Sunday, May 23, 2010

Slow Day At Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 11


With temperatures approaching 90 degrees today many people looked for water-based entertainment this weekend.

Being the first really hot weekend of the season there was substantial recreational boat traffic on the Mississippi River at the Port of Dubuque, Iowa below Lock and Dam No. 11.

While a small group of river watchers gathered at the Lock's observation platform they were rewarded with views of people fishing on the Wisconsin side, flying pelicans and floating cormorants during the early afternoon.

A van load of adults from a special needs home departed after reporting no boats had transited the passage way for the hour and a half while they were enjoying a picnic lunch on the platform.

A short time later sirens blared, upriver gates closed, the pool dropped from 15 feet to 8 feet and the downriver gates opened. This allowed two recreational boats to enter the lock, approach the side wall and begin the
lift experience.

One boater knew the lock attendant and chatted him up about fixing his pickup truck. Three people in one boat and four in the second made the tally for this particular transit. 



"Taxpayer dollars at work," exclaimed one observer on the platform under her breath as the pool rose and gates opened upriver allowing the two craft to speed off. Know that.