Sept. 10, 2012

Alton Marina UM 203 to Hoppie’s Marina UM 158

It was another typical night in a marina, sounds of cars in the distance, lots of lights and Gator’s ocasional snore…….I’m sure I had a few too. We’re up fairly early to another beautiful day. I’m ready to get through the last 2 locks today but I sit for a while contemplating our day.

Hoppie’s marina is the next stop and we shove off into the current for another day on the river. Mel Price lock and dam is within a mile of the marina so we call in and as the gates open, we ease on in.

Mel Price Lock & Dam

This is the largest of all the locks we’ve been through, I’m not sure why but it is an impressive sight. We now have only one lock left which is situated in the canal heading to St. Louis, more on this later. It’s about 8 miles to the canal so we kick back as we usually do and enjoy.


Soon we come to our last hurdle…..the drainage ditch. This is at the entrance to the canal circumventing what is called the “chain of rocks.” Firstly, the “chain of roocks” is an impassable section of the Mississippi because of the rocky make-up located here. The US Core of Engineers dug a canal for all crafts to follow around this section. Secondly, the “drainage ditch” I refer to is where Gator and I spent the night in 2011 due to the flooding situation. You see, we had one lock to go before entering St. Louis but the US Coast Guard decided to stop us here for our own protection, it was actually the lockmaster’s call at lock # 27. They feared that our small craft would be in danger if we continued. I’ll stop right here and just say, such is the river……..

Anyway, back to the drainage ditch, I’ll just let you read it for yourself from the blog last year which you can access here. Passing by we noticed that the drainage ditch was now nothing more than a grassy field sitting 20 or so feet above the river, from flood to drought. We now entered the canal.

“The Canal” around the “Chain of Rocks”

All that’s left now is to make it to St. Louis and down to Memphis but in the shadows a huge concern lurks………

Traveling the Canal

As we approach the lock the fish start jumping, Asian Carp I believe. Gator is on fish patrol as he ejects the fish from the boat as they jump in. It’s a sight to see for sure.

Jumping Fish

Passing through the last lock was exciting because now we are free of the restrictions that the locks pose, no more waiting to pass through. Around the corner is St. Louis.

We cruise on by admiring the city and it’s archway but do not stop because of the lack of water and docking. Hoppie’s is on the horizon and the looming question remains………

Next Page


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s