We’ve reached it! The Mighty Mississippi! No sign announced it. No blast of a horn. The water looked the same. 😉 But we watched the channel markers carefully, and grinned at each other as Mile Marker 0 on the Illinois merged with Mile Marker 218 of the Mississippi.
It felt like a milestone. And it is.
A pause now, to restock and organize and socialize. We will stay here, just 20 miles from St. Louis, for several days before heading into a long section of anchorages. This marina expects that of Loopers, and offers a “3-for-3” deal; pay for three nights, get three free. We took the deal.
This is our first covered marina, which felt strange at first. It’s a place where family members and friends come to visit and Amazon packages are received and boat maintenance occurs. (Jeff put a swivel on the anchor and installed a new water pressure tank, and we hear some industrious banging at the boat next door.) We’ve received several packages, including a bicycle cart to carry groceries, a blue-tooth tracker for the cat, and a much-welcome VHF radio that is AIS-capable so we can “see” the commercial boat traffic.
I did two loads of laundry! That’s hardly “news,” but a part of boat life that has to be planned. (We keep a lot of quarters handy for the purpose.) Jeff took his bike into town to find the bike shop and hardware store — his first time using Google Maps by bike — while I took a slow jog on the waterfront, stopping to read signs that explain the history of flooding here.
This leisurely stop is also a great time to have real conversations with some of our new Looper friends, beyond weather and apps and next destinations. I miss meaty discussions. I was ready for that.
It’s still very hot, so I’m grateful for the marina pool. It sits on top of a barge like the rest of the infrastructure here, capable of rising with floodwaters when needed. This might be a floating marina, but it’s a clean and friendly one. The staff welcomes Loopers with open arms, even treating us (and others) to a live band and fireworks — and, tonight, “Yappy Hour,” featuring boating dogs.
The marina restaurant is tiny compared to our last port, but serves up tasty treats alongside friendly smiles. I’m happy to stay here awhile longer!