By 8:00 am the fog had lifted, so we straightened up the boat a little and pulled out of the marina at 8:25, headed downstream toward the Demopolis lock and dam.
Outside the lock, we lined up behind a large sailboat that we'd seen yesterday afternoon, just north of the marina. When we saw it yesterday, we noticed the duck decoy tied to the back, seemingly following the boat. When we pulled up beside the couple this morning I had to ask how long the duck had been "following" them. The lady, with a heavy accent (maybe Swedish?) told me that the duck had been with them for 10 years!
Glenda then noticed the deer on the bank to our port side. The sun's glare prevented us getting a good photo, but on the return trip we got several when we saw about 20 in the same spot.
We only waited a few minutes before the gates opened and we were told by radio to enter the lock. 20 minutes later we exited the downstream gates, after being lowered 40 feet.
|The gates hold back the water as we are lowered 40 feet to the next level.|
We continued south for about 13 miles to the site of the old "Moscow Landing", where pre-historic fossils are plentiful in the clay layer exposed at the river bank. We had to look a while to find a spot on the bank with a sandy bottom, as most of the bank in the area is rocky. We nosed up to the bank and put the boarding ladder over the bow, removed our shoes and climbed down into the edge of the water. I had to carry a rope over 100' up the bank to find a tree to secure the boat to. We walked the bank and found several fossilized shells, plant stalks and few pieces that looked like petrified bone.
If you do a Google search on Moscow Landing, you can get more information about the prehistoric layer that is exposed here.
We untied and Glenda fixed lunch and we headed back north, arriving again at the Demopolis lock at 2:45 pm. The lockmaster was waiting for us and we entered just as a tug and barge combination called to say he was about 2 miles away. Luckily for us, the lockmaster let us go ahead and lock through. We'd known that the tug was not far behind us, and we were hoping we could get to the lock in time to go first. Otherwise we'd have had wait nearly and hour. Exiting the lock we saw LOTS of deer, and we realized they were probably regular residents of the Foscue park and campground.
Arriving back at the marina, we checked in and paid for another nights dockage. After listening to the first half of the Alabama game, we rode into town and had a catfish dinner. We got back to the boat and listened to the final part of the game.
We really slept pretty good last night. The little electric heater knocked the chill out of the air and we actually slept until the sun came up. After a brief moment of panic this morning (I couldn't find the coffee), the day went perfectly. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and I could almost believe all was right with the world.
|Just think I could be sitting on a dinosaur!|
|Some fossilized tree limbs.|
|Isn't she lovely?|
On the return trip, I was able to get some really good pictures of the deer grazing near the lock. It was a pleasant day of travel. When we returned to the dock a couple from Minnesota was interested in the boat so Tom gave them the "grand tour". They are traveling in a 30 foot sailboat. I wanted to go walk through the graveyard where the mausoleum is but there were gates and Tom wouldn't go in. We ate at Halls Catfish and Seafood, it was good. The air is not as cool tonight so we are not even going to get the heater out.