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Upper Mississippi River C-Dory Trip - Sep. 2021
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Jim Gibson



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 558
City/Region: Sacramento
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 1998
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Pounder
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:30 pm    Post subject: Upper Mississippi River C-Dory Trip - Sep. 2021 Reply with quote

After our successful 2017 Lewis & Clark Snake and Columbia Rivers Cruise and our successful 2018 Nashville Skyline Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers Cruise, Floyd and I have decided to embark on a 2021 Mark Twain Big River Cruise (on the Upper Mississippi).

Videographer Floyd (C-Dory Far C’R) and I (C-Dory Pounder) will be launching September 10, 2021 from Watergate Marina (St. Paul, MN.) and will head downriver 642 NM to Alton, Il. We are planning 13 days on the Upper Mississippi.

We expect to average approximately 50 NM per day on the water. Average number of locks per day is two. Average day length underway is about 6 hours.

We will retrieve our trucks and trailers on September 24th and 25th. We will start our drive back to California on September 26th, and be back home by September 30th.

There are carefully selected overnight stops at river friendly towns on this trip like Red Wing, MN; Wabasha, MN; La Crosse, WI; Prairie Du Chien, WI, Dubuque, IA; Clinton, IA; Muscatine, IA; Burlington, IA; Quincy, IL; Rockport, IL; Grafton, IL; and Alton. IL.

We have learned from our other trips that about five vessels on this kind of expedition cruise seems to work out best. It is enough boats to create some resources, if necessary, to get things done, but not too many boats to bog down the entire group.

The dates for this trip are set in stone. We are devoting the entire month of September 2021 to this trip, given that it is 5 days out and 5 days back, pulling our trailers.

Floyd and I hereby invite a few others to join us on this journey, if you have the interest, enthusiasm, time availability, and your covid vaccinations. It would be great if someone from the Midwest joined us as we could certainly use local knowledge.

Does anyone want to join us in St. Paul for this adventure? For anyone who is going a detailed itinerary will be sent along with river references.

We believe that this is the part of the Mississippi to do and the time of the year to do it. We are looking for possibly three other vessels to join us.

Meanwhile, back to reading Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi”!

Jim & Kath

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JonO



Joined: 12 May 2021
Posts: 40
City/Region: Madison
State or Province: WI
C-Dory Year: 2017
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Tremolo
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great idea. I'd do this in a heartbeat if the timing worked out.

Based on my experience in the area, you've made some nice choices for overnight stops.

The upper Mississippi is beautiful... especially in the driftless region of southern Minnesota/Wisconsin and northern Iowa/Illinois where wooded bluffs rise sharply from the riverbanks.

Over the years Dubuque has gone through a remarkable transformation. It's home to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The Field of Dreams (from the movie) isn't too far away.

Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal Missouri is just south of Quincy... I have a feeling you might be stopping there. Smile
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Sequim
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sleepy-C
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, What a timing coincidence. I have been planning this same (general) trip -- was going to take longer and maybe go farther south. However, I had a side trip that was going to take me away for much of Sept so I am postponing until next year. I would love to be doing this with a group and know you will have all the details covered so I will be following with great interest.

All the best,

Harvey (Delta Extravaganza trip 2019)
SleepyC


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TyBoo



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
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City/Region: Warrenton
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 1996
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruise Ship
Vessel Name: TyBoo
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are amazing! It sounds like a great trip.
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MOOSE



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
Posts: 608
City/Region: Rainy Lake - Int'l. Falls
State or Province: MN
C-Dory Year: 2001
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: MOOSE
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have not read it, I highly recommend the 1979 book Old Glory: An American Voyage by Jonathan Raban. Raban took a 16' boat from Minneapolis to New Orleans and this book chronicles his adventure. It's a great book. And watch those wing dams!
Al

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SeaSpray



Joined: 11 Mar 2004
Posts: 993
City/Region: Brentwood, CA
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2004
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: SeaSpray
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jim,

I would like to be to be part of this! I have been thinking about going east for a trip and this sounds like an interesting cruise. Thanks for doing the planning.

Steve
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 19320
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have done this part of the river in segments. We also went up the St. Croix to its navigable head--a worthwhile trip.

How is the security at the launch point for the rigs? We launched at Winona for the upper River, where a C. Brat had arranged for us.

We have taken 3 Septembers. to do this area. There is a lot of history and very interesting places to visit. We ran at 6 knots plus river speed most of the time--but kicked up the speed. Also AIS receiver is nice to have to sort out the tugs and tows. Not a lot up high, But the grains are starting to come in and be moved toward the later part of the month.

Also be aware, that things start closing down after Labor Day. Toward the end of Sept. fuel became an issue in some areas. We did have several days of heavy fog early in the AM, and some rain. Also if there is a flood stage, you may not be able to get in Dubuque. We were in, and had to leave because they were locking down the Flood gates. (other than that, it is a fantastic stop--and worth several days (weeks) exploration of that area.

I don't know if you can buy any of Mark Twain's Literature anymore or not, but it is worth re-reading as you travel. Also Jerry Hay's book on the Mississippi River is a must have. (River lorian) Unfortunately you have to read it back wards--he starts at the Gulf of Mexico going up to Minninapolis St Paul.

Have fun. We are doing the Erie Canal at that time period--as our last trip in Thataway. Otherwise we would love to join you!

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gulfcoast john



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim and Kath,

We had such a great time on the 2018 cruise and want to thank you again!

We’ll never forget pulling in to the Bumpus Mills marina. There were cigarette butts in the water, and a strong smell of gas fumes. I got to tie up first. The gnarly proprieters were sitting on the gas dock, chain smoking Marlboros under the required NO SMOKING sign and spitting and flipping butts in the water. I asked Ms. Gnarly if they sold beer. She glanced at Mr. Gnarly and announced,

“Not no more. Buddy here would drink up all the stock, so we lost money on it.”
Buddy takes in a long draw, spits in the water and just nods.

Bob takes in the whole scene, including the Porta-Potti, in one quick glance and radios “Thataway is moving on.”

Every bass boat we saw seemed to be extremely well stocked, so I would have thought you couldn’t possibly lose money selling beer around there. So we learned a lot (except how to run a TC255 slower than it wants to go) and had a blast!

Safe travels!

John

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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 2649
City/Region: Leesburg
State or Province: VA
C-Dory Year: 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to do this, but Sept this year is already booked up.
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LesR



Joined: 05 May 2010
Posts: 147
City/Region: St. Louis
State or Province: MO
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Intuition
Photos: Intuition
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim,
I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip. We went from Watergate Marina to Dubuque in 2017 and had a great time. We left our truck and trailer at Watergate for a couple weeks.

I would add Lake City to your list of options for places to stop. The marina there is excellent, and everything you'd need is within a few blocks.

If you'll be anchoring out, we really liked Richmond Island (midway between Winona and LaCrosse). There's a channel to the west of the island in which to anchor and you can (we did at the time) beach your boat on the sandy beach on the west side of the island and have a campfire or relax off the boat.

A tactic I occasionally used during our trip was to go fast in some sections to beat a tow to the next lock, rather than lose an hour (or three) if they happened to arrive there just before us. If you have AIS receive, you can get a good sense of a tow's speed and whether it's worthwhile to pass them before an upcoming lock.

We hope to be back in the St. Louis area by mid-September, so feel free to reach out if you or anyone in your group needs help or coordination. We live just 25 miles from Alton.

Les Rohlf

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Jim Gibson



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 558
City/Region: Sacramento
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 1998
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Pounder
Photos: Pounder
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point we have three vessels signed up for this adventure: Jim & Kath (Pounder), Floyd & Eiko (Far C’R), and Steve & Karen (SeaSpray). We are still seeking another possible two vessels, if you want to go. Again, it would be great if someone from the Midwest went with some local knowledge to share. Afterall, the three vessels going now are all from California.

Thanks for the Midwest input from jonO, Moose, and LesR. Thanks for the kind words from Dr. Bob and Dr. John.

Dr. Bob, we will park our tow rigs at Watergate Marina behind locked gates for $10 a day. Dr. John, I too will never forget Bumpus Mills, Tennessee. Right out of Deliverance.

Now back to doing maintenance on my truck and trailer!
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txmntman



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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City/Region: GEORGETOWN
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C-Dory Year: 2006
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Vessel Name: Saint Somewhere
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a GREAT TRIP!! I’d love to do it in the future (not in the cards for this year), but I really wish you well. I would love to join you on a trip in the future
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Anura 16



Joined: 24 Sep 2020
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:43 am    Post subject: Upper MS river Reply with quote

I will be on an American cruise river boat departing at Red Wing 11 Sep. I will keep a lookout for you.
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Lew 25



Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 52
City/Region: Billings
State or Province: MT
C-Dory Year: 1996
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Vessel Name: CAT CLAW
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim and Kath,
Sounds like another great trip.

We are interested in this adventure.

Can we sign up for space four?

Lew & Doris von Kleeck
Cat Claw
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Jim Gibson



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 558
City/Region: Sacramento
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 1998
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Pounder
Photos: Pounder
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Lew. Good to have you onboard. Yes you are boat four.

Hope Doris can come. Send me your email and I will send you an itinerary and some references to check out. Also send me your cell phone.
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