It wasn't exactly "down the Mississippi" as we know it - rather it was down a little then back up, in about the time it took 50 people to go through a buffet line of iceberg lettuce, canned corn, have a few barley pops, and enjoy the sunset.
Nothing like the day-long trips we used to take. With Twizzlers. And Chex Mix. With three sunscreened, life-jacketed kids.
Just the two of us, on the road toward the river.
And the obligatory stop at the Dyersville DQ.
We have spent weeks, maybe months, on the river over the years, if you add up all of the weekends of boating we did when the kids were little. We just haven't gone much in the past few years.
As they grew up, we heard "Can I bring a friend?"
Then a couple years later "Do I have to go?"
Then a couple years later "I'm not going to go."
Now it's "Dad, I'm taking the boat this weekend."
RB doesn't want to sell the boat because he's waiting for that time warp to take us back to when the kids were 8, 6, and 5 again. So for now, it pretty much sits as a driveway ornament, and
Sleeps four. Head. Stove. Sink. Make us an offer.
It might be possible that I don't like it because he bought it a few years ago without telling me. And it's just too dang big for my liking.
"I gave the guy a low-ball offer and he took it. What was I supposed to do?"
Change your mind? Good thing I forgive easily.
He had to borrow a vehicle from the local dealership to go pick it up because we didn't have a big enough truck to tow it. And then next, understandably, we had to buy a truck to tow it.
So boatless but river-bound, we arrived at our hotel to be greeted with a gift bag. Is there anything as cool as a gift bag? And a great room in a historical hotel?
We boarded and cruised, I just kicked back, knowing I wasn't the one paying for the boat gas (though I would, just to catch a whiff of that smell...) and took in the beautiful Iowa/Illinois scenery. We often missed that as we were skiing, tubing, or eating Twizzlers. There are beautiful huge bluffs along the river. Iowa's mountains, if you will. And the sunset as the background to the IA/IL bridge. The lock and dam system that keeps the water at just the right depth for the barges to do their hauling is simply an amazing engineering phenomenon. And the beautiful width of what appears to be a calm water, with the raging current underneath. You can never have too much respect for the current in the Mighty Mississippi. It will send you down to the next dam faster than you can say Mark Twain if you're not paying attention. We went back Sunday afternoon and just gazed over the river, walking along the rocky shore. Ron Burgundy became pensive. Or prayerful. Or both. And then we drove home. Well, he drove. I slept.
He drives well with his knees, don't you think? I always need a foot rub.
Tea today: Tazo Zen