Mississippi Boating and Hoover

Mississippi Boating and Hoover

May 28th and 29th, 2022

We were in Muscatine, Iowa visiting Monica's mom. We took a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River, but we were really looking forward to getting our boat on the water. We were warned about how dangerous the river can be, and we studied maps and information about the water to understand how it's set up. There is a channel that is used by the barges and all general river traffic, because there are wing dams in many places that could hang up the boat. We found a couple phone apps that were helpful, and we settled on Aqua Map because it does everything we needed, and the price was right.

We'd been staying at mom's house on a concrete pad designed for an RV. It was awesome to be so close to mom, but we were looking forward to a couple weeks at the Shady Creek campground on the Mississippi River. It was amazing! So green and lush.

We put the boat in the river at the campground, which was extremely handy. One of our goals was to go through a lock (we had seen Number 16 earlier), and if we headed north, we'd go through Number 15 at the Quad Cities (Davenport, Rock Island, Bettendorf, and Moline). We got out on the water, cautious to avoid wing dams.

When we got to the lock, we realized we didn't exactly know what to do to go through it (even though Dave had given us pointers for navigating the river). We went up to a sign on the side and found a cable we could pull to request passage, and then found a YouTube video that explained how to go through the lock and what to expect. We ended up calling them, and they told us we were next.

The lock door opened, and a big boat came out. Then we went into the lock with another, bigger boat. They called down to us from the railing above (not that far) and threw down two ropes. We held onto them the entire time, to keep our boat near the side (the people on the big boat did the same). Then, the door closed, and the water slowly rose. When it was at the depth of the river on the other side, the other door opened, and we left the lock. How cool is that? It was definitely an experience!

On the other side, we were cruising around, and we saw a place with a lot of boats in slips. We went in ahead of the larger boat and spoke to people on the docks. It was a private club, but the people there invited us to tie up and come ashore to the Lindsay Park Yacht Club. When we went up to try to get lunch, the restaurant told us it was for members only. We went back outside to leave, but then the original people who invited us went inside and told the restaurant to serve us. We had really good burgers on the deck (we had Lacey and had to sit outside), and we met a lot of really cool people.

It's a long video but a lot happened!

We sat outside in the sun on a beautiful day and contemplated what it would be like to live there and join the yacht club. The weather was awesome (maybe not in the winter), it was beautiful, and the people were all so nice. We could get a bigger boat to do long trips up and down the Mississippi River. It would be such a cool life! But the thought of living in only one place made us both reconsider. It was too good living in the motor home, even though we never seemed to stay anywhere as long as we'd like.

The next day was a full day. We went with mom to the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, the place where he was born and raised. The presidential library was there, too. It was very interesting, learning about him. The only thing we really knew was that he was the president during the Great Depression. It turns out he was a pretty selfless humanitarian who inherited the issue and couldn't stop it. He seems like he was a great president, and we both agreed it would be tough for someone that good to be elected, now.

After a morning learning about Herbert Hoover and lunch in the town where he lived, we also managed to get the boat back out on the Mississippi River, starting in Muscatine at the town park boat ramps. Monica's mom and grandma had grown up or spent a lot of time in Muscatine, and mom had been out on the river in the family boat many times. She was excited to get back out on it, even though the dock was rocking and rolling on the waves. It was windy and choppy in spots (we went south that time, and didn't go through a lock), but we still enjoyed the trip.

For two people coming from the American Southwest, our stay in the Midwest felt so different. We never got used to how green everything was, and the river was so amazing. We could hear and watch barges in the river from our motor home, and the park was so nice (definitely one of our favorite places to stay). It was fun to hang out with mom and learn all about the area, too. We really like Muscatine.

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