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We arrived at Hoppies Marina, Kimmswick, MO at about 4pm yesterday. After the river opened up we had a wild ride thru St. Louis. The river is crazy turbulent with barge wakes or WAVES. There were barges everywhere doing their thing. Below is tug pushing 6 across. We don't see that up in Minnesota on the river!
Hoppies is an iconic Looper stop. It’s quite the place. Three barges tied together and you dock on the outside of the barge right on the river. Fern Hopkins, 81 yrs. old, of Hoppies Marina, gives a Looper briefing each night at 5:30pm on what to expect next on the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers. Unfortunately Fern was under the weather, but her daughter, Debbie, filled in for her and did a great job talking about the tugs/barges, turbulence, safe anchorages, etc. The other reason most Loopers stop at Hoppies is because it is the last stop for most of us needing fuel for the next 200 plus miles.
There were three boats on Hoppies dock/barge last night. One other Looper boat from Marathon, Keys and the other a little house boat newly purchased by a gentleman named Michael and his dog Zuk. Michael, sold everything he had and purchased this house boat in Sabula, Iowa. He plans to take it down the river and live on it in the Keys. In my family, Michael would be described as a “whipper”. He was quite the character. When he pulled into Hoppies, the entire front of his houseboat was full of mud. He had purchased a 4 x 4 plastic planter to grow grass and as he boated thru St. Louis, he got tossed around, like the rest of us and the planter, well, you know. We weren't sure if the grass he was growing was for Zuk to relieve himself while underway or if it was "grass" for Michael..... A big part of the Loop is meeting the people along the way. We’ll definitely remember Michael and Zuk and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again down the river.
We departed this morning at 7:30am and to a beautiful sunrise. We are traveling 100 plus miles today to reach a safe anchorage called the Little Diversion Canal. It will be our first anchor out over night on this trip. We are going to travel approx. 15 mph, so it will probably take us about 7 hours to get there. It's about 50 miles from Cairo, IL and the Ohio River. We'll travel another 100 miles plus tomorrow with 2 locks on the Ohio River to make it to Paducah, KY.
We heard this morning that a dear woman, Harriet Roth, passed away and we want to give Bill, Carol and the boys our condolences. You al are in our thoughts. She was such a sweet, kind lady.
All for now~
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.