THE OLD MAN AND THE RIVER VII

5/31/2022       

William Turst now had 1 more year of plaque encrusted onto his arteries since the day he pulled his GIMPY GUPPY out of the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin. Having repaired his river rat shortly after it was extracted, Bill took the boat out on numerous occasions to different lakes including Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River to test its reliability. It proved itself to be quite dependable as the engine started and the stern drive lifted up and down on that transom. Those haunting words, uttered by a 10-year-old girl, still echoed in Bill’s brain: “Hey mister! Put your motor DOWN!” It was now ready to finish its journey from La Crosse to Stillwater, Minnesota. This year there would be a new addition as Bill’s friend Joe, from Colorado would be joining him. Joe was a commercial pilot and was always 1 who enjoyed a unique road trip. A day was picked, and Bill met Joe at the Madison Airport on a Tuesday evening. Grabbing a hotel enroute to La Crosse, the pair got up early and had the GUPPY in the Mississippi by noon at a public boat launch. As Bill entered his first lock on this trip, Joe was astonished on the size and engineering involved in getting all that water in the lock in such a short time with no pumps, only valves. As they ran northward around 35MPH, Bill remembered last year when this boat’s 3,000RPM produced a whopping 6MPH. These 2 ancient mariners were gonna be up that river in no time. When the 2 Speed Freaks passed through their 5th lock of the day, it was time to think about getting some gas and a hotel for the night. As Wabasha, Minnesota was on the radar up ahead a mile on the left, fate found 4 people and threw them in the blender of chance. Joe was driving and Bill was watching the shorelines. Bill spotted a pleasure boat on a sandy island with 2 people waving rapidly at the 2 old goats on the GIMP. “Hey Joe, I think those people on shore need some help,” said Bill. Joe looked over and said, “I don’t know ’em. 

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