Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

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curtgard
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Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by curtgard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:41 pm

We were delayed this year getting Curt's Dream in the water because of Spring flooding that lasted into the Summer. Finally the rains stopped and the rivers dropped below flood stage. So on July 22nd, we headed to Red Wing Minnesota and launched the boat at OLE MISS Marina at Bay Point Park on the Mississippi River. The river was several feet above normal so launching at the ramp was a challenge. I had to back the trailer into the water until the front wheels of the van was in the water to get the boat to float off the trailer. Once unloaded, I stored the van and trailer in the marina's fenced and locked storage yard which was free since I stayed at the marina for one night. They even brought me back from the storage yard to the transient dock. Great service and nice marina. The next morning we headed out of the harbor and up river against a 3-4 mph current. At lock and dam #3, we had a two hour wait as divers inspected the lock. At MM 812 or Hasting MN, we left the Mississippi River and headed up the St Croix River.
BNSF railroad lift bridge at jct of Miss River & St Croix River
BNSF railroad lift bridge at jct of Miss River & St Croix River
We continued up the St Croix River 23 miles to Stillwater Minnesota where we docked for the night at the free city public docks next to 5 cruise boats. The current on the St Croix was only about 1 mph because the river is actually a series of natural lakes.
Docked at Stillwater with the cruise boats
Docked at Stillwater with the cruise boats
The town of Stillwater has lots of shops and restaurants within a couple blocks of the dock. The next morning, we headed back down the St Croix River to the Mississippi and through lock #3 where we had to again wait 1 1/2 hrs to lock through. We were able to just float in the lock chamber instead of holding onto ropes hanging from the lock walls. A lot easier to float in the chamber than hold onto ropes. Since we are now going downstream, our speed with the current has increased to 10 mph and we are now getting 6.5 mpg @ 1900 rpm. This extra speed allowed us to get to Wabasha MN before stopping. There were railroad tracks on both sides of the river so lots of trains to watch.
BNSF train along the river
BNSF train along the river
con.t

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by curtgard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:56 pm

After docking at Wabasha MN, we walked to Slippery Restaurant where I had a catfish supper. This place was made famous from the movie Grumpy Old Men. The next day brought more trains.
Crude oil from North Dakota
Crude oil from North Dakota
This area along the river has high bluffs
IMG_5575.JPG
IMG_5576.JPG
con't

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by curtgard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:10 pm

Continuing on down the river, we stop for the night at LaCrosse Wisconsin and Marquette Iowa. There were lots of birds in the trees and on sandbar islands.
eagle
eagle
At Lansing Iowa, we pass under the highway 9 bridge.
Lansing Iowa bridge
Lansing Iowa bridge
The dock at Marquette was near a river boat casino, so off we went to try our luck. We played the slots for and hour and only lost $5 dollars.
Marquette dock
Marquette dock
con't

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by curtgard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:22 pm

Most of the tows/barges were nothing special until we came to two different sets of tows with windmill blades on top of the barges
Windmill blades
Windmill blades
.We were never far from the railroad tracks and sometimes they were right along the river bank
Train next to lock
Train next to lock
There were lots of homes high up on the river bluffs and some right along the river. The river front homes show how high the river was on our cruise.
River front living
River front living
con't

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by curtgard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:47 pm

Our next stop was in Dubuque at the marina in Ice Harbor. This marina is close to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and the Diamond Jo Casino. There also is a walking path on top of the river levee that leads to a hotel and indoor waterpark.
Ice harbor entrance
Ice harbor entrance
Docked at the Port of Dubuque in ice harbor
Docked at the Port of Dubuque in ice harbor
After leaving Dubuque the next morning , we past the cruise boat "Twilight". This boat offers two day cruises from LeClaire Iowa to Dubuque Iowa. Passengers stay overnight at the hotel next to Ice Harbor and return to LeClaire the following day on the boat.
Twilight
Twilight
con't

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by curtgard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:03 pm

The next day we arrive at Clinton Iowa, where we dock at the Clinton Marina for two nights. This is as far down river that we will travel on this trip so we get a rental car and drive back up to Red Wing MN to get the van and trailer. Before we load the boat back on the trailer, we wait by the Union Pacific Railroad bridge crossing the river at Clinton for their Big Boy Steam Engine #4014 to cross the river.
Steam engine
Steam engine
Steam engine on swing bridge
Steam engine on swing bridge
My wife and I really enjoyed this cruise with great scenery. We also used this cruise as our final shakedown trip before we start on The Great Loop. We will be starting the Great Loop on Sept 15th from Ottawa Illinois so say tuned for updates and pictures as we start this epic trip. The Great Loop trip was really why I built "Curt's Dream"

Curt

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mrintense
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by mrintense » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:46 am

These river adventures are a pleasure to see. Thanks Curt. We don't really have anything like this down in Texas , so it's nice to experience this vicariously through others. Thanks.
Carl
a.k.a. Clipper

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Hercdrvr
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by Hercdrvr » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:04 am

Nice trip, thanks for sharing.
Matt B

JimmY
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by JimmY » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:28 am

Looks like a great trip. Always like hearing how builders are using their boats.

Best of luck on your big trip, can't wait to hear about it.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!


hoodman
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by hoodman » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:57 pm

Glad you are getting to hit the "Loop". That's going to be some adventure especially in a boat you built yourself.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
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Roberta
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by Roberta » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:14 am

Post a lot of pictures and details. I have friends who are planning the Loop and I have also given it some thought. Not in the Torpedo, though. :lol:

Roberta :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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Ibrew2be
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream" a True Grit design-Upper Mississippi River

Post by Ibrew2be » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:23 am

Curt, your posts of your river cruises are always a pleasure to read. Thanks for going to the effort to allow the rest of us to cruise vicariously with you.

Boy, it doesn't get much better than this. Two of my favorite things in one post: wooden boats and steam locomotives.

Barry
Barry Shantz

Imp built and launched. Thinking hard about Boat 2.0

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