Before heading out today we did our daily checks and NOAA’s web site said that the temperature is going to be 91 with chance of thunderstorms into the evening. Our designation is to make it to Lock #15 by 4:00 PM or so.
As we were headed out of lock #9 the operator mentioned we should be careful between Lock #9 and 10 since they were having their annual canoe race. This brought back memories when I use to paddle for Off Shore. The only difference is we had a 6-man crew and an outrigger to stabilize the canoe. Nonetheless, it was still paddling. The main race was an iron man, which took them to lock #10 and back—roughly 7 miles. There were 1-man and 2-man boats in this race and it was fun watching them as we headed westward up the river.
As we continued up the river we stopped off at one of the historical dilapidated locks and decided to take a leisurely hike to stretch out our legs. We came across a cornfield and took a picture of Brandon in the field—Children of the Corn…J Unfortunately we had to cut our walk short since I saw 3 boats waiting to use the launch ramp and we were taking one side of the dock.
We finally arrive at Lock #15 and this one only had vertical lines coming down the wall to hold onto, which is no big deal. However, a sudden squall just came in as we were being lifted. I had to take over Brandon’s position (up on the bow) to try and keep the bow close to the wall, since the wind was 25 miles going through the lock. I could barely hold on and almost lost the line, but a 3-second gap allowed me to reposition myself with the boat up against the wall. If I had lost her we would have slammed up against the other side of the wall. Again, the wind picked up and through us all over the port sidewall of the lock and then the rain started coming down in buckets.
Finally we were at the top of the lock and the operator came out to help us secure ourselves. Within 15 minutes the squall had past and I was completely drenched and an experience I’ll never forget. We moved the boat out of the lock and side-tied to the river wall where boaters could spend the evening.
After securing the boat we told that there was a nice bike trail running along the river and we decided this would be a great opportunity to get a nice ride in and the view was well worth every bit of the ride. The only bad part about it was all the small insects chasing us along the trail. This small green bug even bit Brandon that we’ve never seen before and decided to hightail it to the boat.
One thing I haven’t mentioned is there are hundreds of geese around these areas since the grass is so lush it’s a great feeding ground. The only problem is they crap all over the place. It’s like little dog size everywhere you walk! Also, these guys make a lot of noise all day long and even early in the morning—who needs a rooster around here!
After dinner we turned on Netflicks and was watching Year 2012, which was a perfect movie for what we experienced. Another squall came in and this one was full of lightning. The river’s waves just picked up out of know where and even started coming over the seawall right in front of us. The winds must have been over 30 mph with hail, rain and thunder–now this was a storm. T
The lightning continued throughout the night and from what we heard from the locals the next day, it did a lot of damage to the nearby town, and it was said that there were over 200 strikes of lightning ever minute, which we can verify since the whole ski was lit up while we were watching our movie.