We packed up the tent soaking wet again. I was fitted up in a single kayak since Bill is driving road crew today--he usually donates one day each trip to helping out. We set out through a cut to the Mississippi River instead of going out the way we came in.
Don K. is one of the landing chairs for Clinton, so he spoke with us this morning. He is 91 years old, and comes on this trip every year. This week he has his son and grandson with him part of the time. Here he is in the red shirt.
We stopped at 9 miles into our day, at a park that was totally inundated with water last week. It was pretty spongy, but we were able to have our lunch break there. A lot of the water lilies in the area are dead due to the very high water that was here last week--you know it's bad when water plants get killed from the high water! We had to come in to the park single file on a path through the dead water lilies.
After lunch we left the park the same way, single file through the dead lilies, and then paddled right into the Clinton pool. The Clinton pool is a lake above lock 13, and it is about 3 by 6 miles, so we had some paddling to do to get to the lock. When we got to the lock there was a tug with barges above the lock and dam and we were afraid we would have to wait for it to lock through first. Fortunately the lock tender let us in first, as we were getting very wet in the rain... after the water dropped and the lock gates opened to let us out there was another tug with barges pulled right up to the lock exit! It was a narrow treacherous exit, and I heard later that one of our boats got caught in the barge's current and had to be rescued by a safety boat.
When we got to Clinton there was a brass band playing at the landing--very cool! Bill was on the ramp helping people out with their boats (as he does every day), and we walked up the hill to the camping area. I dried out the tent and ground cloth, set up the tent, and then took all our smelly wet laundry to the marina laundromat. Bill and I skipped the group outing to a mexican restaurant and instead had a quiet dinner at a family restaurant. When we got back we said goodbye to a new friend and new Rumbler, Ralph, who has to leave the trip early.
After dark the fountain in the park where we camped lit up in all different colors. This is a great place!