Our journey to the Mighty Mississippi was extremely scenic, from the meeting of the Illions River to the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. What a spectacular day we had. The views were just exceptional. From the time we left Graton, the views just keep getting better. What really amazes me the most is all the barge traffic here on the Mississippi. I thought it was heavy on the Illinois it just doesn’t seem to stop. I guess that is a good thing for the economy.
We have been using the Waterway Guide for reference on this trip. But it doesn’t do the anchorages justice on the Mississippi after St. Louis. We use our GPS and depth gage to look for anchorages near what they call groins on the charts. They are structures that are built from shore to protect the shore from erosion. They trap sand to help direct the current from scouring the channel. To me they look like arms of rock sticking out of the water off shore and are excellent to anchor near.
We saw our first car ferry on the Illinois River just before the Mississippi.
This little red and white bouy marks the meeting of the Mississippi and Illinois River.
I have to take my turn in driving Beauty. I love it! Like my flowers? I think they brighten up the cockpit.
After the meeting of the two rivers, the view has started to change. The cliffs are neat to look at.
We watched this sailboat put up their sails and I was a bit jealous. Traveling along the Illinois & Mississippi and a few other rivers one has to remove the mast. There are many fixed bridges that don’t open. We are looking forward to Mobile Alabama when the mast goes back up.
Along the shores of the Mississippi you’ll notice a national scenic byway called the Great River Road. If you look closely you’ll notice cars along the byway.
“Argosy Casino” love the bright colors..
Off to the right under this bridge is Alton Marina. We have friends staying there and they seem to like it. We had to go to Grafton because Bryce was expecting a package. The two marinas are only about 10 miles a part.
This is the Mel Price Lock and it is at mile marker 201. It took us 23 feet down in the lock. There are four of us in this lock. Notice how puny we look in a 600 foot lock. There is a 1100 foot lock just next over for bigger tows.
Here is the lock after we were down. The doors haven’t shut yet. They actually had two sets of locks here and we were in the smaller one.
Here is a picture of a tow in a floating dry dock (green). Apparently being repaired.
Cool pict of?
Here is this huge sign pointing left that says “CANAL all boats ENTER HERE” that would be your port side (left). It looks like you should continue to your starboard side but that takes you to a dam! You really don’t want to follow that side of the river.
That sign is the start of the Chain of Rocks Canal.
This is the Chain of Rocks Locks at Mile marker 185 after this lock you will really notice a huge difference in the current 3-4 miles an hour. We are traveling darn near 10 miles an hour now…
A short distance after the lock I started seeing 👀 bridges again.
The “Queen of the Mississippi” she is so big!
Love the paddle wheel.
This is the Coorperative Ambassador pushing her barges through St. Louis MO
This is a suspension bridge as we are motoring down the waterfront of St. Louis
Finally the St. Louis Arch. If only they would develop their waterfront for boaters… how about a marina? ⚓️⛵️
I heard this weird sound and when I looked up I saw a train.
This is one of the groins I was telling you about in my opening paragraph. They are all up & down the river. Although they are easy to see. And they do not protrude into the “sailing line”.
They are dredging the Mississippi just past St. Louis I think it looks like hotdogs linked together.
In between many of the groins you’ll find nice warm sandy beaches. We always try to anchor on the shore side of the buoys staying out of the way of other vessels. We are anchored with a 1 1/2 mile an hour current (near shore). We used the dingy to go a shore because of the current. I don’t think I would of been able to get back on the boat if I used my kayak.