More Pictures

Here are some more pictures of our travels. The buoy Lincoln is standing on was floating down the river, not anchored. The last picture is where we tied up in New Orleans, this is where the cops talked to us.

Mission accomplished

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It’s hard to believe our trip is over and we actually finished what we started. 1700 miles through the gut of the United States. Now we begin our road trip back to our homes. We got the boat loaded with no problems and have everything packed and strapped down.

When we got to New Orleans, we found a dock right next to the French Quarter and tied Lola up and went into town. We walked around till dark, checking out the sights and all the old buildings. When we got back to the boat, we started to unwind and tell stories about the river. Around midnight, some cops showed up on a golf cart and shined their light on us. They left for a bit and we were relieved until they showed up with two more cops. Eventually they came over and got our ID’s and asked us why we thought it was okay to dock there. They explained to us that the Port of New Orleans charges thousands of dollars to have ships park there regardless of size. They said they didn’t want to judge us by our vessel but suggested we find a cheaper home before the Coast Guard arrives. So we unhitched and went across the river to some trees a little bit hidden. That was the only run-in we had with the law, 1700 miles with no Coast Guard intervention, pretty good luck.

This morning we woke up at 7:30 sweating. We were hidden from any breeze and were hot and frusturated. It’s hard to find a place to swim in the middle of New Orleans, but we did, and tried to make it quick. We took a ferry to the main part of town and promptly found lunch. We feasted on cheese fries, burgers and Po’ Boys, they were much needed and rather delicious. The restaurant was fittingly called Huck Finn’s. Afterwards we found the famous Bourbon Street and walked around aimlessly in the heat. My dad was on his way to get us, so we took the ferry back to our side of the river where our boat was safely hidden.

We took another bath and made our way down the river to a canal. The canal lead to a marina just south of Lake Pontchartrain. We followed a tugboat into a lock, dropping us around 9 feet; we made our way under a few bridges too. Eventually, the tug pulled over and we continued north. We found our marina and pulled into the fancy place. We were so happy to find a boat ramp, and we began to unload all of the stuff to prepare for the trailer.

Around 6:00 my dad arrived just as we were taking down the canopy. We cleaned up the boat, finding a safe spot for everything. It was a smooth process and we thanked our boat for lasting the whole trip. We’re most impressed with our little Evinrude.

I will add more in the following days, but now my phone is dying. Thanks for all the comments, we really enjoy the support from all of you.

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Just a little more

We are only 20 miles away from the Big Easy. We finally had some cool weather to sleep in and we took andvantage of it. So we left a little bit later than we had anticipated, but now we’re almost done.

The river at this point is full of barges. We are always in sight of a tugboat, towboat, or cargo ship. The shores are lined with unoccupied barges, waiting for a towboat to push them. The water is pretty choppy from all the activity and we’ve taken on water on several occasions.

Our boat is so out of place amongst all these commercial vessels. When we pass a barge, often times the captain will get out of the tower and wave to us. Other times they will just honk. And three times today, a tug or tow has come over to us to check us out or take a picture. It’s nice to know they don’t hate us down here.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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We just departed the capitol city of Louisiana. It was a pretty nice city as far as we could tell, with plenty of traffic on the river. We saw many barges and a few enormous cargo ships, we felt very out of place heading to shore amongst all the tugboats. We found a spot on some sand between a casino and an old military ship, our boat was quite the sight on the nice strip. We gathered up our four gas cans and walked them a few blocks up from the river. Premium was just $3.62 a gallon and we only get the best for Lola. We delivered the gas to our boat and found a resturaunt next to the river.  There was alligator on the menu and we all had to try some. It was pretty chewy, but rather delicious. After that, we got some malts and some bags of ice and retired to the boat. As we left the port, one tugboat kind of followed us around like he wanted something, so we stopped and he went away. Then another tugboat kept honking at us, like he wanted something too. We just ignored them, but now that I think of it, we probably had a flat tire.

Once we got on the river we cleaned up the joint. Vince and I made rice and beans last night, and that was a disaster. We also had some weird flying beetles join us, so there were many dead bugs on the floor. It looks much nicer now.
We were mighty sweaty after hauling the gas, so we made sure to swim for a good 15 minutes. Swimming isn’t scary anymore since we’ve been doing it for three weeks now. We used to be rather skiddish about being in the water. We only have 100 miles till New Orleans, so we’re taking our time. We will likely get there tomorrow morning and explore the city for the day. My dad will be on his way tomorrow to pick us up. We are so excited to see the end, what a wonderful trip it has been.

Mississippi Queen

Way down around Vicksburg around Louisiana way, lived a cajun lady, aboard the Mississippi Queen. These are some lyrics by the band Mountain, you can probably guess where we were… Yesterday, we stopped in the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi for gas and ice. It was a small city and gas wasn’t too far from the river. Unfortunately, you have to climb a small mountain to get there. We parked next to a casino and readied our four empty cans for the hike. A small black pickup pulled up and an older gentleman started to talk to us. He said that the Coast Guard often patrols the waters catching people parked illegally, he suggested that one of us should stay with the boat, while the other three went with him to the gas station. It didn’t take long to accept his offer, so the other three guys got in the pickup and I sat in the boat. About 15 minutes later, they came trotting down with gas and they were so pleased they got a ride. So we loaded up the gas and hit the river.

Today we stopped in Natchez, Mississippi. We had plenty of gas left, so we just found a BBQ place and got some pulled pork and corn on the cob. Natchez is a pretty small, but very nice looking town; it has all the southern charm you could ask for. Lots of big houses over-looking large, neatly kept yards and the Mighty Mississippi.

Everytime we stop in a town, we find a casino (they’re always along the river) and try to buy some cards. We’ve probably gone to six casinos and they never have any for sale. But finally today, we found a river boat in Natchez that just gave us two decks. We got back to the boat and played Scum to see who would keep the cards, Vince and Stod each won a deck.

We have had excellent weather the last week, we have been consistently traveling 100 miles a day. We started at mile marker 392 this morning, so it looks like we’ll make it to New Orleans Wednesday. The city is 100 miles upstream from the gulf; we aren’t sure how much farther south we’ll go, as civilzation gets more and more sparse. It has been an incredible journey and it’s amazing to be so close to the end.

Quite the visit

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We were just cruising along when a plane flew over us, we thought nothing of it until he circled back around. He landed down stream from us just a few hundred yards and slowly made his way towards us. Eventually he made it close to our boat and shut off the engine and got out. Nonchalantly he struck up a conversation, asking us where we’re headed, and how we’re doing. He told us he was just cruising over and spotted our boat and wanted to chat. We feel pretty honored that he landed just for us. We made sure to get his take-off on film but the video won’t upload. Here’s some pictures. Enjoy!

3 weeks on the river

We planned on our trip lasting 3 to 4 weeks and it looks lioke we’re right on the money. We only have 350 miles left before we arrive in New Orleans, or “Newaluhns” as the locals call it.

Last night we did arrive in Greenville with no problems, we had to travel up an inlet to get to the city and we found our home inbetween two casinos. A few blocks away we found a gas station and we made a couple of trips to get our fuel. We also found the ever-neccessary hot dogs, ice, and Coke. We got to our boat around 10:30 and traveled down the inlet getting attacked by flying fish and tugboat spotlights. Eventually we came to the river and found a spot to camp around a bend. There was a slight breeze, but nevertheless, Vince and Stod got bitten up and resorted to another early start.

We just finished lunch and we’re en route for Vicksburg, Mississippi. We changed borders on the west from Arkansas to Louisiana today. We’re making great time.

When we get to New Orleans, my dad will come pick us and the boat up. Unfortunately, we have no truck… We are in need of a 4-door pick-up the size of an F-150 or larger. If you have one that my dad could borrow for 3 days, it sure would help us out. Call Lincoln at 319-930-1180. Thanks.