Dubuque, IA to Mount Chestnut, IL
I woke up feeling good. I broke my tent down off the dock. The dock manager came over and told me that he has seen a lot of things over the year. He told me that it was a first for someone to actually set up camp and sleep on the dock. I smiled knowing I got a first. I left my boat and headed over to the National Mississippi River Museum. I brought my camera and went for the education and the pictures. I took my time walking throughout the entire museum. I saw Mark Twain’s original mirror from his NY place. I shot a picture of myself in it. I realized I am my own person doing my own adventure, but it was cool to think of his journeys during his time.
I captured a few quality images and headed out. I was tired from a long night and lack of sleep, but this is adventure. I refilled my water and got back on the river. I said my good byes to the other boaters on the marina. I entered the river only to see heavy river traffic. This was one of the first good weekends for the boaters. I was looking at 20-30 boats on any part of the river. I hugged close to the Iowa coastline to avoid some of the wakes and any possible “tipsy” boaters. I dropped into any slough I could get into to avoid a lot of the boat traffic.
I pulled up to this bar in a slough. The DNR (Department of Natural Resources) came over to check out my boat. They were more interested in my gear and my journey than anything else. I made a lunch as I listened to some bad singers. They were rocking out some good songs, just not on key. I still sat there and enjoyed the sounds. I spent the afternoon paddling thinking about the mountains of Colorado. I thought of the choices in my life that have helped lead to the adventures that I was currently living.
As I approached the area near Lock #12, I notices a nice house up on the hill. I thought that they had to spend a fortune to maintain their lawn. As I got closer, I could see chair lifts. I thought it was awesome that there was a ski resort right on the river. I made it to an island in the middle of the river as the sun was setting quickly. I met a couple on the beach. They told me about the mountain and how I could access it. I set up camp as I was tired. I would be off to explore in the morning.