At 6:00 AM today at the Alton Marina, a volunteer from one of the Looper boats called the lockmaster of the Mel Price Lock (just a mile south of the marina) to check when a group of ten boats could lock through. The lockmaster’s response was that if we came right away, we could get through with no wait. So, by 6:30 AM, all ten boats were on our way to the lock.
It was only a three foot drop, so we got through quickly and made our way down the Mississippi, down the Chain of Rocks Canal, and through a second lock, to downtown St. Louis.
Rhonda volunteered to photograph all of the boats in our flotilla as they passed in front of St. Louis Gateway Arch.
We collected email addresses and sent the photos this evening.
One of our fellow Loopers reciprocated and texted us this photo of R&R passing the Arch.
There are very few places for non-commercial boats to safely spend the night along the upper Mississippi River. One of those places is the Kaskaskia lock wall, at mile marker 118 on the Mississippi, just upstream on the Kaskaskia River from the confluence of the Kaskaskia and the Mississippi. It is just what it sounds like, a lock wall, no shore power, no Wi-Fi internet, no city water, no phone, no food, no pets, but it is a safe place to tie up for the night. We were the second of ten boats to arrive, so after getting tied up, we joined others who helped the rest of flotilla with their lines. We are experiencing good collaboration among fellow Loopers.
We fired up R&R’s generator, turned on the air conditioning, and Rhonda hosted docktails for twelve of our new lock wall Looper friends. We met people ranging from those almost finished with their 6000 mile loop, to Jim and Marilyn (with their dog Zeus) who just finished their second day on the Great Loop. We enjoyed the fellowship and did some planning for those who (like Rick) want to get through the Mississippi River and on to quieter waters.
Tomorrow’s tentative plan is to travel 90+ miles south on the Mississippi to the Boston Bar anchorage for the night, and then a third day down what’s left of the Mississippi River and up the Ohio River to Paducah City Marina on the Ohio River.