If you want to read the whole story head over to the menu on the right side of the home page and click on the Saturday description under the Sailing main topic. Below is the quick summary of the last day on the water motoring/travel day.
Saturday was the last travel day of my 6-day boating adventure. Last long day on the water, close to nine hours travel time from Afton MN motoring south on the St Croix River to Prescott WI, under the bridges now that my mast was down, a hard right turn into the Mississippi River past Hastings, through lock #2 just north of Hastings and then following a very winding route up the river following the nav channel even though it looks like you could just cut corners and shorten the distance significantly, no don’t do that!
Eventually up past the Cottage Grove MN area, South St Paul, past Pigs Eye Lake, yes that’s still the name of a lake just east of the river (Not sure I want to know why it was originally called Pigs Eye but if I remember right St Paul might have originally been called Pigs Eye?) through the industrial section of the river as I close in on St Paul proper. This area is/can be very busy with barge traffic, so it is imperative to stay alert. There are empty barges parked everywhere along the river, 2 to 3 deep, parked in back water dead end channels, just kind of everywhere which makes seeing moving barges a challenge. I had to negotiate past 3. They are huge so their movement isn’t as noticeable as you would think against a backdrop of parked barges and twisty channels. My last barge encounter was in downtown St Paul, then another passenger barge that was coming down river once I passed Harriet Island in downtown St Paul. Last landmark was passing where the Minnesota River and Mississippi Rivers converge with me taking the right-side channel up the Mississippi and then Watergate Marina. I left Afton about 8:15 A.M., arrived Watergate about 5:15 P.M. happy to have arrived safe and secure.