XLIV Alton to Hoppies

Monday September 29, 2014

This morning we decided to call the Mel Price lock to see when they could fit us in and they said right away…four loopers sparked up and headed south to the lock. We tied off and down we went.

We had to travel about 9 miles south to the Chain of Rocks lock and they also took us right in and down we went again. Our day was way ahead of schedule and i should have known it would end on a different note…

The river is still full of trees, logs and stuff and we are always adjusting course to avoid hitting something. We arrived here at Hoppies’ at about 13:00 CT. The river is running about 4 mph so we went downstream and circled back. We were headed in behind the Sundowner and were tracking in to dock nicely when we received instructions to go around Sundowner and dock ahead of him. Apparently we didn’t keep the bow far enough out and the current swung us in to the dock. We dinged the anchor but otherwise it seems fine. Hoppie was a tick upset but nobody was hurt and FRACAS seems OK. I’m not sure what happened…I have an Ontario Boaters License.

Hoppies is a Marina here on the Mississippi and has been since Hoppies’ parents started in 1933. Hoppie and Fern have been running the place for the last 41 years. The Army Corps of Engineers is managing the river, putting in wing dams and structures to keep the navigation channel clear of sediment. This has a cost and the cost is the effect this has on Hoppie and Fern’s business. They may not be able to maintain water depth at their docks to bring in the boats. Their facility has been here for so long they are grandfathered but that still doesn’t keep their docks safe from change.

The businesses located nearby are closed on Monday. That is well advertised, so we arrived on Monday. Tomorrow we will stay over and visit the adjacent villages and do the tourist thing. I will continue to check the bowsprit to make sure it isn’t bent. We did hit a little hard. I didn’t spill my drink.

I think Hoppie has determined that there was no discernible damage to the barge. Fracas on closer scrutiny has a slightly deviated bowsprit. I will source out a shop in Mobile that hopefully can remedy that. A power boater wouldn’t even notice the bend.

I will update with photos tomorrow. Sorry we are tired today.


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