Piloting a Barge and Tow Boat

Here is Kim piloting a barge down the Mississippi River at the simulator at the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque.  She collided with another barge, but I ran a barge into a bridge!

July 2010 Flood

To sum it up from our vantage point, a lot of hoopla about not much of nothing.  Unfortunately, we rushed down on Saturday to get our boat out of the river what with the official forecasts having the river rising 6 feet in one day.  Well, my spouse slipped at the boat ramp and severely broke her left wrist.  Bones displaced and all.  Our boating season is over.

Cantilever lanes on I-80 bridge

Here is a better view of the cantilevered outside lanes on the I-80 bridge.  These outside lanes are the ones that are stressed according to the Illinois DOT.  Traffic has been routed to the inside lanes.  The contractor is making definite progress in getting the Illinois side westbound lanes repaved.


We take our boat under the bridge a lot.


Princeton Beach Iowa

Well, we made it up to Princeton Beach yesterday.  Some folks camp on the beach.  Remember the only way there is by boat.

Princeton Beach Mau 2009 001

Princeton Beach Mau 2009 010

Dry Stacks (Grace Marine) Le Claire Iowa

We took our first boat ride of the season last night.   Temperature in the 70’s, a bit windy and therefore choppy.  But it calmed down as the evening went on.  This year we are keeping our 18 foot bowrider at Dry Stacks.  They had the boat down off the top rack when we arrived and put it away for us when came back about 7:30.  Way to go guys!  Memorial day weekend party there on Saturday night.  The marina bulls cart the boats around.  Ours is on the top rack of a covered rack, but kept outside.

Kim's camera May 2009 034

Kim's camera May 2009 035

Kim's camera May 2009 036

Obviously, the Holiday Inn Express in LeClaire is right there also.  Go out on boat, too much to drink, head to the motel….just don’t drive the boat while imbibing.

Kim was very happy with her first boat ride of the season.

Kim's camera May 2009 013

Princeton Beach

Here are some photos of Princeton Beach, a sandbar beach just north of Princeton, Iowa.  The only way to the beach is by boat.  There are many beaches like this on the northern Mississippi River.  No admission price.



CNNMoney says we are one of the best places on the water

CNNMoney website recently released a list of the best and most affordable places to be near the water for boating.  And Bettendorf, Iowa, came in #10!  Our main house is currently in Bettendorf until we move.


The article says the average home price for a place on the river is $400,000 here in Bettendorf.  Now Bettendorf proper does not really have that many homes right on the river, so I don’t know where they came up with that number.  But the greater Quad Cities certainly does, including our little cottage for 25% of that price.

Cottage is for sale, so is dock

We are moving up the pool to north of Leclaire.  We have been very busy, which is why so few posts lately.  We sold the house in town before we listed it, but the cottage is available, less than $100,000.

Here is the listing:


We are going down to one house and one RV, and two boats.  The new house will overlook the river, but not be on the river.

Illinois wins Tugfest, they lead the series

My loyalties are divided.  I grew up in Moline, Illinois, went to college at the University of Illinois in ChampaignUrbana and law school at Northwestern in Chicago.  I work in Illinois, but since 1980 have been living in Iowa.

So Illinois won our tugging of war last weekend and now has a good lead in the series.  Here are some links:


We took our boat out on the river to see the fireworks.  We had to move after the fireworks barge docked right next to us in the channel.  So we went down stream to tie up with our neighbors and got a loose boat fender stuck in our prop.  It was hard to get an anchor to lodge in the river bed.  And we had to hug the Illinois side because right in front of Leclaire the river is over 50 feet deep and our rope anchor does not have that long of a rope.  We got loose and started heading towards the burger boat.  But the fireworks were great.  I took some pictures, but I don’t think they turned out so well.

Tubing on the river

We took the kids tubing right up between Leclaire and Port Byron where the river widens:

I am the spotter — I tell Kim when they have fallen off the tube.  Or as happened with this tube, when it deflates!!