Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mississippi River Day 53 (Bonfire Island, 875 miles)

Today was even worse than yesterday. I spent the first 8 hours of the day trying hard to barely make 6 miles due to the wind. There wasn't even anywhere to hide out, since I was going through Davenport IA, and there were no trees to stop the wind.

In some places the waves were breaking over the front of my canoe as I bobbed up and down, and there were whitecaps everywhere. I stopped right after the city as soon as I found a spot, and decided to call it quits.

At 5:30 the wind slowed down quite a bit, so I pushed out again, and made another 3 miles before dark. As it was getting dark I was looking for a campsite when I came across a family with a large bonfire. They called me over and asked what I was doing. They were about to leave, so they left me their food and the fire, both of which I enjoyed.

It turned out that one of them, Troy, is in charge of safety for the surrounding lock areas, so he told me a few horror stories about the locks and dams. Apparently a few years ago someone on a surfboard was sucked under the dam, and had to be rescued. He was saved, and continued downriver, but was probably a bit more careful after that.

Troy said he would be at the lock 42 miles down on Monday, so I might end up seeing him again.
Overall a nice end to a horrible day.

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