CLINTON — Just as the Mississippi River started to cooperate with boaters, Mother Nature had a different plan for them.
After an ideal start to the month of July, the hot temperatures and sunshine subsided to unseasonably cool days with clouds and drizzle.
Officials at local marinas said boater activity had increased once river levels began to recede in early July, but the dreary weather over the weekend kept many of them once again off the water.
Randy Connor, the new operator at the Ice Box, the Fulton Marina gas dock, said he has seen all sorts of weather issues in his short time at the marina.
“We had a couple of good weekends at first, when it was really hot, but since it has started to slow down,” Connor said.
The Fulton Marina is not the only place that had a slower weekend because of the weather.
Rock Creek Marina and Campground also saw a bit of a decrease in recreational boating over the weekend, but Park Officer Brad Taylor said that any activity they have is better than what they’ve had so far this season.
“In June we didn’t have any pleasure boating and for the last couple of days, with the colder weather, there has been less as well, but (otherwise) weekends have had a ton of traffic,” Taylor said.
Although conditions were unfavorable for river enthusiasts, some were brave enough to deal with the cold weather for a chance to get out on the water.
Clinton Marina Manager Cindy Brackemeyer said she did see a small decrease in activity over the weekend but nothing substantial.
“We were really surprised by how chilly it was,” Brackemeyer said. “But equally surprised by how many people braved it.”
She said the hostile river conditions this summer caused some to become desperate to get out on the river before the season ends.
“We had people out in sweatshirts, just so they could get out,” Brackemeyer said. “They are just excited that the river is finally down.”