High water makes it a struggle to find good campsites. Earlier this week we searched for several hours unsuccessfully. Google maps showed we were running out of islands to check. Then at the end of the last island, we came across this beautiful campsite with just enough time to put up a tent, across from Cordova, Illinois.
'Kay. After paddling some really rough water (4 foot waves and tug wake combined) coming out of Lock 14, we find this on the beach across from Davenport, Iowa. Know what that is? A piece of fiberglass canoe.
In Illinois tonight. Just crossed the river from showers and laundry in Dubuque, Iowa. Eagle count is 109.
Couldn't sleep at 3 a.m. Went out to watch a barge pass by. Clear, starry night. The Milky Way was visible. Meteors added to the show ... Until the barge operator shined his spotlight on me and damn near blinded me.
Finally got a picture of an eagle in flight. This is number 89 in our count since we started our trip down the Mississippi River.
Challenging day. Three portages, Sartell Dam, Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud Dam. First pic is what counts for a portage at St. Cloud. Try bringing a kayak loaded with gear on a cart down those crazy stairs. Couldn't have done it without the help of our friend "Hobie Cat" John. The pay off was a gorgeous sunset from our campsite. We also hid from a thunderstorm under a bridge during the St. Cloud portage and got this view of a rainbow.
Blanchard Dam portage, apparently the toughest on the river ... done ... with the help of Dave Randolph and "Hobie Cat" John Vertin.
Mike Malott – Age 60, Hartland, MI. Former Managing Editor of the Livingston Daily Press & Argus, based in Howell, MI. I've been a desk jockey most of my life. Becoming more of an outdoor enthusiast as I get older.