Day 8 & 9 – Hoppies Marina

Day 8 – miles cruised 0, dockage $58
Day 9 – miles cruised 62, fuel purchased 24 gallons, Cost $64, dockage $54

We had a layover day on Monday in Grafton. Time enough to determine that Grafton has no claim to the title of the Key West of the Midwest. Not enough evidence to convict them. No Jimmy sightings. Much of our day was spent kibitzing with other Loopers. Dale went to Walmart and Priscilla and John spent the afternoon in the swimming pool.

We are finally on the mighty Mississippi River.  We are down bound 62 miles to Hoppies Marina. This is the last fuel stop for 220 miles until we get to the Tennessee River. At Hoppies, Fern provides the daily update for conditions on the river and where to anchor.

Thought for the day provided by Carl (Chef) Wooden from Tokyo, Japan.                                                         To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.

We cruised 62 miles on the Mississippi River from Grafton to Hoppies Marina in Kimmswick, Mo. Kimmswick is the Second oldest town in Missouri with 200 residents and 44 buildings. Hoppies is a legend among Loopers. Fern Hopkins has been providing Loopers with fuel, dockage and good advice on where to dock and anchor on the rivers between here and the Tennessee River for decades. With a 4 mph current this has been our best fuel economy day at 2.6 miles per gallon. We passed through St. Louis and saw the Arch.  There is no place to dock along the river in St. Louis.

We spoke with the crew of Patty Ann. These are the folks that tore the radar off the top of the boat that they are delivering. They have a plan to not tell the owner and to pay for the repair themselves. They have this planned for a two week layover in Mobile. How they will explain the two week layover to the owner we don’t know. Their other misadventure today was to take the wrong fork on the Mississippi that would have taken them over a set of rapids. A Good Samaritan called them on the radio and said “if you go that way you will have to take your boat home in bushel baskets.”

We are docked on a set of old barges built in 1949. As each tow goes by we get rocked. All is well on the mighty Mississippi River.

This is the closest thing we found in Grafton that could be equated with Key West.

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The Chalk cliffs are the first thing we saw on the Mississippi River

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No that is not McDonalds. It is the famous arch in      St. Louis

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 We finally arrived at Hoppies Marina

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 The legend herself – Fern Hopkins of Hoppies Marina

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