Aug 072015

We leave the Illinois River at Mile 0 and join the Mississippi River at mile 218. There are two parts to the Mississippi River, the upper and lower.   In our journey we will traverse the upper Mississippi River to Mile 0. The Mississippi River does run faster than the Illinois River and at times is equal to our familiar Niagara River. She runs quick. Dirty, with lots of debris and quick.

The mighty Mississippi also brings us through the hub of the commercial barging area of St. Louis, MI. The barges, tows and commercialization is so abundant here that there is absolutely no stopping for recreational boaters. None….which seems strange being that it could be such a lovely stop. Commercialization won out long ago and it is apparent in every aspect of the journey through this city. To watch the city go by is almost impossible as you are constantly on the watch for debris, logs and just about anything. The Mississippi River is like chocolate milk with chocolate junks. It’s disgusting. I didn’t think water could get this colour.

As we travel done this well know river we are met with many barges but the channel widens a bit. The current is constant, swirls and eddys. We are glad we are in a more powerful boat with horsepower. I can’t imagine being in slower horsepower boat traveling at a 6 knot current and having to manoveur around these barges. It isn’t all pleasant on this journey. It is a challenge.

Holy crap Batman! We are now being met by large tows with at least 15 barges or more really booking it down the straight away. No locks and no interruptions and they go. It is a rocky road with turbulence and very large wakes. I took a video but I don’t think we’ll get it on the site without wifi. Bandwidth is at a premium along with diesel and water. We are making sure to keep it rationed until we get to Green Turtle Bay Marina.

The famous Hoppies. We made it. Hoppies, with Fern as the Guardian of the River, is amazing. She sat down with us after gasing up. We had to go slow traveling today. It was a mere top up for the next 250 or so miles without any fuel stops. Fern, went through all the possible stops. We will definitely hail her warnings and listen to her suggestions. We have a problem though. The forecast is for rain in two days. We can’t anchor out with any rain on the way. There are no anchorages that are available without a consequence in rain. We may have to make it to a lock and be stuck until the weather passes. We have no alternative. It really is the only option. We will check weather again in the morning.

On a side note, The Army Corp of Engineers has put in several weir dams that are just below the surface on turns which causes very narrow channels for recreational boaters anywhere near barges that need to turn. Fern recommends not

meeting a barge and announcing your arrival at a turn to be sure there are no barges and their tows.

We went into the Town of Kimmswick.  Crossing a bridge we see a couple fellas fishing with bows.  They catch mostly Asian carp to help with their infestation.  It is common to see people out with nets and or fishing rods just to catch those buggers.  The boys were showing us how it works.  Basically you use a special bow that has a fishing rod on it and pull back on the bow and reel in the catch.  If you spear the carp.

Places were closed but it was an adventure. I recommend making the journey to this amazing little gem. Scott and I were wondering when the wild west shoot out was going to happen. It is so quaint. After getting around this little town we found a cute little place that was open and it had a few local folks there. We met the mayor, the alderwomen and the treasurer. We chatted a bit and sat down for a bevy. The owner brought out ice cream for Aiden. They are wondering how this “Looper” thing works and what we need. They want to know how to accommodate us boaters and introduce their cute town to us as we pass through. Hopefully, anyone reading this that stops at Hoppies takes the little walk into town. It is worth it.

Now we sit in the evening waiting for the update on weather and contemplating the next portion of our journey.

 Posted by at 2:43 AM

  One Response to “Grafton, IL – Hoppies Marina, (Kimmswick, MI)”

  1. Getting there. Looks like quite a journey. Enjoy the rest of your trip. <3

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