The Time I Had Dinner on a Mississippi River Sandbar…in October

One of the cool things about blogging is that I have the freedom to write posts from anywhere…whenever the creative juices hit! For example, THIS….

Mississippi River October

…is my ‘office’ for this post.  A sandbar in the middle of the Mississippi River, I’m not even in a particular State, it’s no mans land between Iowa and Wisconsin!  There’s no phone reception or Internet, but with my little iPod touch I have a pocket digital notebook and can blog away!

As the cold weather starts to close in, people try and squeeze every last moment out of the ‘nicer’ weekends, but sometimes these late season experiences can often be better than the warmer weather ones.  Me and the other half were invited out on a boat trip, its last little adventure before it gets packed away for the winter.

Yes it was cold, but the river was calm and almost completely deserted. We passed one old fashioned Mississippi River boat and two barges that were hauling cargo further north up the river.  When I first moved to Iowa I was surprised by the amount of little islands that are in the middle of the Mississippi.  During the summer I’m told that the little sand bars are PACKED out with boats and people.  You can even camp on them for free for up to 14 days.

But at the end of season, we had a little sandbar all to ourselves, complete with a fire pit that previous explorers had left behind.  We collected drift wood and sticks that we found in the mini forest on the island, placed a grill we’d brought along on top of a couple of rocks and barbecued sausages.  It was peaceful and quiet, the only noise came from a pair of bald eagles flying overhead.  It almost felt like we were Bear Grylls, shipwrecked on a little island!  We nearly had a fish too, but the only ones we caught were too small so we had to throw them back…so we didn’t quite ‘live off the land’!

Mississippi River in Autumn

It was late afternoon by the time we finished our hot dogs.  We got back on the boat and headed back to the Guttenberg Landing.  The sun was starting to set which made the autumn leaves on the trees turn an even brighter shade of orange.  As it dropped behind the bluff on the Iowa side of the river, the temperature dropped a little bit further, I was wrapped up like an eskimo but didn’t care in the slightest.

I’m looking forward to experiencing the river properly in the summer time.  I’ve added a night of wild camping onto my ‘Iowa bucket list’.  I want to spend the daytime swimming and wake boarding and then find our own private sandbar to build a fire, make s’mores and spend the night camping.  Only noisy people and mosquitos could ruin it for me!

Have you ever gone wild camping or spent a night on a Mississippi River sandbar?  I’d love to find out your experience!

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