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May 10, Wednesday-
As we traveled, Ike thought we were having engine problems so we stopped at a lock and he worked on the boat as the rest of us took a much needed bathroom break. It was another long trip till we rached Lansing. To keep us occupied we played a hand game and spoons to decide who was to empty the facilities. Of course I was the undefeated winner of the game and Bonnie and Jamie were declared the losers.
When we got in to Lansing, Peggy was watitng for us. We circled up to discuss the goals of the stop. The advisors proposed another scavenger hunt in Lansing. Anong the things we were looking for was the most bizzare item in Horsefall Lansing Variety. We also investigated more historical aspects of the town. Thor and I were partnered up for the hunt, but we got sidetracked with all of the fireworks we bought so we had to go out twice to make sure we had answered all of our questions. I also bought marshmallows for a bonfire.
While we were in town, Jamie bought twenty year old hair dye and dyed her hair a more natural brown color, it looks nice. So after the hunt we left for a place to beach in VIctory, WIsconsin. On boat, we cooked mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and spagetti for dinner, a potpoorri of food. When we reached our beach the guys went fishing while Jamie and I did the dishes.
Soon, Becky and Brooke started a fire on the beach and we all rosted marshmallows and played with the sparklers I bought, but John outdid me and bought us 3 foot sparklers. Over all it was a great day; after most of the crew went to bed I stayed up on the beach and thought about how much this trip has meant to me, how much I have learned, and how great the people I'm with are.
May 9, Tuesday-
A soon as everyone was ready and bundled up we took a road trip to the Effigy Mounds Iowa. These are historical land mounds formed by the American Indians in distinct shapes. The hike up to the mounds was a steep four miles but it was nice to get some exercise. We were on a very relaxed tour and it was our relaxation period. After the easy hike down the mountain, Bonnie, Thor and I waited down by the river for Hawk to come pick us up while the rest of the crew went to a museum and shopped for food. Hawk took us to the back rivers where we identified the sounds of several birds and well as sighted a few. It was a brisk trip and for the most part the weather cut it short.
When we got back I helped Thor with the dishes and helped Becky cook tacos. DInner was great again. After dinner there were several visitors that came to look at the boat. Among them was the local newspaper editor who got an unexpected story and took some photos of us. After our big photo op we had a chance to work on our projects. The boys fished and birded and I tested the water and looked for zebra mussles. Thor caught a live mussel covered in zebra mussels but later knocked it off the boat.
We finished off the night by taking a trip onto town to Peggy's hotel room and the laundromat so we could freshen up. After seven showers and three loads of laundry we headed back to the boat. We finished off the night by watching footage of the past two days and then we drifted off to sleep.
May 8, Monday-
As approched the town we choose to dock near lock #10. It was there that we became aware of the storm warnings for the evening. We weighed out the possibility of a thunder storm and because we had a sheltered dock at the Guttenburg lock #10 we decided that we were going to stay all night for pretection.
As we walked up the hill into town it was quiet, for the most part the town was not open. Bonnie, Becky and I walked the streets window shopping and observing the architechure. We made it around the town and we finally found an open business, a hair salon. With a spur of the moment we decided to go in and ask for a hair ahampoo. Two days with out a real shower can wreak havoc on the ends of hair. Bonnie and I were encouraged to come back in fifteen minutes so we went back to the boat. Just as soon as we got there it was time to go back. As we got our hair washed Peggy made her apperance, she encouraged us to find out some interesting trivia of the town, unfortunately our hair dresser was little help.
When we came back the guys were all into playing ultimate frisbee but after only one point scored by the boys the game was ended due to a save the baby turtles misssion. Once we had rescued about twelve of the roasting babies it was time for lunch. We all went to Doug's Steakhouse for lunch, I tried cheese curds for the first time. To my suprise they were good.
After lunch we hiked up to the school and prepared for our presentations. We were small town celebrities in the town, the children knew us as "the boat people". Becky and I went in to the fifth, fouth and finally the sixth grade classroom to talk about our experience. I found this to be great speaking practice and I was also able to plug service learning. After all of the presentations were done we got a group picture of the classes and "the boat people". It was exciting to know that we had made a fun day for these kids but apparently we might have had too much fun because we had a lot of visitors to the boat. Thor and Matt were among the crew members that took a temporary position as cruise host directors and tour mamagers. It was cute to see the kids so interested in what we here doing but Bonnie had had little trouble gettind a few to go home.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing recreational activities. We explored the town, locked a for a CD shop, talked to some crazy towns people and played near the river along the rocks; generally speaking we were tring to just relax and have fun. As the evening approached, Jamie and I went down to the local supermarket to get more food for dinner. When we came back we fired up the grill and made hamburgers and veggie burgers. We had a lot of fun cooking and I think we did an excellent job.
After dinner, Jamie, Becky and I tried our best to make up a dance on the wall. Becky was not up to it though and broke out into her own rhythm. While dancing a few town boys started to grab our attention in negative ways so Jamie and I challenged them to a race. Of course the eleven year old boys were no match for us and so they were left in our dust. UNfortunaly the boys never went away but continued to bother the rest of the crew and I until we finally got ride of them after a few interludes.
The rest of the night we spent finishing up our projects for the day and just having fun. We had a group meeting with Jon Stravers a.k.a. Hawlk. He was very anxious to talk to us and tell us about what he does in connection with Bonnie. We planned our trips with him for tomorrow up the river and into some forest lands to birdwatch. Once everyone got things settled for the night, Thor, Matt, Jamie and I went down to the park to swing and just relax before we wake up and do it all again. Overall today was a great day.
May 7, Sunday-
May 6, 2000- Today I began my river adventure. It all began at 7:40 a.m. when my flight left MBS for St. Paul. Then for there we flew into Rochester, MN. Finally we meet up with Peggy Knapp, Catherine, and Bonnie Koop at the Rochester airport. The five of us then took a road trip though Minnesota, Iowa and then over to Illinois before arriving at the dock. My first impression of the Lille Belle was utter shock, I seemed to hard to believe that after all this time it was finally time to take off. The boat was amazing; it was built by the captain Ike and it looked like it came straight out of a movie about the South. It was a mock version of a steam driven paddle boat. The boat has a large barge connected to the front that served as an airport but, we used it to set up a tent and hold a canoe as well as house addition furniture. When we arrived he had been the others that had taken off from Hamline University in the morning. This group consisted of John a coordinator, Thor, Matt, Jamie and Becky. When the finally arrived we had to unload the food and supplies for the trip are store them away. This was a tough job because of the confined living quarters. When it came time to leave the dock, the boat would not move. The water level was very low at the slip and the boat was grounded. After an exhausting trial, we finally made progress and finished the job with a make-shift wench system. That was of course Ike's idea. As we got moving down the river it was fascinating to see the similarities between the Mississippi River and the Saginaw River. Just like back home we had to pass though bridges and a railroad crossing. There were many boats out in the river and one boat came up and asked us if we were the Hamline group which was pretty amazing. As we trolled along we waved at many other boats and especially to one annoyingly loud cigarette boat. As we glided along the calm water of the Mississippi I became really inspired about my project and the whole adventure. About one hour into our journey we reached the number 11dam. Because of the process of the dam we had to wait a significant amount of time for the dam to open. During that hiatus we took pictures, lounged, and the men start to fish. This was also a good time for Ike to go though some safety rules with us and for John and Bonnie to go though rules, guidelines, activities and requirements. This is when were we taught about the documentary and encouraged to take part with our extensive technology. We all then rushed back up to the boat's deck to watch as the boat enter the dam, the water level increase eight feet and the gates opened into a new "pool". After we left the dam we all went off to explore the boat's accommodations. Bonnie and John and Thor played guitar and sang songs. As the darkness approached the dinner crew began preparations for their first meal ( I was put on dish duty). The nigh began to wind down as people began to settle in. I began my first journal writing which wasn't too exciting but I'm looking forward to tomorrow and starting my project.
for Global Environmental Education