Joe got up when the alarm went off at 6:45 and headed up to the galley to start the coffee. That's when he spotted a barge headed for the lock. He and Phil immediately scrambled to pull the anchor and get Paradise out in the channel so we could beat that barge to the lock that was 2 miles away. We just barely made it, and got through the lock in about 30 minutes. When we pulled out on the downriver side of the lock, we found another barge waiting to go upriver. If we hadn't hustled, it's likely that we would have ended up waiting at least 4 hours for the two barges to get through.
We finally saw blue sky and sunshine today. The sun felt great coming through the windows, but the temperature was still too cold and the wind too brisk to stay outside for long. The flat landscape that we had been seeing for so many miles continued, and the banks of the Mississippi alternated between lots of trees and lots of houses on stilts. For most of today the trees were pretty much all green with no autumn colors.
We finally got to the Alton Marina and here we're at the gas dock taking care of business--diesel in, poop out. Wait, did I say that out loud????
Paradise is all settled in for the night beneath the Alton suspension bridge. We have shore power, pressurized water, and WIFI! Thanks to a tip from our Veda L friends, we called Schwegel's, a local grocery store, which promptly sent the owner's daughter to pick us up so we could buy a few perishables and beverages.
After we got back, Joe and Phil hauled the groceries from the parking lot back to Paradise. Joe is on the right in his winter jacket with the down liner, and he has the hood of his sweat shirt on his head. Up until Monday, this area had been having weather in the 70s and 80s. The forecast is for 34 degrees tonight and a high of 61 tomorrow--not exactly what we thought we would encounter on this trip.
Phil is used to biking and walking, so while Joe and I had hamburgers for dinner aboard Paradise, Phil explored Alton on foot for a couple of hours and found a Subway where he had his dinner.
We made about 75 miles today and now I'm caught up with our blog. In the next few weeks we'll still be anchoring out on rivers and most often we won't be near large metro areas, so the blogging may continue to be sporadic.