THE OLD MAN AND THE RIVER VI

5/30/2022   

Off to the south of Bill’s liquid motel was a coal fired power plant that hummed a 60 cycle/second tune. To the west was a 1200′ lock that echoed with the scraping of the barge assemblies that passed in the night. To the north was a group of Mexicans who were fishing for catfish as their communication was in high-speed Spanish. To the east was 2 sets of railroad tracks that produced a train nearly every 45 minutes. The long-long-short-long, 140 decibels of the locomotives horn were in Morse code that denotes the letter Q. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN means: be aware, this lady can kill you. Needless to say, Bill didn’t get any sleep. At sunrise a group of young fishermen showed up to try their luck. Bill offered the driver $20 to take him up the road a half mile to refill his 2 gas jugs. With another 10 gallons, it would be close to get to La Crosse. As the lock operator gave Bill the signal to enter, this was his final leg to finish. As the sun warmed the air and recreational traffic started filling the river as he approached the city, a girl of about 9 was being towed on a tube with her family in the boat. As they drove past his 6MPH speed at 12MPH, the clever little girl hollered to Bill, “hey Mister! Your motor isn’t all the way down. Put your motor DOWN!” Smart ass bitch! As he pulled into the marina and tied up for 2 days, he found the attendant and paid him for parking. Bill ate lunch while he waited for a cab driver to get him to the airport for a rental car. With an hour drive to the park for the festivities and memorial, Bill engaged in as much social banter as he could tolerate, then found a motel 2 miles from the marina. With a phone call to set up someone to bring him his truck and trailer on Monday, Bill went to bed at 11PM and slept till noon. When his ride showed up on Monday morning, the 2 returned the car, retrieved the GIMPY GUPPY out of the river and headed for home. This adventure merely shifted to neutral, it was not over. 

To be continued…… 

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