Community (Day 53-54)

Docktails at Alton Marina At least 22 boat crews came to "docktails" (dockside social hour) tonight, our last evening in Alton, Ill. After the sun set, we hosted four boaters in our salon, lit by my solar flames, while snacking on Scotch Eggs that we made in the air fryer. Hosting visitors on Many Moons … Continue reading Community (Day 53-54)

St. Louis (Day 52)

"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot That sounds like a Looper motto to me! I wonder if, at the end of this trip, I will know myself "for the first time?" A curious question, perhaps, but … Continue reading St. Louis (Day 52)

Bridges, Barges & Giggles (Day 51)

Full Moon atop Clark Bridge. When a full moon meets the apex of a cable bridge, it looks like a spotlight.A 5x3 barge tow carries as much as 1,000 semi trucks.Loopers on a bus named Shittzengiggles do, in fact, giggle. Those are three things I learned during our third day in Alton, Illinois on the … Continue reading Bridges, Barges & Giggles (Day 51)

Alton (Day 49-50)

We've reached it! The Mighty Mississippi! No sign announced it. No blast of a horn. The water looked the same. 😉 But we watched the channel markers carefully, and grinned at each other as Mile Marker 0 on the Illinois merged with Mile Marker 218 of the Mississippi. It felt like a milestone. And it … Continue reading Alton (Day 49-50)

Where Rivers Meet (Grafton, Day 47-48)

Illinois meets Mississippi We aren't quite there yet, but we're close. "There" is another milestone on The Great Loop: The Mighty Mississippi. You hear about it for months in advance. You worry about it a bit (at least I do) ... the giant barges and the big currents. We got a glimpse of it when … Continue reading Where Rivers Meet (Grafton, Day 47-48)

To Buckhorn Island (Day 46)

Over 1,000 miles. That's how far the Mainship Many Moons, with cat on board, has traveled since leaving Keweenaw Bay on July 30. That's just 1/6 of the entire Great Loop (which totals 6,000 miles) but it's a milestone nonetheless ... and an improbable milestone in some ways. As you know by now if you … Continue reading To Buckhorn Island (Day 46)

To Quiver Island (Day 45)

The water level is down. More on that later. First, the eagles. I see bald eagles often at my rustic camp on Lake Superior. I hear them even more often. I've missed that, so it was cool to hear and see them today at our anchorage just inside Quiver Island after covering 43 miles of … Continue reading To Quiver Island (Day 45)

To Peoria (Day 44)

Ah, Peoria ... Main Street America! It's 2200 (10 p.m.) on Saturday night, still about 80 degrees. I'm writing this from the free city dock alongside the waterfront park, where an outdoor band is playing. It's a pretty bad band. This amuses rather than irritates me. On any typical warm Saturday night in any typical … Continue reading To Peoria (Day 44)

Old Locks and Asian Carp (Day 43)

Another first. The Mainship Many Moons rests tonight against the 150-year-old remains of an old lock in the small town of Henry, Ill. We're tied up to loops of rebar, a metal reinforcement put into concrete. The crumbling wall creates steps to get on and off the boat. We have electricity here, and a porta-pottie, … Continue reading Old Locks and Asian Carp (Day 43)

Close Encounters and Homemade Cleats (Day 41)

You thought river travel would be relaxing? Um, no, not so far! Interesting? Yes indeed. The graphic on the right shows our blue track into lock #5 of our trip. It looks like we drove right over the round concrete pier. Nope, just bumped it. But yes, that's how we entered the lock. That's where … Continue reading Close Encounters and Homemade Cleats (Day 41)