Sore knees and other events on the Mississippi River

We had this planned for about four months. We’d make our way over to Lansing, Iowa, and rent a houseboat for a week. It didn’t really click, though, until we saw the River. Yikes, we were really going to do this? Were we really going to leave the trailer for a week and swap it for a boat? You better believe it.

We arrived a day early to load up the boat. As we were trucking stuff to the boat, I overheard another party loading up that they had “brought half the house.” We brought about 15/16ths of the house. Granted, we had about the same amount, but…

One of my jobs was “Sounder,” a fancy name for dropping a pole in the water and making sure we had “Mark Twain,” or enough water. I had to kneel on some rough carpet to be close enough to the water. About halfway through the trip, it finally dawned on me to put a towel down to kneel on.

The water was freezing. The waterslide on the back of the boat wasn’t used all the much. I couldn’t let myself think about the water until I were on my way down. Otherwise, I’d chicken out.

We met another group in the cove we spent a couple nights in. They were big wiffle ball fans and invited us to play. Playing on a downhill slope wasn’t the best. A line drive to center became just another flyout. My team was swept in the doubleheader.

Leaving on our last day was interesting. We pulled out, and, as was the routine, looked both ways to make sure the channel was clear. And found that something was coming at us. I had no idea what it was. Turns out it was a steamship. That thing was huge. We later had to dodge a barge on the way back.

Unloading seemed easier than loading. We had less food to worry about. We had dogs wishing we had some to get rid of. Sorry, guys.

The week seemed really short. I would do it again in a heartbeat. This time, though, I’d use the towel all week.

Scenery from the River

Scenery from the River

Harrison using the Sounder Pole

Harrison using the Sounder Pole

Harrison reclining while traveling - cant do that in the truck!

Harrison reclining while traveling - cant do that in the truck!

Harrison exploring a shoreline

Harrison exploring a shoreline

Harrison's bedroom on board.

Harrison's bedroom on board.

Harrison fresh from the slide

Harrison fresh from the slide

The infamous wiffle-ball game

The infamous wiffle-ball game

A bit of down-time on board, watching movies

A bit of down-time on board, watching movies

Oh, hello!

Oh, hello!

This is the largest Steamboat ever buit at 420ft

This is the largest Steamboat ever buit at 420ft

It hasn't seen these waters since 2008 - we were lucky!

It hasn't seen these waters since 2008 - we were lucky!

Steamboat!

Harrison slides

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