Tuesday, August 30, 2016

8/30 On the Mississippi to end the day with a rainbow

We left Grafton, Illinois the confluence of the Illinois River and the Mississippi.  We headed south on the Mississippi River.  Old Man River, Old Man River....   That was in my head all day.

The morning was warm and there was haze on the river.

  It was very pretty though.  The current on the Mississippi is impressive.  We were going much faster than we normally do.  The rains over the past week have caused the river to rise and there is much flotsam in the water to dodge.

We passed the Spirit of Joliet, a true paddle wheeler, still at dock in the early morning.
The limestone cliffs towered on the Illinois side. 
The Our Lady of the River statue was on the west shore.  It was dedicated to Our Lady after floods in the 1950's. 

The tow and barge traffic on the Mississippi was even greater than on the Illinois.  Some of the barges would be stacked 6 deep on the bank and we would thread the needle to pass tows underway.
The tows out of service were lined up on the banks too.

We had two locks to go through today.  Both of these locks had two chambers, a larger one for big tows and a smaller one.  Because the water is running high, we went down only a few feet.  The lock masters said we could just float into the lock and float out when he opened the other end.  We did not even tie up.  But the first lock was filled with flotsam coming down the river.  Here are some pictures of the flotsam in the lock with us.  I had to push it away with a boat hook.  

The second lock was a different type for us, the back of the  lock raises up a metal can like thing that doesn't go much higher than the water.

Then we entered the Mississippi Canal.  The Canal was created to smoothly take boats around an area of rocks and small falls.  They want to make sure all boats, tows included, go to the left rather than following the Mississippi.
It seems tight in there when you pass a tow.

One of today's highlights was passing St. Louis.  Here is the old Union Electric Plant.  Look at how beautiful the structure that faces south is. 

Then we passed the St. Louis Arch, the Gateway to the West. 

John and I took our pictures from the back of the flybridge.

Not long after that we arrived at Hoppies Marina in Kimmswick, Missouri.  This marina is really just a group of barges tied together.  It is run by Fern Hopkins and her husband.  Her husband's father started it in the 30's.  It is the last place to get fuel for next 245 miles.  Fern gives a Captain's Briefing at 4:30 pm every day.  She identifies good anchorages between here and Green Turtle Bay.  She calls out areas of caution along the way too.  Fern is a wealth of knowledge, and in her late 80's.  

Kimmswick is a small town and has some renown.  The Blue Owl Café has been featured on the Food Channel and on Oprah.  One of their specials is the Levee High Apple Pie.  I walked to town and got one for dessert.  Will let you know tomorrow. 
On the way back from town, I passed the Anheuser Museum and Estate.  I didn't have time for a tour but the grounds were beautiful with dozens of horses grazing.
  Another home I passed had this intricate stone fence and gateway.

We had a good rain that cooled things off.  The end of the rainbow was over the Hydrophilic.

Lat 38 degrees 21.53 North
Long 90 degrees 21.61 West

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