After a whole weekend of goodbyes we finished up some wash on Monday and fueled up. We headed over to Grafton Harbor to say goodbye to Joe and Jan and stocked up with more beer that someone depleted over the weekend. Joe and Jan DeSherlia have run Grafton Harbor since it began. They were happy to hear about our plan and said it was their dream to do the same some day. We lunched at the Big Kahuna and cast off in the rain to anchor near Portage Des Souix for the night.
We pulled up anchor before sunrise and were in Alton as the sun was appearing. We called Melvin Price Lock and was directed into the auxiliary lock right away. We weren't as lucky at the canal lock and had to wait for nearly three hours, their auxiliary lock being down.
Just as I had wanted, we were passing the arch in St. Louis on the day of my birthday. We caught a glimpse of our condo, hopefully for the last time as owners. The transit through the St. Louis Harbor is not pleasant. Lots of commercial traffic and the swift current and wind didn't help.
The one thing about the high water condition was the fact that it would be possible to anchor overnight on the Meramec River. When we got down to the mouth of the river, we crossed from a very muddy Mississippi into a fairly clear Meramec stream with a steady 21 foot depth until we approached the first railroad bridge about a half mile up. It may have been possible to get under the bridge but there's no reason, we just want to rest for the remainder of the day, have a nice dinner and turn in. We spent over eight hours at the helm, but some of that was waiting at lock 27, but it still takes a toll.
I called Fern at Hoppies and she'll be waiting for us in the morning so we can get fuel. The 60 miles we traveled this morning hardly put a dent in the fuel gauge, but we're getting the port tank topped off, the only one I pulled from in order to level our load some. ( All the beer is on the port side.)
We might make more miles tomorrow, but there's no reason for that either as long as I can find a spot to throw the hook, and I bet I can. Until then.