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We picked this section of the Iowa River, because the water quality & scenery are excellent. The river bottom is almost entirely rock / gravel - no mud. We didn't catch many fish- a few catfish & Mark lost a smallmouth bass - but the wildlife were plentiful. We saw raccoons, mink, many deer, ducks & geese, and turkeys. We camped on a sandbar on the river, and cooked up some chicken rice and instant potatoes. That night we were awakened a few times by wildlife, especially by a deer who apparently didn't appreciate our presence- It kept walking up near the tent and loudly snorting. This probably went on for about 10 minutes, and had us wondering for a minute if it was going to come into the tent or not.
The next morning we got up and paddled into Steamboat Rock, where on river left, there is a "portage" around the dam, consisting of a slightly worn trail and then a ~ 70 degree descent down a cliff. After Steamboat Rock, you get into a very pretty area, with more swiftly flowing water and limestone bluffs along the riverbanks. About 6 miles downstream, we reached Pine Lake, and took out. It was a very enjoyable trip, although I'll wait until the water is a little higher before taking this route again- it's a little tough on the canoe's bottom, although it came out with just a few scrapes.
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