Because the RAGBRAI (week long bike ride involving thousands of cyclists and their entourages) was ending in Dubuque the same weekend as the beginning of the Rumble, the first few places I called had no rooms available. So I called the RedStone Inn, and what a peach of a place! It is a bed and breakfast in downtown Dubuque, a registered historic building. The proprietor was ever so helpful and helped us put the kayak on the back porch because it hung over the back of the truck bed so far that there was not room for it in the parking lot without risking a car-kayak collision. That sure would have ruined our trip!
Bill drove me through the heavy RAGBRAI traffic to Mud Lake Park where the Great River Rumble begins this year. It is a nice park right next to the Hawkeye Marina, where we killed time last year awaiting our turn in the lock. We found out that this year's trip was almost cancelled due to flooding. The final OK was just received on Thursday!
While Bill was gone to drop the truck off at Muscatine (the end of our river trip), I set up camp, read my book, and hung around with some old friends from past Rumbles. We met some men who caught this huge catfish--somewhere around 60 pounds! Bill arrived on the bus along with most of the participants--150 registered paddlers this year, another Rumble record.
We had our initial meeting, signed waivers and got our shirts, then had dinner with the group and retired to our tent, ready to Rumble!