Those who can't do, teach; those with no boat, bum. Once again, I am a grateful sail bum. Lock and dam 26 on the Mississippi River gives us a 38 mile stretch called Alton Pool. Tugs and barges share the water with cabin cruisers, speed boats, fishermen, jet skis and yes, sailboats. Watch out for the wake, steer clear of the big boys and you have a yourself a paradise right outside the back door.
Saturday's sun rose chilly and bright, a glorious autumn day. The turning leaves of maple, oak, birch and hickory promised a show, the cooler promised a picnic, and the river promised to roll. Our friends welcomed us aboard, and as the day warmed, we were off. While the winds let us down, keeping us from doing much actual sailing, we were undaunted. The river was kind. We motored up the pool, taking pictures, snacking and talking, enjoying each others' company and the glorious day.
From the river, everything has a different point of view. The bluffs stand tall and inviting; colored like a crazy quilt, a patchwork with no rhyme or reason, yet so perfectly designed. Ballooning spider webs catch on the rigging, streaming behind in a gossamer flag. Food tastes so much richer, drinks are sweeter, the air is fresher, our senses are exhausted. You could barely want for more. Maybe just for another day like this before the snow.
For more expedition pictures, click to eyespye.