Monday, August 3, 2009

July 30: McGregor to Guttenberg, IA, 19 miles

We awoke to a pouring rain at about 3 AM, could not do anything about it, so went back to sleep and awoke to a pouring rain at 6 AM, along with Jim's wake up call: CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain" and then a generic version of "Singin' in the Rain". Appropriate selections for this morning.

We packed up in the rain, bussed down to town where we waited almost an hour for our breakfast--another place that apparently did not believe that 160 people were coming for breakfast--2 waitresses and one cook. The food was hot and good when we got it, and it was still raining. We set up the boat and attended the morning meeting in the rain, watching many people pull their boats out of the line up--there was a lot of road crew this day!
We got out on the river about 9:00 and the rain stopped! It was another glorious day on the river. We had a tail wind again, strong enough for John and Mary to put up their umbrellas and keep up with the paddlers! Unfortunately for them, the wind shifted slightly and they had to paddle like the rest of us.
We stopped for lunch at Clayton where there is a large silica sand mine with massive inside storage for emergency rations for three surrounding states and a million old tires (could not figure that one). We saw trains and barges being loaded with sand as we passed by.
I tried to photograph 2 eagles in a tree, but I hope that someone with a zoom lens got a better shot!

There is a fancy new harbor at Guttenberg, and even though there were almost 40 tents already set up when we got there (the fair weather paddlers that opted out of this rainy morning) I was able to get a waterfront tent site--this photo of the harbor is taken from my tent.

We had dinner and ice cream downtown and then I walked to get ice for the cooler while Bill closed up the boat. On the way back the bats came out--thousands of bats swooping down all over town! It was a bit creepy, but it was the first evening this week that I did not get any mosquito bites. I think I'll go home and build a bat house. If I build it will they come?

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