Burger boat

Someone came up with the idea of turning a houseboat into a floating concession stand.  We caught the Burger Boat fueling up the other day.

Burger boat

Burger boat


The 36th annual RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Race Across Iowa) finished up in Leclaire this year.  The Des Moines Register sponsors this bike ride across the state from west to east.  Small Iowa towns host them along the way.   About 13,000 bicyclists ride what they discover is not so flat of a state, dipping their back tire in the Missouri River on the west side of the state, and their front tires in the Mississippi River on the east side of the state.  And many of them party hardy all along the way.  We got caught up in the traffic jam on Saturday morning.  There were many painted school buses that looked like they had time warped from the 1960’s, they hauled gear.  They were pretty much cleared out of town by Saturday afternoon, even though they had to ride 40 miles from the last stop.

Here are some links to see pictures.  Check out the video on the Register’s web site.



Trouble in river city

You have seen many photos of the I-80 bridge over the Mississippi here.  Well, yesterday I got stuck in a massive traffic jam (as we define that here, made me 15 minutes late getting home), and it turned out the Illinois DOT bridge inspectors were on the job.  Illinois is in charge of bridge maintenance.  Because of corrosion on support structures, we are down to one lane each way indefinitely.   I am seeking alternative routes to work through cornfields and woods.  Here is the story:


But, better safe than in the river….

Trotline Catch

Our neighbor John has started to catch catfish with a trotline.  Here is a definition:


Nick is going to learn also and just added trotline to his Iowa fishing license.  Here is John’s catch from Saturday night.

Enjoying the river

Kim took the kids out tubing on Saturday and Sunday.  I wasn’t quite up for that, so I got to enjoy some alone time.  But here they are getting ready to go:

How muddy is the Mississippi River?

As the river goes, we are pretty far north.  We took the boat out for a ride today, 30 miles up the river to Clinton, Iowa.  Outside of Camanche, Iowa, I decided to fill up an empty water bottle with river water to show you what it looks like.  Kim is holding the bottle and driving at the same time.   The water was a bit clearer last year, must still be churned up from the flood.  Bet you did not think it looks like this.

The flood is over, ready for the summer

We are back up and running.  I took these pictures a few nights ago as we got the fire started on the river bank.  FEMA left us a brochure, but we don’t need it, thank heavens.

The sunset was pretty too.

We can start to enjoy the river, but it seems like the summer is aleady half over!

Wading in flood waters in work clothes

Laurie stopped by her cottage on the way home from work to check up on it.  She waded down the normally dry road to get in, but abandoned all boots on the way back out since to get into her back door, it was going over the top of her boots.  We got this one on crest day.



Good thing we can keep our sense of humor.  She and her husband have since repainted, replanted and decorated.  Looks good.

Grand Marais Minnesota

The north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota is a must see.  We visited it recently on our way to a dog show in Thunder Bay Ontario.  Highway 61 is over 100 miles of breathtaking scenery.  A lot like Maine without the tides.  But this has waterfalls also.  So there was a lot of water, so I am posting my favorite pictures.  We stayed at a municipal campground right on the lake in Grand Marais MN.   Here are some of my favorite pictures.

There were rocky cliffs coming right down to rocky shores.

The water was very clear, something we don’t see much of on the mighty Mississippi.

Here is a picture of Nick looking quite pensive:

But they did not take themselves completely seriously, check out this bait shop:

Wisconsin River is coming this way

The Wisconsin River flows into the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien WI.  Therefore high water there is of great interest to us folks downstream.  I took these pictures going over the Wisconsin River at US Highway 61 last week.

It is still up very high.

And flooded in the backwaters: