1990’s. She has a special place in our hearts.

We also stopped by to visit Mary minus Dave. We met them on the Erie Canal. They graciously said we could use their address to have a couple of packages to us. Mary’s great. How can you not like someone with the same name as you. It’s funny how close you can feel for someone after knowing them for such a short time. Dave is STILL two days away from getting their boat to Traverse City.

Mary likes rocks and has been collecting them and landscaping with them as long as they have had their house, about 20 years. They just sold their house and she is going through a crisis with what to do with her rock collection. She has a lot interesting rocks. Mary has been sifting through her yard and grabbing a few she plans to take with her when she moves. Power to the pebble!

Dale mentioned I really wanted to find a Petoskey stone. I didn’t actually find a Petoskey stone, but Mary said I could select I wanted from her yard and as many as I wanted. Thanks Mary! They are really cool.

We saw the dock hands were done when we got back to the dock. The flags were up and no one had fallen in.

Thursday

Petoskey has a Meijer store! Meijer stores are the best. They are a combination of a Super Target, a Super Walmart, Fleet Farm and main street all rolled into one store. We used to shop at a Meijer all the time in the 1990’s when we lived in Troy MI.

Back with our stash including a case of yellow bellies and two new fly swatters.

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator was due back at Enterprise in two hours. We took it joy riding along Little Traverse Bay to get our moneys worth our of it. We didn’t at all look out of place with our 2021 Lincoln Navigator as we drove through Wequetonsing and Harbor Springs.

Wequetonsing was interesting. There were a lot of new homes made to look like old homes. All the old was really new. Rich people name name their houses.

Good. Downtown and Uptown are in the same direction.

Obligatory pictures. Michigan is really beautiful.

The Michigan State Police was formed during World War I to serve as a home guard while many men were actively serving their country in the armed forces. Eventually, the duties of the State Police were changed and they became a permanent part of law enforcement in Michigan, totaling 300 men by 1919.

I thought long and hard about putting the Traverse Bay and Little Traverse Bay on my the Best of the Best List, but decided against it. The only reason it didn’t make the list is the traffic is terrible. The infrastructure is not set up to support the VOLUMES of local and vacationer traffic it has.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

A Petoskey stone is a rock and a fossil that is composed of a fossilized rugose coral, Hexagonaria percarinata.  The 6-sided coral fossils are found in rock formations dating back to the Devonian period, about 350 million years ago. Complete fossilized coral colony heads can be found in Petoskey stones

In 1965, the Petoskey stone was named the state stone of Michigan.

Drolleries and Yuks

What’s big, red, and eats rocks?
~A big, red, rock eater

Why is a moon rock tastier than an earth rock?
~Because it’s a little meteor.

What rock group has four men that don’t sing?
~Mount Rushmore.

What do you call it when two carbons are in a relationship?
~Carbon dating.

Why was the boulder emotionless?
~Because it had a heart of stone.

What do you call a rock that bunks school?
~A skipping stone.

Why were the rock couple breaking up?
~Because they took each other for granite!

Why was the criminal rock acquitted?
~Because his alibi was rock solid.

What do they do with a dead geologist?
~They barium.

Why was the geologist considering changing his profession?
~Because he had hit rock bottom.

What do you call a dubious rock?
~A shamrock.

Where do rocks sleep?
~In bedrocks.

Which magazine do rocks subscribe to?
~The Rolling Stone.