Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mississippi River Day 40 (Mormon Island 659.8 miles)

This morning wasn't so cold, but it was really foggy. I hit a lock early in the day, at 4 miles in. It was still very foggy at that point, and I hadn't read the maps, so I wasn't really expecting it. I just saw the pier jutting out of the fog, and realized where I was. Once I realized I was at a lock I pulled the cord to signal that I wanted to go through. The lock tenders had to radio to a tug that was halfway in on the downstream side. The tug was tied up there, I'm not sure why, but it was preventing the gates from closing. It took a bit to get it moved out of the way, and then I was let through.

All day today I had an arguement with myself. I was debating between how long I want this trip to take. If I average 15 miles per day it will be end of January. That would give me more time each day to relax. The second option is 18 miles, which would be around New Years. That would be longer days, but allow me other trips in January. I had finally made up my mind to only do 15 average, but when I got to mile 15 I realized it was too soon to stop. So I kept going. I guess its going to be 18 miles average, which will probably work out better. The big thing that has really changed is that there is no longer any current, so I'm only averaging 3 mph. Before the twin cities I was going about 4 mph, since the current was about 1 mph. That can make a big diference over the course of the day.

After finishing the debate, I kept going, and mostly bypassed the town of LaCrosse. I stopped for water and that was it. I already have enough food, and the library was probably closed, since it was late on Sunday when I got there. Instead I went a few more miles, and found a nice island campsite. The island has a bunch of trees that have been gnawed on by beavers, but they area still standing. No beaver dams in sight though. I used some of the deadwood to make a nice fire, and called it a day.

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