Posts Tagged: ‘canoe’

Lanesboro Fourth of July, 2017

July 7, 2017 Posted by Deb

We have done the Iowa City Jazz Festival, Coralville free concert, Muscatine fireworks, and the orchestra in Muscatine for years; but this year Deb’s cousin Jeff and Marti are shutting down their Iowa life for a new one in Arizona. That’s a tough job but they did break away to do a bike/canoe outing in Lanesboro, one of our favorite parts of Minnesota.

We picked the Gud-I-Nuff campground, high on the bluff, because it was a mile away from the Root River, and we figured all the close in campgrounds would be packed and noisy. It was a good enough campground and we had it pretty much all to ourselves. We did have to shower in Lanesboro. Because of all the outside activities they have public showers in town for five quarters and they are pretty good if you can figure out which way to turn the knobs for the hot water.

On day 1 we canoed the north branch of the Root River, called long route from Moen’s Bridge.

Moen's Bridge Start on the North Root

Moen’s Bridge Start on the North Root

Lunch Break

Lunch Break

Old Power Plant on the Root

Old Power Plant on the Root


Bit of Vertical to the  power Plant

Bit of Vertical to the Power Plant

We were practically alone. As we came to the south branch, we heard what sounded like a stadium full of people. It was the gathering place for several hundred young tubers just before their haulout. They were well into party mode when we went by. On day 2, we biked Fountain to Prescott, had ice cream, and biked on to Lanesboro.BridgeRootRiverBiker

Four Hundred Pounds

October 11, 2013 Posted by Deb

We decommissioned our U.S. visit which included putting away two cars, winterizing the Sea Ray, mouse poison everywhere, and stashing all the toys we got out. The trailer and old Sanity dinghy found a new home over the summer; and we built a second floor in the pole barn in Iowa so for the first time, we had room.

We planned on shipping several hundred pounds via ocean freight to Guatemala but Deb decided to try and fit everything on the plane. After two trips to Wal*Mart for new bags and shuffling stuff around to make five 49.5 lb. bags, we were packed with, including very heavy carry-ons, a total approaching 400 pounds. Of course we had to pay at the airport but it was cheaper than shipping. The only problem was that we had to carry it through airports and bus terminals and fit it all into the odd cab. It is quite doable in the U.S. where you can rent large carts but imagine a scenario where five or ten guys are trying to grab everything to “help” or get you to go to their cab, all in a foreign language. It was too much luggage for two people so we were planning on the old Venezuelan caterpillar approach of advancing about 20 feet at a time moving quickly between piles and yelling NO a lot.

All That and Three People in One Cab for 5 Hours

All That and Three People in One Cab for 5 Hours

Waiting at Bruno’s for the Final Boat Run to Texan Bay and Neytiri

Waiting at Bruno’s for the Final Boat Run to Texan Bay and Neytiri

Decommisioning - How Many Boats in This Picture?

Decommisioning – How Many Boats in This Picture?

Wisconsin River

July 10, 2013 Posted by Deb

This river has long been a family/friend tradition but in recent times we’ve moved on to more challenging canoe trips.

In 2013, it was back to the giant adult sandbox. The river was high so whole islands were gone but we found plenty of sand for tents and lunch stops. We also found plenty of bugs.

A Wisconsin Version of the "Circle of Knowledge"

A Wisconsin Version of the “Circle of Knowledge”

Poison Ivy Front and Center

Poison Ivy Front and Center

Private Island

Private Island

Mosquitoes Arrive in 10 Minutes

Mosquitoes Arrive in 10 Minutes

Not Always Pure Sand

Not Always Pure Sand

Only 3 Made Survived the Mosquitoes To Make The Top

Only 3 Survived the Mosquitoes To Make The Top

She Doesn't Know I'm Only Ruddering

She Doesn’t Know I’m Only Ruddering

Wapauti in Progress

Wapauti in Progress

Back in the U.S.A.

May 27, 2013 Posted by Deb

Day one of the trip back to the U.S. started with an early morning, 20-plus mile ride in a panga with a 50-horse outboard. El Golfete was flat calm and the air was full of smoke from either Guatemala burning or charcoal making, probably the latter. We thought Guatemala was on fire 18 years ago, and it doesn’t seem to have changed.


We grabbed the bus with at least five minutes to spare. Our memories of the bus trip were that it was hot and long and whenever the bus stopped, cockroaches crawled up the walls. This time it was a modern bus with a movie and nice seats and it only stopped once.


Once in Guatemala City, we did a small amount of tourist stuff then overnighted at Villa Toscana, a nice little bed and breakfast. They arranged for a cab driver to meet us at the main bus terminal holding up a card with our name.


VillaToscanaChuckThe next morning it was a short trip to the airport followed by a cold flight and a very cold layover in the Dallas airport with delays due to the Oklahoma City tornado followed by a final cold flight to Des Moines, Iowa. We arrived in Des Moines 36 hours after starting.

Despite a nasty head cold, we kept up the pace to get ready for the Cast Iron Canoe trip and a transition from 100° and 92% humidity to 40° nights in a tent and dry air. We fired up the old van, rounded up old gear, loaded up the old Alumacraft canoe, and headed to Danbury, Wisconsin, and the Namekagon River. After one night in a tent with a bad cold, I had to beg off and leave the group for a day but Deb continued. I hit a motel and did a lot of sleep, hot showers, Jacuzzis, and was able to return to the fleet on day two at the McDowell Landing. We had a great finishing two day canoe and major food and alcohol event followed by a six pound bacon fry on the final morning.






Back in the Land of Plenty

July 24, 2012 Posted by Deb

For awhile the gods were conspiring to keep us in Curacao. The winds were howling and we were late in getting the headsail down. We tried to time a lull by reading the golf course flags so that we could quickly pull out the headsail and drop it before it turned into a wild beast on the deck. We would have succeeded but the headsail jammed about five feet down. The winds surged again, things began to get crazy, and we had to roll it up again.

We tried again at 1:00 a.m. when the winds were down even more with no luck either up or down.

At 6:00 a.m. Deb cranked me up the mast (electric winch) to check out the problem first hand. We resolved the problem and had the beast folded and stowed before the trades kicked up again. Neither of us had a lot of energy left for the final push to get to the plane but we sucked it up.

We flew home first class because on that particular day first class was the only thing available and it was cheaper than regular fare on any other day. That’s a nice way to travel, particularly the reclining room, free booze, great food, and the no waiting in lines anywhere. We got into the Twin Cities late and grabbed a $35/day SUV that blossomed into close to a $100/day vehicle when we got through with all the taxes, fees and their insurance. I’ve never agreed to rental car insurance before but we have learned that our Chase Visa credit card sucks at backing us up on rentals even though they claim they do and we have no auto insurance.

Upper Iowa Canoe

We brought the van back to life, got plates and insurance, loaded up the camping gear, and headed off to the Upper Iowa River for a relatively undiscovered canoe trip through limestone cliffs then a visit to the caves in Harmony, Minnesota. We logged our first dog on a campfire in 2012. Now for a BLT with home grown tomatoes.