Edge of the Storm, Edge of the Sun

Note: our trip is officially over for the summer, but we will continue next summer and we will  update our blog regularly in the interim–there’s lots to say about our journey that hasn’t been said! Earlier this week I read a headline in the local newspaper for the area around Hannibal, MO: Solar Eclipse Disappoints ...

About Time

Today we’re in Fort Madison, Iowa. We wanted to make forty miles, but we were foiled by the weather again. We constantly find ourselves dividing miles by days to make sure we’ll be in St. Louis by the 24th. We came up with 37 today, our new target average. But that changes as the sun ...

Locks and the Unlikely Vessels that Travel Through Them

  The very first Lock and Dam we entered was Lock and Dam #2 at Hastings, MN, roughly 25 miles from where we started in St. Paul. Lock and Dam #1 just above St. Paul was closed a couple of years ago over concerns about invasive species making their way down river. There are 29 ...

Pearl City

Terry Eagle calls river clams Gold. Two days ago I held one in my hand. It had a dark, rough, bark-like exterior, not at all like gold, and a slick coating of mother-of-pearl on the interior, which looked more like Damascus steel than gold, shining in milky silver rings of subtly colored white. Mr. Eagle ...

Cowboys Don’t Wear Neckties

“Real cowboys don’t wear ties,” said the waitress in a matter of fact tone, as I gazed up at the ceiling of Sneaky Pete’s Restaurant in LeClaire, Iowa. Rafter after rafter featured rows of clipped ties. There were hundreds of ties, maybe even thousands. Every pattern and color imaginable was present in this collection of ...

Fore Deck to Aft Deck: Communications on a Small but Noisy Vessel

It’s loud at the back of the boat. Our motor is only 25 hp, but 25 over 8 hours adds up. I’ve taken to wearing my shop ear protection while driving to fend off the headaches that come from exposure to long-term white noise. The ear protection, along with my explorer hat and ninja face ...

Bellevue, Iowa

Three days ago we finally bid Dubuque farewell, fending off stumps and logs that had bobbed to the surface and congregated around the dock in a thick green carpet. We moved Zeebee from slip to slip by slinging docking lines and sending out blasts on the motor until we jumped aboard and moved away, out ...

Convivium Urban Farmstead and Hydroponic Gardens

I recently discovered two incredible things – Convivium Urban Farmstead and working with pallet wood, which I did at Convivium. Emily and I were lucky enough to get connected with Mike and Leslie, the kindest, coolest people, and founders of Convivium. They not only put us up at their place, but gave us full use ...

Bonafide

Three days ago we were presented with an official city of Dubuque flag from Mayor Roy Buol with Representative Chuck Isenhart and Arts and Cultural Affairs Coordinator Debra Alleyne standing by on the Ice Harbor dock, among other supporters and city officials. Debra called us brave and original and other embarrassing things, and we accepted ...

Michi Zeebee’s Test

Thunderstorms are rolling through Dubuque one after another. As rain pelts the windows and power goes out in the neighborhood we wonder how Zeebee is doing. Zeebee lost one of her canvas doors in the last storm. There are reports of 70 mph gusts for tonight. This will be a true test. We might have to ...

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