Left Alton, IL moving further down the Mississippi River, past St Louis to Hoppies

After a few days in Alton IL, we began to travel down the Mississippi River again.  Just a little over a mile from the marina was the first lock for today.   We approached it with extreme caution because yesterday a boat got pushed into the wall and damaged.  There was also lots of floating logs, sticks and debris in the approach.  The lock was opened after a short wait, and us and five other PC’s (“Pleasure Craft” as the lock master refers to us) entered the main lock. We tied to a bollard and lowered to the new level without any incident.    A bollard is a post in the wall attached to a large barrel that floats up and down with the water level.  This allows the boat to be held against the wall.   A few miles downstream the Missouri River joins the Mississippi River.  In the confluence area, there are lots of swirling currents pushing the boat off course.  The current also was a lot faster so instead of our normal 7.5 knots we are traveling at over 11 knots!

There is a canal just past the confluence that bypasses a series of rapids.  Not going over the rocks and rapids in a trawler is a very good thing.  Down the canal is another lock and this one was also uneventful.

We soon approached the city of St. Louis and the ARCH.   You can see it up river for a long way.  There are a number of interesting bridges to pass under on the way past St. Louis and a few are pictured below.

Once we arrived at the Arch, we took pictures of “Last Call” and then swapped positions so they could take pictures of “Sanctuary.”

The destination for today was Hoppies Marina–a very unique and unusual place.  The marina consists of a few barges tied together along the bank.  They have built an office and a sitting area on the barges.  Hoppies is in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri.    Kimmswick has a number of interesting shops, great Barbeque and a GREAT bakery that has Mile High Apple Pie.

 

 

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Alton Marina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bike trail at Alton along the river on the levee

 

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Alton bridge overlooking the Alton Marina

 

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Chain of Rocks Lock; notice the gate raises and lowers like a garage door. It does not swing like most lock gate openings.

 

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Navigating Chain of Rocks Canal

 

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Lots of current pushing boat on Mississippi river. Normal speed would be 7, but with current, we are going over 11 knots.

 

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Many different kinds of bridges along the way, this one over Chain of Rocks canal

 

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Very old bridge near St Louis

 

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Interesting bridge near St Louis

 

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Sanctuary at the Arch in St Louis

 

 

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Hoppies main dock

 

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Fern at Hoppies giving the FAMOUS afternoon river talk

 

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Fern at Hoppies giving the FAMOUS afternoon river talk 

 

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Sanctuary at Hoppies

 

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1954 Chris Craft, still runs and floats, at Hoppies

 

 

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1954 Chris Craft

 

 

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Smokee Robinsons Cajun Smoke House, Best ribs and Barbeque

 

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Dinner at Smokee Robinsons Cajun Smoke House with other loopers

 

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Lots and Lots of logs and debris floating by in river. Hopefully we miss them all…..

Tomorrow we plan to continue on down the Mississippi river to an anchorage.

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