Canoeing with the boys

Photo from Chimney Rock web page
Friday night our son Gabe and his roommate Frankie drove to Decorah from Cedar Rapids to join us. Since they got in a little late we let him spend some time with his brother and they all joined us Saturday morning to go on a canoe trip. Overnight the weather changed and it rained a little and the temperature dropped significantly. I had my doubts about the canoe trip as the temps were in the high 40's to low 50's, but all decided if we dressed appropriately it was still doable. So off we went to the Chimney Rock campground and canoe rental. We has not ever been to this park but it is infamous for the party my son's fraternity the Pi Sigs have here every spring. Nice to finally see the scene of the crime or craziness or whatever you call a big college party. This place is out in the country about 20 minutes outside of Decorah and the way we went was mainly on gravel though Mitch says there is another way in. I know we would not take our RV here, the road besides being gravel is fairly narrow. The do have electrical sites and there were a few small trailers. It would be a great tent camping site and they also have a few small camping cabins.

We rented two canoes and had them put us in at a spot about a 2 hour float upstream from the campground take out area. I don't have a dry bag (it is on my list of things to get) so I didn't take the camera :(   The upper Iowa river is beautiful as it winds along the bluffs. It is running a little high as this summer has had lots of rain. The first thing we came across were 3 eagles soaring above and doing interesting acrobatic moves I had never seen before. There are several eagles nests in this area but with leaves still on the trees we weren't able to see them today. The fall color along the way is just beginning and in another week or so it should be spectacular. We made it downstream in about 2 hours as planned and we were starting to get chilled so it was just about right.

Now everyone was hungry so we headed to McCaffery's for lunch. It is such a nice country setting and their gormet pizza hit the spot. The shrimp one is my favorite, it is like shrimp scampie on a pizza. It was so nice to be with the boys again, they have grown up to be great fellas who are always fun to be with. Gabe is sporting a new clean shaven look, he looks a lot like John at the same age and without a beard he looks so much younger. They took off for a party at Mitch's and we headed back to the trailer.
Frankie, Gabe and Mitch

We were hoping to listen to the audio stream of the Roughriders first game of the season with Waterloo, the biggest rival they have. I had a text from Brady earlier letting us know that he was starting in goal. Well the audio feed wasn't working so we had to follow along on a site called "Pointstreak" which updates as the game goes along. Better than nothing but I was dissapointed that we couldn't listen. The game turned out well. Roughriders win 1-0 and Brady has his first shutout so he starts the season with 100% save percentage --cool.

We all met for breakfast and then it was time to say good-bye, won't see them again until Christmas time. I handled this good-bye a lot better. Today it is just relax time and my friend Trudy and her family are going to stop by on their way home from a wedding in Minneapolis. It has been a great weekend.  Oh, and John is still contemplating his post, he is really into retirement mode. :)

Happy Trails......


  1. I got a drybag for my camera from the waterproof store-
    On the same site I got a smaller bag to put our cell phones in so they wouldn't bang into the camera in the other bag.
    It was the only place I found one I really liked!

  2. What a happy time. So nice to do something fun with family. I can tell how much you miss your children but that's the way of life for so many of us once they grow-up and choose their own career paths.



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