Our story’s been told

Our story’s been told

Sep 5, 2019 Thursday Treasure Island Casino, mile 798, Sturgeon Lake, Welch, MN  to Twin Cities Marina, mile 830, Inver Grove Heights, MN to 29.9 nautical miles.

44°51’28.4″N 93°00’51.3″W
44.857882, -93.014236
Elevation: 687 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 13 feet
                                            Lock 2 – mile 815, Hastings, MN
Remaining Statue Miles: 0

Our story’s been told.
It’s written in gold!

Yes Dear passed safely into the Twin Cities Marina harbor with flying colors, bringing us wandering swashbucklers home. Our dream is realized.

We will be living on the boat until it goes on the hard for the winter.  Stop by and spin a yarn with us! Twin Cities Marina, mile 830, Inver Grove Heights, MN


¸. ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·…¸><((((º>¸. 
.·´¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·…¸><((((º>

Along the Way

But of course it was another cloudy day today. The only thing is does is darken pictures, never spirits.


Prescott, WI
Hastings, MN
Lock 2 – mile 815, Hastings, MN The last lock

One more dock and no more locks!

Grey Cloud ~ mile 827. It’s a pretty solid chunk of rock here

Our new home

I think we are going to fit right in here.

Closing Comments: Pray for the Bahamas. We are truly blessed that we had the opportunity to visit them before they were hit by Hurricane Dorian.

Nauti Words

Meaning: a swaggering swordsman, soldier, explorer or adventurer; daredevil
Origin: The word originated in the 1500’s and was used to refer to below average swordsman.

Passed with flying colors
Meaning: overwhelming victory, triumph, or success
Origin: This expression comes from the custom of sailing ships that would fly their colors or put up their flags and pennants if they wanted to be identified when passing other ships at sea.

Spin a Yarn
Meaning: Tell a story, much of which may be out of fantasy
Origin: Sailors would tell stories while making spun-yarn, rope or doing other repetitious chores

Drolleries and Yuks

What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish?
Every morning you’ll rise and shine!

Blue and clueless

Blue and clueless

Sep 4, 2019 Wednesday Lake Pepin – mile 772 Lake City MN to Treasure Island Casino, mile 798, Sturgeon Lake, Welch, MN    23.6 nautical miles.

44°38’18.8″N 92°38’30.7″W
44.638558, -92.641854
Elevation: 674 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 8 feet
                                             Lock 3 – mile 797, Welch/Red Wing, MN
Remaining Statue Miles: 32

We’re feeling a little blue today as our adventure is nearing its end and we haven’t achieved our goal our of figuring out what we want to do when we get back to Minnesota. We’re excited to be with family and friends again, but we are still clueless on what we will do next.

(-; We will be at Twin Cities Marina in Inver Grove Heights tomorrow evening, Thursday, Sep 5. We are out of provisions. Bring beer and food. 😉

Along the Way

Our flag is tattered. ‘Yesterday’s and last night’s wind was hard on it. It blew around and looped through.
Lock 3 – mile 797, Welch-Red Wing, MN

Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. https://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactors/prai2.html

Treasure Island Resort and Casino www.ticasino.com/‎

Dressed to the nines (i.e. with shoes on, not our standard flip flops) we headed to the casino to win enough money to go around the Loop a second time. Hoping to channel Dale’s Mom’s spirit, we played all of her favorite machines.

Anita must have been off somewhere with Mil as she certainly wasn’t around to help us out. Casino’s have a way of knocking someone down a peg or two and taking the wind out of sails.


Barn Bluff in Red Wing is considered sacred by the Dakota people because it is the site of many burial mounds.

Nauti Words

Feeling Blue
Meaning: being sad or depressed
Origin: ‘Feeling Blue’ comes from a custom that was practiced when a ship lost its captain during a voyage.  The ship would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her hull when she returned to port.

Hasn’t got a clue (clew)
Meaning: The word clue was originally a variant spelling of clew. If someone “hasn’t got a clue” then they do not understand or are not knowledgeable.
Origin: Clew refers to the corner of the sail where a brass ring is sewn into the fabric of the sail in order to properly hold the sail in place. If a clew should rip, the sail would loose shape and the vessel will not sail in a controlled manner. Until it is refastened, it “hasn’t got a clew,” or needs to “get clewed up” again.

Dressed to the nines
Meaning: “To the nine” is an English idiom meaning “to perfection” or “to the highest degree” or “buoyantly and high class”.
Origin: To celebrate victories, a returning ship would approach her home waters or port “dressed” in bunting and flags. As many of the crew as possible would line up on the nine primary yards (i.e. spar on a mast, cross-piece from which the sail hangs) as a salute to their monarch.

Take someone down a peg or two
Origin: deflate someone’s ego or lower someone’s status
Meaning: This expression comes from the fact that the flags of old sailing vessels were raised or lowered using pegs. To lower a flag meant to surrender.

Drolleries and Yuks

How do crazy people go through the forest?
They take the physco path.

One small step for mankind

One small step for mankind

Sep 3, 2019 Tuesday West Newton MN  to Lake City Marina, Lake Pepin – mile 772 Lake City MN 23.0 nautical miles.

44°27’01.7″N 92°15’48.2″W
44.450461, -92.263389
Elevation: 666 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 7 feet
                                             Lock 4 – mile 753, Alma, WI
Remaining Statue Miles: 58

A couple of shakes and we were off. We pulled anchorage this morning for the last time on our voyage. 🙁

Along the Way

Lock 4 – mile 753, Alma, WI. Another pictures river town (with a rail road track)
Coming into Wabasha. This is the largest dredge mountain we’ve seen. Over the tops of the trees and a mile long.

Wabasha is the best of the small towns along the river. The train is further in, not right along the bank.

The eagles weren’t in town today. Didn’t see a single one all morning.

Slippery’s. The Gold Looper buddy boats pulled in just before we did.

Slippery’s. One small step for mankind.
This is Dale’s first time on Minnesota land since Aug 5, 2018. 395 days. We celebrated by having a beer. First time we broke our drink and drive rule in 395 days (and longer).

Heading into Pepin.

On a walk about town scavenging for food.

Lake City Court House 2002 and 1899. Great job blending the addition into the old building.
Where ever we go we seem to meet really great people. We met Kevin and Summer at Railhouse Grill, where we had supper. They have 4 dash hounds. Several of them are rescues. One of them is a long haired dash hounds. Oscar W I’m thinking of you!


Lake Pepin averages 20–32 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 60 feet.

Water skis were invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson, who steam-bent 2 eight-foot-long pine boards into skies. He took his first ride behind a motorboat in Lake City. But of course you as a Minnesotan already knew that.

Nauti Words

Couple of shakes
Meaning: in a short time period.
Origin: Shakes refers to the shaking (luffing) of the head sails if the vessel points up too close to the wind. Sailors would measure short periods of time before watch changes with a “couple of shakes.”

Drolleries and Yuks

What side of a fish has the most scales?
     The outside

Chalk it up

Chalk it up

Sep 2, 2019 Monday Mile 674, Reno, MN to West Newton Chute – mile 747, West Newton MN  66.3 nautical miles.

44°15’58.2″N 91°54’03.0″W
44.266154, -91.900828
Elevation: 659 ft     Locks: 5  Ascent: 39 feet
                                   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
Remaining Statue Miles: 83

Today was Dale’s first full day in Minnesota since Aug 5, 2018. Barely sneaking in a couple hundred feet last night to anchor doesn’t count. He was bummed there was no ‘Welcome to Minnesota’ sign along the river go greet him.

Along the Way

Lock 8 – mile 679, Genoa, WI.  We had to wait (and wait and wait) at Lock 8 for a tow to clear.

It wasn’t a bad wait because as there was stuff going on to keep us entertained. For starters there was convocation of eagles whistling to each other. One of the young eagles seemed particularly needy. If I was its mother I might have popped a gobstopper in its mouth.

Fishing must be really good on the west side of this lock. A system has been set-up where a townside fisherman raises a flag and the fish taxi comes to get them to take them to the other side the lock. The fisherman lowers the flag before he gets on the boat.

Eventually the tow we were waiting on exited the lock. We still had to wait (and wait and wait). I suspect the lock staff was either taking time out to celebrate Labor Day with coffee and donuts or maybe having trouble with the lock doors.

Coming into La Crescent, WI

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

Above the lock

Lock 6 – mile 714, Trempealeau, WI – This area is the prettiest on the Mississippi River. Perrot State Park is on the right, just north of the lock.

Eagle Bluff
Entering Winona

Lock 5A – mile 728, Fountain City, WI and Goodview, MN

All these little town look really quaint and inviting. Looks like a great place to buy a retirement home. Bzzzzzzt! No! The day you moved in you would put your house for sale. Trains run along the river through the little towns on both the Wisconsin side and the Minnesota side EVERY 15 minutes to a half hour. 7×24. NO KIDDING. They are loud enough to be slightly annoying even when anchoring out.

Lock 5 – mile 738, Minnesota City, MN  kids

Some of these pictures are probably in the wrong chronological order or mis-labled. I really don’t care enough to figure it out and fix. Deal with it. 🙂


The name, Winona, comes from a Dakota word – We-no-nah – meaning “first-born daughter.”

Winona’s iconic Sugar Loaf rock formation was created when the mining of the bluff for limestone ceased in the 1880s.

The Minnesota Maritime Museum has artwork from Picasso, Kandinsky, Renoir and Van Goph. We’ll stop another day.

The motorcycle Flood Run from St. Croix Beach ends in Winona. https://www.flood-run.com/

Nauti Words

Meaning: large, round, hard candy, also know as a jawbreaker
Origin: The expression originates in the nautical practice of placing a grapeshot in the mouth (gob) of an over-talkative ship’s mate or youngster.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why don’t cats play poker in the jungle?
There are too many cheetahs.

The end of Endless Summer

The end of Endless Summer

Sep 1, 2019 Sunday Port of Debuque – Mile 579, Debuque, IA   to Mile 674, Reno, MN   85.2 nautical miles.

43°30’34.6″N 91°13’03.7″W
43.509620, -91.217696
Elevation: 620 ft         Locks: 3  Ascent: 26 feet
                                       Lock 11 – mile 583, Dubuque, IA
                                       Lock 10 – mile 615, Guttenberg, IA
                                       Lock 9 – mile 648, Lynxville, WI and Harpers Ferry, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 251

Along the Way

Illinois Central Railroad Bridge, Debuque – Checking clearance above the bimini.

Two miles north of 2 miles north the Port of Debuque we were north of the Illinois state line.  On Wisconsin! We did a hole lot of living on the rivers in Illinois and along the Illinois state line; running the gauntlet with the barges, partying with pirates, damming up and damming down. Hugging Illinois since Aug 13, twenty days, one day shy of three weeks.

The map ends here. Oopsie.
When we had the Raymarine chart plotter chip made for the Loop we forgot to tell the guy we needed the Mississippi River too. We still have our backup ipad Navionics.

Labor Day is the end of Endless Summer. There were so many boats on the river it sometimes felt like we were in a washing machining machine, making me wonder how the little boats felt. This was the worst little boat traffic we’ve been in the entire trip. Worse than Florida. Most-likely it has to do with Labor Day Weekend. Surprisingly, there was also a lot of barge traffic today. The heaviest barge traffic since we headed north on the Mississippi River. If there wasn’t an equal amount of up river traffic I’d have thought the dam had broke.

The little boats and wave runners are crazy! They only have one speed. Full speed. I’ve never seen such fast pontoons as there are on this river. What happened to the put-putters? Then there are ‘The Tubers’, water skiers and wake boarders. They too are running full into the mix with the other boats and slaloming around the bouys. If someone falls or falls off ……

Slip and slide on man made dredged-sand hill.
Lock 9 – mile 648, Lynxville, WI and Harpers Ferry, IA.
There are two Golder Looper boats in the the picture here, also waiting for the lift.
Migratory flock at campground


Dale’s first time in Minnesota in over a year!


The Driftless area is an area (as in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa) that is free from glacial drift. It was surrounded by glaciers during the Pleistocene, last glacial period and yet remained untouched by passing glaciers. The area has deep cut river valleys, such as the Kickapoo, and rugged rock bluffs near La Crosse indicating lack of glacial drift

The ‘Driftless area’ includes the incised Paleozoic Plateau of southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa. The region includes elevations ranging from 603 to 1,719 feet at Blue Mound State Park and covers an area of 24,000 square miles.


The term ‘Nautical’ originates from the Greek word ‘nauti’ meaning sailor.

The word skipper is synonymous with boat Captain and originates from the Dutch word ‘schipper’ that means the master of a trading vessel.

A yacht is a vessels used mainly for pleasure. The word ‘yacht’ comes from the Dutch word ‘jacht’ that means to hurry.  It has been Anglicized to yacht. The word yacht only applied to light fast vessels in its early usage

Nauti Words

Run the gauntlet
Meaning: go through an unpleasant experience
Origin: The term comes from a naval punishment where the punished crew member was forced to proceed between two lines of men who would beat and whip him. The word gauntlet was earlier spelled “gantlope” which originates from the Swedish “gata” meaning road, and “lopp” meaning course.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Aug 31, 2019 Saturday Rock River – Mile 479, Rock Island, IL to Port of Debuque – Mile 579, Debuque, IA   33.8 nautical miles.

42°29’43.2″N 90°39’37.0″W
42.495335, -90.660289
Elevation: 594 ft               Locks: 1  Ascent: 13 feet
                                             Lock 12 – mile 557, Bellevue, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 251

Along the Way

Today was a much prettier run on the Mississippi River than all of the other days. Yesterday, somewhere between Camanche, IA and Lock 13 we entered the Driftless Area. It just keeps getting prettier and prettier.

Belleview, IA

Dubuque, IA

Rook on a chess board. Julien Dubuque Monument
Entrance to Port of Dubuque – Flood Gates
Dock Names. Ice Cream, Slip Rental and Restrooms. We are on Beer & Ice.
The Fenelon Place Elevator (aka 4th Street Elevator) is the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway, 296 feet in length, elevating passengers 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. It’s the best the best way to avoid riding your bike up the bluffs. The predecessor to the Fourth Street Elevator was built in 1882 for the private use of local banker and former state senator J.K. Graves. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, associated with the Smithsonian Institute, is in Debuque. Mary went to that while Dale searched for engine oil at a local auto parts supply store. Great museum and Mississippi River aquarium. https://www.rivermuseum.com/

Paddlefish use a filter, or net, in their mouths to pull water through. The net collects the plankton and the water passes through. They use their paddle noses to “sniff” for the plankton and larvae.

The rope on one our our good ball fenders broke as we were coming into the Port of Debuque Harbor. We didn’t notice it until we tided off at the fuel pump. They are about $100. Ugh.
It was a long shot, we looked for it when we left the harbor. And found it! The fender had blow up along the shore right outside the flood gate. We went back into the harbor and tied off. Dale walked over to collect it.

What the heck …. as long as we were here we spent the night in the marina. We are about 1.5 miles south of the Wisconsin – Illinois state border.


The Mississippi River either borders or passes through 10 states : Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It is one of the world’s major river systems in size, biological activity, and habitat diversity. It houses 360 species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians and 50 species of mammals within its banks. (You need to go see the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium!)

Nauti Words

Long shot
Meaning: a venture or guess that has only the slightest chance of succeeding or being accurate
Origin: In old warships, the muzzle-loading cannon were charged with black powder of uncertain potency that would propel the iron shot an equally uncertain distance with doubtful accuracy. A 24-pounder long gun, for instance, was considered to have a maximum effective range of 1200 yards, even though, under the right conditions, a ball might travel some 3000 yards. Similarly, a short, stubby 32-pounder carronade’s lethality faded fast beyond 400 yards. Thus, the odds were against a hit when one fired a long shot.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why is a fish easy to weigh?
     Because it has its own scales

If two people invest in a boat, it’s a partner-ship

If two people invest in a boat, it’s a partner-ship

Aug 30, 2019 Friday Rock River – Mile 479, Rock Island, IL to Mississippi Mile 545, Sabula, Iowa 57 nautical miles.

42°08’42.0″N 90°12’33.5″W
42.145006, -90.209302
Elevation: 581 ft Locks: 3  Ascent: 31 feet
                                             Lock 15, Rock Island, IL and Davenport, IA
                                             Lock 14, LeClaire, IA
                                             Lock 13, above Fulton, IL and Clinton, IA

Remaining Statue Miles: 285

Zebulon Pike camped at the mouth of the Rock River (our anchorage) in 1805 before heading west to discover Pike’s Peak.

Along the Way

Davenport IA. The childhood home of Red Gallagher http://redgallagher.com/

Lock and Dam 15, between Davenport and Rock Island, was the first Lock and Dam built on the Mississippi River. It is the longest roller dam in existence at 1,203 feet.
This is it.
You ever wonder how barges get moved out or a lock when the tow doesn’t ride with them? There is trolley that runs along the lock wall. The barge get tied to it and it’s pulled out.
Isle Casino, Bettendorf, IA has free day use docks. A little gambling and a little lunch.

It has been a couple of days since the partner-ship has had showers. We were off to look for the marina showers the minute yes dear’s lines were secured. The women’s shower was well into preparing for Halloween. There were so many cobwebs and spiders. I quit counting after 12 spiders. The worst part was encouraging a huge spider to leave the chain bolt lock so I could use it.
The marina is on the derelict side. The only part the seem OK is where the water taxi stops.

Cashing out our $20 investment.
Casinos are nothing but bamboozlers! They sucker you into keep playing with little 15 cent and 40 cent wins, while sucking you dry of the whole amount.

How do you know what where it is coming out?

River life

Camanche, IA ~ mile 515. Dang, I missed a photo opp here! Quarterback, Terry Bradshaw grew up briefly in Camanche.

Low bridge coming into Clinton, IA

Lock 13

Salt and Pepper

Ready for Labor Day Weekend
Heading straight west into the sun. This one hurt the eyes. The reflection was as harsh as looking at the sun.

Quote from the Loop

Waiting for a hurricane to hit is a lot like a bug being stalked by a turtle.


The Quad Cities was the site of the western-most battle of the Revolutionary War, fought in 1780.

The Quad Cities is a misnomer. There are actually five cities: Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois.

Nauti Words

Meaning: intentionally deceive someone
Origin: From the 17th century, it described the Spanish custom of hoisting false flags to deceive (bamboozle) enemies.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why did the admiral decide against buying a new hat?
     He was worried about cap sizing

Life on the edge

Life on the edge

Aug 29, 2019 Thursday Bluff Harbor Marina, mile 404, Burlington, IA  to Rock River – Mile 479, Rock Island, IL    75 nautical miles.

41°28’51.0″N 90°36’39.9″W
41.480835, -90.611074
Elevation: 550 ft               Locks: 3  Ascent: 31 feet
                                             Lock 18, Gladstone,  IL / Burlington, IA
                                             Lock 17, New Boston, IL
                                             Lock 16, Muscatine, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 351

Along the Way

Life on the edge. Heading north of the tension line.

Life on the edge. Sounded like 20 miles south of here on the Mississippi River was not the place to be. The Coast Guard broadcast warnings for about 6 hours that the Fort Madison Lift Bridge – mile 384 was closed to navigation due to high winds and severe weather.

I’m not taking any more pictures today unless they are SUNNY.

We had been advised the guys at Lock 17 had a bit of an attitude. They did. They must have thought they were bigwigs or something. Power play. They let us into the lock and raised right away. Things looked good. It changed once we were at the upper water level.  We had to hang on the lock wall watching two lock attendants chat for about 30 minutes before we could carry on upstream. Finally one of them sloooooowwwly walked over and pushed the button to open the lock gates. OK, I fudged the wait time… It was really 25 minutes.
We still thanked them politely when we left.

Dredges. The dredge in the back goes all the way across the river. It was sucking stuff out and piping it to shore. The dredge had to move so we could get around it and carry on up river. There are two other actively working dredges on the right. Quite large scale operation!!


Commodity Movement Comparison

Method Weight
How many are needed to carry 1500 tons How many are needed to carry the 22,500 tons Lengths of the methods for moving 22,500 tons
Barge 1500 tons 1 1 standard
(3×5 15 barges)
¼ mile
(3 foot ball fields or more)
Railcar 112 tons 15 200 railcars 2¼ miles long
26 tons 60 870 tractor trailers 7¼ miles long

A towboat may be 150 feet long, four stories high, and 6000 horsepower. (12 times the horsepower of yes dear)

A standard barge is 200 feet long, 35 feet wide, and when loaded to its 1500-ton capacity needs a nine-foot depth of water to float.

Nauti Words

Meaning: the most important person in a group or undertaking and is often used in a derogatory manner.
Origin: Senior officers in the English Navy were known as “bigwigs” because they wore huge wigs. Bigwig officers aboard ships were often disliked.

Carry on
Meaning: Continue onward or go on with a given task
Origin: In the days of sail, the officer of the deck kept a weather eye constantly on the slightest change in the wind so that the sails could be reefed or added as necessary to ensure the fastest headway. Whenever a good breeze came along, the order to “carry on” would be given. It meant to hoist every bit of canvas the yards* could carry.
* A yard is a spar on a mast from which sails are set. Typically describes the horizontal spars used on square rigged sails.

Meaning: present or deal with something in a vague, noncommittal, or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead
Origin: Expression is believed to come from a Captain Fudge, also known as “Lying Fudge” who was a notorious liar in the 17th Century.

Drolleries and Yuks

Where does a fish keep his money?
     In the river bank

Ponder this

Why is it when you transport something by car its called shipment, but when you transport something by ship it’s called cargo?

It’s lonely out here

It’s lonely out here

Aug 28, 2019 Wednesday Mile 368, Sandusky, IA  to  Bluff Harbor Marina, mile 404, Burlington, IA    33.2 nautical miles.

40°49’09.1″N 91°05’54.8″W
40.819181, -91.098557
Elevation: 519 ft               Locks: 0  Ascent: 0 feet
Remaining Statue Miles: 426

It’s lonely out here on the Mississippi River. We’re kinda missing the other Looper boats and other pleasure boats (aka rec vessels). There are barges and tows around here but only a few of them are moving around. Quiet.

Along the Way

The Machinosaurus. When our kids were young we had a children’s book called ‘The Machinosaurus’. This conveyor reminded me of a machinosaurs. (book spoiler alert – Betty’s Pies saved the day)

Burlington, IA. We’re going to need a mark twain twain lift to clear the railroad bridge.

Bluff Harbor Marina. We pulled into Bluff Harbor Marina about 1:00 PM for fuel stayed for the night. Bluff Harbor Marina didn’t have fuel at the dock but the did have a truck that came in and serviced fuel for boats.

The marina manager Jon and guys at the dock convinced us to stay the night. They didn’t have to work to hard. It’s been lonely out here on the Mississippi River. Our plan to make two locks today just went by the board.

The marina had a pair of rental electric bikes. We pedaled them all over town. Dale rode in Turbo speed and Mary in Eco speed. One of us got more exercise than the other. It would be Mary.

Snake Alley Circa 1894.
In the 1940s, writer Robert L. Ripley saw the street in person, and decided to add it to his Ripley’s Believe It, Or Not! column, calling it “The Crookedest Street in the World”. The turns on Snake Alley are sharper than San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street, giving it a total of 1100° of turning from end to end, where Lombard Street’s straighter curves total only 1000°. Snake Alley consists of five half-curves and two quarter-curves over a distance of 275 feet (83.8 m), rising 58.3 ft (17.8 m), a 21% grade, from Washington Street to Columbia. The alley originally provided a shortcut from Heritage Hill to the business district. Bricks were laid at an angle to allow horses better footing as they descended.
In 2017, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! recognized the street as “Unbelievably Crooked” and the #1 Odd Spot in their Odd Spots Across America Campaign.


The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States and flows 2,340 miles from beginning to end. (The Missouri River is the longest river.) From its source, Lake Itasca, to its end, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River drops 1,475 feet. It possesses such an overwhelming length that it takes 90 days for a single drop of water to travel all the way down it.

Nauti Words

Go by the board
Meaning: abandoned, rejected, or ignored
Origin: fall overboard. Generally usage is of a mast falling past the board (i.e. the side of the ship)

Drolleries and Yuks

What fish can perform operations?
     The sturgeon

Barging right in

Barging right in

Aug 27, 2019 Tuesday Goose Island – Mile 318, Marblehead, Illinois  to   Mile 368, Sandusky, IA   50 nautical miles.

40°27’18.6″N 91°23’03.2″W
40.455178, -91.384213
Elevation: 519 ft               Locks: 3  Ascent: 50 feet
Lock 21, Quincy, IL
Lock 20, Canton, MI
Lock 19, Keokuk, IA
Remaining Statue Miles: 462

We’re fishtailing and slithering all the way up Mississippi at the whim of its treacherous, gnarly, untamed current. We have a lot or respect for this river.

Along the Way

We are truly impressed with the Army Core of Engineers maintaining the waterways, locks and dams. It’s a relentless and often dangerous job.

Canton Lock and Dam 20 – the center pillars kinda look like the castle towers on the Army Corp of Engineers flag.

The only really quirky thing about yes dear… is the forward head pump. Dale replaced it today while we waited 2.5 hours for Lock 20 to open. Lock 20 was down for repair. As far as we are concerned if they need to shut a lock down mid-day for 5 hours, go for it. We will patiently wait.
The lock master was kind enough to let us barge to the front of the line and go first once the lock was reopened. Thank you Lock 20!

Lock 19 was also closed today for repair, 7AM to 7PM. When we arrived there where six tows queued waiting to go through. Each tows takes about 1.5 hours to go through. It looked like an 8 hour wait 🙁
Once again the lock master let us barge in at the front of line and go first when it reopened 🙂 Our wait was a little over an hour at this lock. Thank you Lock 1p!


The Mississippi River received its official title from the Anishinaabe, a group of indigenous peoples from Canada and the United States. The group, consisting of the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree, and Algonquin, named the river “Misi-ziibi,” meaning ‘Great River’ or ‘gathering of water.’

Keokuk (circa 1780–June 1848) was a chief of the Sauk or Sac tribe in central North America, and for decades was one of the most recognized Native American leaders and noted for his accommodation with the U.S. government. The town of Keokuk, IA is named after him.
LOL chief Keokuk had never visited the town of Keokuk before it was incorporated in 1834.

Kudzu vine can grow at the rate of one foot per day.


Terminology Change: Pleasure Crafts (PCs) are called Recreation Vessels (Rec Vessels) on the upper Mississippi River. I wondered why the lock master at the first Mississippi River lock laughed at us.

Nauti Words

Head / Go to the Head
Meaning: The lavatory aboard a ship is known as the “head.” / Go to the bathroom
Origin: The expression comes from the fact that on the sailing ships the toilet was located forward, close to the figurehead or the “head” of the vessel.

Meaning: a leader with no real power or function, much like the figurehead on the front of a ship
Origin: An ornamental figure placed on the front of a ship often under the bowsprit. Originally, the figure was often thought to be a religious and/or protective emblem.

Barge in
Meaning: suddenly and rudely interrupt or disturb (something or someone)
Origin: The word barge refers to the more common, flat-bottomed workboat which is hard to maneuver and difficult to control.  They would bump and bang into other boats thus the term . . . “barge in.”

Drolleries and Yuks

What do sailors use to blow their noses?