Keakuk, IA to Quincey, IL
We all took off this morning from the marina. I was with the canoeing couple and the single kayaker. It was a long day of clipping off miles. We paddled together and separately as we knocked out 38 miles. The 25 year old kayaker held his own and we moved down river. The 30 year old guy and his 23 year old girlfriend moved too, but they were wasting a lot of energy in their paddling and ‘off’ communication. I figured I would make a go at it today and evaluate things later. I called ahead to all the locks to get us cleared quickly. We dropped 30′ in Lock #19, 2′ in Lock #20, and 2′ in Lock #21. We made a stop in this small town so that the canoeing couple could pick up a care package. We all tied up our boats to the shore and headed into this small town. I stopped by a gas station to get a drink while they went to get their package.
After we met back up with them, I found out that their contact never sent out the package. It was a sign of the communication that appeared to be missing. The couple stopped by the gas station to get cigarettes and beer. We all took our bags and headed back to the boats. We moved to hit our goal of Quincey, IL. The sun was going down on the day and I was put off by the couples arguing and bad lack of communication. The sun set when we were about 1-2 miles from Lock #21. Their maps showed a marina just past the lock. There were parked barges in the waterway and I was not excited about being out at night with no lights. We made the lock. I got it open via the radio. They caught up and appeared slightly intoxicated. I just wanted to get into the marina and set up camp as I was done with this day.
We got through the lock to find out there was no marina. The kayaker voted to keep pushing onward. I think the couple in the canoe thought it was a good idea too. I let them know I was docking and setting up camp. I did not care about their vote. The moon was not near bright enough and no one had lights. Headlamps did not count. The upside of being more experienced in loofa is that I understand bad ideas when I hear them. They fooled me into the cement boat launch. We pulled up our boats on a muddy launch. We grabbed our gear and set up camp. I was tired. It was a long day, for many reasons. I called a few friends and decided to make some dinner. I could go to bed, but my body needed fuel. I made a light pasta dinner before calling it a night. The night was clear and I could see incoming barges through my tent windows. I appreciated being on the river and being able to life this experience.