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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Help Support My Mississippi River Canoe Trip!

    This summer I'll be canoeing down the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Memphis, Tennessee with a friend.

    I'm an aspiring photographer and I'll be documenting the entire trip.

    As a college student, I don't have a lot of extra money. If you guys like this project, there are tons of ways to support it.

    -You can donate gear, like PFDs, canoe paddles, dry bags, or even a canoe (if you are in the Minnesota area).
    -You can donate money. We have a website set up for secure donations. And you an get some sweet prizes too
    -You can tell friends and people you think might be interested.

    Check the project out at:

    Check some of my pictures out at:



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    don't have any money for ya, but make sure you enjoy dubuque on your way through. my hometown, undeniably beautiful. i know the miss pretty well in that area.

    traveling south after the surprisingly charming town of guttenburg, you'll pass finley's landing on the iowa side, a fun party beach. stop and say hi to the drunken bikinis. then you'll be by mud lake and massey marina. underwater stump yards everywhere, but it would be easy to navigate in a canoe. not sure when the event happens, but the bluegrass festival there is a great time. scope by buena vista (iowa) and the wisconsin side of the river for big crumbly limestone cliffs. beautiful but no bueno for climbing.

    then, you'll hit lock and dam #11. high on the iowa side, you'll see eagle point park, great place for a summer picnic but doubt you'll be able to get up there. going through lock and dams is a fun experience but you'll probably have 11 or so by the time you reach dbq. if you time it right, dbq does the largest 3rd and 4th of July fireworks i've ever seen. it'd be a shitshow on the river, but super fun too. 3rd, they do the country club fireworks, more quality, 4th is riverside by the lock and dam and quantity enough to invade north korea.

    just south of the lock and dam, pull out to the right and stop at the yardarm, a good time jimmy buffet style bar with live music almost every night. when exiting back to the river, look out for whirlpools near the point on the right. these pools have taken down more than one drunken boater/swimmer. that park on the corner is also where they do the dragon boat races, always a spectacle. then you'll pass under the wisconsin bridge (big green one), the rotating train bridge, and just before the illinois bridge, pull out to the right, into the port of dubuque.

    there's big casino, historic paddle boats, water park hotel, conference center, they usually bring in decent music for dubuque (if you're into washed up classic rock, seen kansas, styx, reo speedwagon, ccr, bob dylan, bb king..), a pretty neat area and you can dock for free right next to the old diamond jo boat.

    keep floating down under the illinois bridge, cross to illinois side and stop in bent prop marina for the best bloody mary of your life. cheap, greasy, delicious bar food and cheap drinks. you'll see the julien dubuque grave monument up high on the iowa side. he's the french fur trader that founded our town. immediately down river from jd's grave is horseshoe bluff in the mines of spain park. my favorite hike in all of iowa. if you dont stop to hike horseshoe, stick near the illinois side in the back water channels, less chaotic than the main channel. you'll pass the death tree on your left...tallest tree around, been dead for years, totally haunted, people drown there all the time. sends out creepy vibes. you'll know it if you see it. just down river from death tree is the popular (but small) schumacher's beach. make a fire on the beach, shotgun some busch lights and meet more bikinis. the next left turn takes you into frentress lake, actually just a bay and where my family keeps the crownline. small gas dock and neat lake houses but not much of interest. keep paddling down on the illinois side.

    just south of frentress lake, there are 2 islands. the second one used to have a 60 foot ropeswing made of stolen barge rope. it was awesome. drunk girl fell off the platform and the dnr cut the branches down. bastards. after rope swing island, cut straight across to the northern point of 9-mile island. big fun island, party central. the steep sandy hill is fun for jumping off. circle around the right side of 9-mile and take molo's slough to the end of the island. lots of eagles, flat water for skiing/wakeboarding.

    keep floating down towards chestnut ski area, on the illinois side overlooking the river. doesnt look like much, but it has produced skiers like you wouldnt believe. on the iowa side, a fun side trip would be floating under the train bridge to tete de mort creek (heads of the dead en francais). julien dubuque's french crew slaughtered an indian village and threw their heads in the creek. now theres a bunch of water snakes. i'm terrified of snakes and believe that they are the indian spirits here to haunt us white folk. my good buddy owns one of the picturesque cabins along the creek. straight out from tete de mort creek, towards illinois, is dead mans slough, another fun water ski spot. there is a classic beach there but you cant see it. the water is about 1 foot deep and there will be drunk people partying next to their anchored boats. next thing you know, you're in passing through the belleview dam and you're on you're own from there! good luck, i've always wanted to do something like this myself. obviously spent a lot of time on the water in this area but would like to see more. if you need anything when you're near dubuque and the tri-state area, don't hesitate to ask!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    some random tr's featuring the mississippi
    [ame=""]Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame=""]Climbing, the River, a Chairlift and Summer Shenanigans (summer TR) - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    [ame=""]TR: XTREME! Iowa (October ski+board turns included) - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]
    (^this one has a good aerial shot of dubuque from an airplane flight)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Electric Larry Land
    Sounds like a great trip. Bring sun-block.

    Watch out for the wakes from the push-boats, they do about 8-14 knots and push up 20 barges at a time all sistered-up, so they can make a pretty sizable wake.

    If your canoe is wide and stable, I see quite a few canoe-trippers rig up sunshades. On one long trip in a grumman, day after day in the hot sun, I rigged up a overhead shade system using a latticework of lashed PVC pipe and remanents of an old sail stretched over it...worked great, was light and airy and just plain made life more enjoyable. You'll have to experiment around for something that works.

    I've spent lots of time in various canoes. You'll get your tandem stroke down pretty quickly, and eventually you'll paddle as one. Get a decent, good fitting paddle, and wear gloves at first, then gradually start taking off the gloves, so that you'll get proper callouses and then you won't need gloves anymore. I can't underscore the need for a decent paddle enough. I actually prefer a lightweight curved blade, and made two really nice paddles out of one Werner featherlight kayak paddle.

    Dry bags are the most important pieces of gear, besides your canoe and paddles. Get good ones. They'll keep your food and clothes dry during a dump or the wettest of weather. Also, keep your clothing and pots and pans and shit to a MINIMUM. You'll be able to get by with FAR less than you think you'll need. Yes, even in a canoe you'll want to pack light...think of it as pushing a whole bunch of excess stuff through the water.

    For a boat, I'd go right back to the canoe I just recommended earlier today....a 17 foot Grumman aluminum canoe. For a downriver trip like this, they'll do just fine. They're easily the most rugged canoe out there, and are VERY stable in open water....and much of your route will be in fairly open water, and at various times you'll want to cross the river, so you'll need a stable canoe...the Grumman's aren't C-2 race-canoes, that's for sure, but they are stable and nearly indestructable...two handy facets.

    For a trip-canoe, I.E. - a canoe that is designed to take a certain additional trekking load, there are two EQUALLY bad conditions: A canoe loaded too heavy = awkward responding and cumbersome. And a canoe-carrying canoe loaded too light = tippy and unpredictable. You'll want a good, happy median.
    For two people, you should be able to easily get by on less than 100 - 125 pounds TOTAL.

    Get really comfortable life-vests that aren't too hot, you'll be wearing them a lot.

    Tent-camping is usually pretty easy in a canoe, even in the there will often be small unpopulated islands that YOU can get to, but the street people can' camping is usually pretty safe. Surprisingly few people and authorities will harass you when you canoe camp, if you stay fairly out of sight and away from roads and streets.

    A good book to get you into the mood of a long river trip is Henry David Thoreau's "A week on the Concord and Merrimak Rivers". It's about a river trip that he and his brother did on those two rivers in Connecticut as young men, before he moved to his Walden Pond cabin. It's filled with day-to-day interesting musings.

    Have a great trip and enjoy!!
    Last edited by Alaskan Rover; 06-03-2010 at 07:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Good luck boys. Me, I'd start on the other side of the Laurentian divide and head to Hudson Bay, but thats me. Whats the number and how long are the portages? 100 rods, 500 rods? How much gear are you planning on hauling?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    My best friend did a similar trip, solo, and longer. My advise to you is bring lots of beer and weed. That is one boring trip, he spent most of his time drinking and talking to bums. Think he started in north Dakota.

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