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Mississippi Launch and an Evening Expedition

Forgive the three days of radio silence. It has been a busy three days.

We arrived in Minnesota! And only lost two more tires on the trailer. As we barreled down the freeway in Minneapolis at 2am, apparently all the bolts from one of the tires put on in Omaha sheered off and bounced the tire and wheel to unknown parts of the next county. Then, since the weight of the trailer was on the remaining tire on that side, it shredded itself. So there goes $200 in tires.

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Three hours for a tow, up all night, and a morning visit to Mike’s Truck and Trailer put us right as rain. And for only $450. But here we are. We took a quick nap, did a supply run (food, beer, hardware), and then launched the boat. We used the UMN emergency boat launch and hoped that the meaning of emergency was very flexible.

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We had guests coming! We had planned with Shanai Matteson and Colin Kloecker of Works Progress to have a little expedition down the river for a beach bonfire.

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Hazel dog is always a little ambivalent about the boat. She likes that there is a couch, her bed, her food, and us. On counterpoint, it is scary as hell, rocks, goes bump, we run around, water is unpredictable, and she can’t get off to pee. Though since she is a good dog, she obediently climbed aboard. Are you following her twitter and instagram?

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We had a full house with 7 adults and 4 little people. We went over the rules before hand:

  1. All children wear life vests when we are under way.
  2. Don’t throw things.
  3. Keep the center aisle clear so the crew can travel from bow to stern without killing anyone.
  4. Even though it is fun, don’t play with fire.

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We had some moments getting Freddie working, but mostly because we flooded him in our nervousness. It was a completely novel experience to have steering from the front of the boat. This was our very first time using it and as pilot I was zigging and zagging all over the river.

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We landed on White Sands Beach below the old railroad bridge. This was formerly called Bare Ass Beach in the days when there were nekid beaches in the 60s and 70s in downtown Minneapolis. A few good folks met us down there, including Andy who wrote this article about the beach. There were fire, smores, and singing and it brought back memories of the goodbye party that friends threw us a year ago nearby.

We stayed at the beach that night and after the previous sleepless night, slept like the dead.

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When we returned the boat to the launch the next morning, we were just in time for a bridal photo shoot.

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Our next adventure is down the river through the lock and dam to St. Paul.

 

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