Monday, October 3, 2011

Mississippi River Day 41 (Henderson Island, 682 miles)

This morning I slept in a bit. My thermometer was reading 44 degrees at 7:00, so I wanted it to warm up a bit. An hour later it was already 60. It was still pretty calm and foggy even then, but I took off into the haze. By 2:00 in the afternoon it reached 108. That was sitting in the sun for a while, with no breeze. Its also on a cheap thermometer, but I think its accurate. I was dripping sweat, so I know it was quite hot.

The lock tender today was a stickler for rules. As I approached he asked me if I had a lifejacket, and said I had to put it on to use the lock. This was the first time at all that I have had to use the life jacket, so it caught me off guard. I could tell he followed all the rules, because he waited for the gates to completely open and close before changing the signals to stop and go. Other tenders just wait until the turbulence has stopped, and let you through anyway. Just a bit different I guess.

Since the heat was so bad today I took a break in the afternoon, longer than my usual breaks for the day. At mile 20 I reached my goal for the day, which was the Iowa state line. I'm out of my first state, officially. Its a bit weird, since I've actually been on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin for a while now, but I'm done with Minnesota now, and still between Iowa and Wisconsin. Even though its an imaginary line, its nice to get a milestone like that out of the way.

I made camp for the night shortly after the state line, where there was a nice sandy campsite, with a firepit and a lot of wood. For the first time in a while now there were mosquitoes again, which was a bit annoying, but they weren't anywhere near as bad as they were went I started.

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