Friday, October 21, 2011

Mississippi River Day 59 (Huff Island, 1006 miles)

Today I got a pre-dawn start, once I heard that the wind was gone. Almost as soon as I set out though, I ended up beached. The island had a u-shaped sandbar around it, so I had to backtrack. If it was light out I would have seen it, but instead I had to run into it a few times feeling my way around. Not a good start. Even worse, a bunch of birds had camped out above my campsite for the night, and covered my canoe and hammock with bird poop. Grrr.

However, with the calm all day I decided to try to make up a few miles. I hit a lock at 16 miles in, and this one had a power plant attached to it, so the drop was quite a bit bigger than most of the other locks. I had lunch just after the lock, on a small island, before continuing on.

After lunch I saw a few interesting things. In a side channel there was an entire tug sitting on the side of the bank, ten feet up from the water. I guess it got grounded during a flood, and was just left there. I also saw a bunch of fish jumping 3 feet out of the water. I've been told they were asian carp, but I'm not that big on fish identification, so I don't really know. The strangest thing was just downstream from the dam, I saw a group of people fishing in a boat. Something didn't seem quite right, so I paddled closer. Turns out it was a family of midgets, mother father and son, who were working the family business of fishing. Just a bit strange to see on the river.

Overall today was a very nice day. Very few other boats out, and no barges. I did see one other canoe-er, but he was just a local going upstream to fish for a bit.

And best thing of all, I'm out of another state. Goodbye Iowa.

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