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Riverboat TWILIGHT

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    Riverboat TWILIGHT

    Even though the flooding kept the big boats from coming up here this month, I did a little boat chasing Monday. I drove up to L&D 13 at Fulton and followed the TWILIGHT downriver to LeClaire. Rt. 84 parallels the river on the Illinois side and offers several good vantage points. However, the TWILIGHT scoots on down the river much faster than the QUEENS, so I was often left in her wake, or totally missed her. Here are some shots from yesterday, July 21, starting in L&D 13:
    1)The widest point of the whole Mississippi is just above the lock and dam, some 5 miles wide. When I arrived, she was no where in sight, so I went back to Clinton to fill up with Iowa gas which is 30 cents cheaper. When I came back down the 2 mile roadway from the highway, still no sign of her. Then, out of the trees she appeared - on the guidewall already.
    2)From the observation deck. I was the only one there, which is unusual for this site. In my DQ days, this was often the most crowded lock on the trip and I tossed many a doubloon to the kids. The decks aren't too crowded as the entertainer was performing inside. What should he be singing, but the Delta Queen Waltz!
    3) Capt. Kevin Stier out to chat with me.
    Attached Files

    Zoom and there she goes....

    The TWILIGHT zips along at about 12 mph downriver, and I didn't get to my first planned photo site in Clinton. In fact, I barely got to the riverfront park levee to get these shots.
    1) leaving the lock,which is about 2 miles above the city front
    2) note the lack of passengers on deck - they were on the shady port side. The temp was close to 90, so they were out of the sun. The recreational boats are just getting back in the river after the flooding. On my trips June 1 and July 4, there were none out there.
    3) Heading toward the Hwy. 30 and railroad bridges. Note the lighthouse - this appears in that famous transposed AVALON postcard of years ago.
    Attached Files


      Down the homestretch

      As she approached the landing in LeClaire:
      Attached Files


        Home after another great 2 day trip

        1) It was a long hot day for deckhand/steersman Jacob Stier, so he was 'meditating' out on the guard as they approached the landing barge.
        2) Arriving at the CITY OF BATON ROUGE, former ferry boat whose steam machinery is now on the JULIA BELLE SWAIN.
        3) Suitcases are lined up on the landing barge so the passengers can move quickly from boat to car, or yesterday to a charter bus.

        If you've never taken a ride on the TWILIGHT, obviously I'd highly recommend it. I don't know how many trips I've taken, but I've done both the standard 2 day and the new 1 day roundtrip this summer. She'll be running through October and there are several day trips left over the Labor Day weekend. These are roundtrip Dubuque/Guttenberg and are perfect if you don't have the time for the overnight trip, or if you want to give her a try before booking a longer trip.

        And to those of you Rambling River Rats who came over for a trip several years ago, anyone game to do it again? If so, let me know and we'll try to get a group together for next summer.
        Attached Files


          I believe that you will be seeing some familiar faces over your way next week on the TWILIGHT. I'm not one of them as the local circuit court judge is keeping me close to home I'm on jury duty till the end of September.

          The TWILIGHT looks good from any way you view her. That "bone in her teeth" when she's stretching her legs is pretty impressive too. Also it looks as if the pilothouse has been air conditioned and new varnished wood sashes installed.

          God bless the Stiers for keeping Denny Trone's dream alive.


            a/c pilothouse

            Yes, air conditioning the pilothouse was on Capt. Kevin's list this past winter, and yesterday was a great day to use it!
            We all know what horrors new ownership can bring to boats, but Kevin and Carrie Stier have kept Capt. Trone's recipe for success intact and have merely added their personalities to the list of wonderful things about the TWILIGHT.
            (glad to hear it was jury duty that the law was detaining you for, Frank!)


              This subject may have been brought up on here before, so I apologize. However, what is the story behind the choice of paint schemes used on both the Twilight and Julia Belle Swain? Have they always had that same scheme? It's nice to see the Twilight busy again! The last time I saw her was a few years ago on the AQ during one of our stops in Dubuque, and she was sitting high and dry for work/inspection in the harbor.


                That's a good question, Dan, and I don't believe that it has been bought up here before.

                The TWILIGHT has always been painted that robin egg blue. I seem to recall though that when she came out her name on the stern main deck bulkhead was in fancy black letters, and not the shaded blue lettering she wears today. Unfortunately, I can't get to those slides, right now, that I took of her during the first season. No matter what, I do think that it's rather attractive. The first time that I saw the JULIA BELLE was in L'ville. during Derby Week back in the mid-seventies, and she was wearing the same livery then that she has now. Early on in her career though she did have a white hull if I remember correctly.

                Some might say that blue is bad luck on a boat, but it sure looks nice. It's also served the two boats well.