MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, LOUIS……..

Wednesday night Hank returned from performing post hurricane Matthew work at the office/warehouse.   He was rather exhausted from everything he did on the Island followed by his LONG day of driving somewhere close to 900 miles back to Salt Lick.   We decided to explore St. Louis and conduct a few errands on Thurs..

Haven’t you always wanted to go up into the ARCH along the Mississippi in St. Louis??   THIS is exactly what we did yesterday.   The ARCH was built in the late 60’s with the exterior completed in 1966, and final construction ending  in 1969.

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The river front area near the ARCH is being totally re-worked.  It is a large park area where you can take a helicopter ride or go on a river cruise.  There is this great bronze statue in honor of Lewis and Clark commemorating their 2 plus years of exploration of the West.  Did you know that they had a dog with them??    His name was SEAMAN.   Amazingly, this expedition only had one death and that was one of natural causes.  These early discoverers of our country were very tough and brave souls.

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LEWIS AND CLARK ALONG WITH SEAMAN THE DOG!!

The ride up to the top of the ARCH is accomplished by getting into your assigned capsule which holds 5 people.  You are sitting almost knee to knee with your capsule mates.  There is limited head room, which for me is not an issue, but for someone rather tall, could be!!   The glass door closes, the outer metal door closes and off you go.   It does not go fast.  The mechanism is a combined engineering design of an elevator, a ferris wheel, and a train!!!!   The trip takes about 4 minutes.  Once out of the capsule, you walk up several steps to the observation area of small rectangular windows on both sides.   The North half of the arch was the only one open this day.   I guess during high tourist visits in the Summer, both sides are open.   There is no time limit to your stay at the top.

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THE HEIGHT AT THE TOP   630 FEET
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VIEW OF BUSCH STADIUM FROM THE TOP OF THE ARCH
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STAINLESS STEEL EXTERIOR

FRIDAY OCTOBER 21, 2016

REPORTING FROM HOPPIES MARINA, KIMMSWICK, MO.          We left Grafton, IL this AM and are glad to be heading South once again.  We cruised about 60 miles today with leaving  the Illinois River where it ends/connects  with the Mississippi.   We traveled 327 miles along the Illinois River.   We are now on what is called the Upper Mississippi.   The current moves along adding to our overall speed of today up to 13 MPH!!   I don’t think Salt Lick has EVER moved along that fast!!     The Mississippi River phase of this trip is 219 miles long.  So after today we have 159 miles to go before turning up the Ohio River.

We locked thru two locks today with a wait at one for an hour.  The Mississippi River has a large volume of barge traffic.   In the areas we have recently come thru, ADM seems to own the rivers.   A testament to this being the bread basket of our country – the movement of these grains and other food and fuel products is BIG business.  The tow / tug boats are moving these barges day and night.   The locks also operate 24/7.

The next 3-4 days will be made without “tourist” type stops —- there are none!   HA  Anchoring out will be the name of the game until we get to a place called Green Turtle Bay in KY.   The older lady who runs this marina, Fern Hopkins, gives a briefing every day to the transient boaters who tie up here.   OH __ did I mention that Hoppies Marina is made from about 5 or 6 barges connected together in a long row where you dock for the night??   Ms. Fern tells you where to dock and HOW.   Love this lady.   This family run marina has been in existence since 1934.

So — if I am not able to pull a wifi from anywhere, there might not be any blogs.   We will be on high alert for river debris, tows North and South bound, fishermen and other vessels.   OH — and we’re keeping an eye out for Tom and Huck!

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