~~~~~~~~~ RiverBill's Archives~~~~~~~~~
~~~A WEBSITE FOR THE ALTON POOL BOATING COMMUNITY ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER~~~

 

01-31-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the Grafton Ferry and a Wintertime Boater. It was taken yesterday from the Grafton Ferry landing on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. The cruiser heading up-river sure looks like the same one that was featured in yesterdays "Picture of the Day". Take a look and let me know what you think. The houses in the distance are on the bluffs along the Illinois River.
01-30-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the boat named Scoundrel that was tied up at Sharkey's yesterday. Yes, Yesterday !   January 29 !   Boating season never ends for some folks. Dutch, who is the captain of the vessel, told me he keeps it toasty warm inside and that he uses the boat all year long. Hats off to you Dutch !     It was good to see all of our "River Friends" that were at Sharkys yesterday. It was especially good to see two of my longtime friends Shirley and her son Kevin of the houseboat named "Love Boo".
01-29-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of some of the river crew that took a train ride to the Windy City last weekend to see the Chicago Boat Show. These boaters are a step ahead of the rest of us since they have already seen everything that is new in "05"!!   Our show won't be here for a few weeks yet. Ron and Darlene Skeen sent in this picture and they said everyone had a great time !!!!! I can put names on 4 out of the 5 couples. From left to right: Gary (in hat) and Jan (in red), Colon (in hat) and Linda, Ron and Darlene (both in white) and Ron (red shirt) and Linda.    Thanks for the picture..
More about the towboat in yesterday's edition ---Kathy Flippo of Tow Talkin seen yesterday's picture of the eagle watching the retractable pilothouse towboat pushing a load up-river and sent me the following information about the towboat and where it is as of Friday night. Kathy says
    "That is a great pic of the tow and the eagle....some more information. That is the M/v Reggie G that Alter Barge Line bought a couple years ago from Magnolia Marine. Currently Inland Marine is running it for Alter but the paint job is still Alter colors. This boat was built in 1975, is 155'x48'and has two GM's, 5,600 hp. And yes......she is a retractable pilothouse. I see in the "Corps Vessel Locator" that she has come southbound through Lock #22 with six barges at 14:55 today, Jan. 28. Bet she's been up to Quincy."
01-28-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of an eagle and a tow. A retractable wheelhouse towboat is pushing a load up-river while an eagle sits in a tree and watches.     What a shot ! This picture was taken from Mike D's house yesterday morning. Mike told me he never sees tows pass his house time of the year, especially heading north. Thanks for the great picture Mike !!!
Retractable Wheelhouse Towboats ---I think they are sort of weird looking and I didn't know why they built these things. A couple weeks ago my question was answered. Kathy Flippo of Tow Talkin had some info about these towboats in her weekly column, dated 10 January, 2005. I thought I would share it with everyone. Kathy says: "The retractable pilothouse boats were created especially for working the Illinois River in the Chicago area. With a bridge crossing the river at practically every street, it is a real pain to towboat pilots and bridge operators to say nothing about the traffic halted while the bridge is up. The retractables can scoot right under. Now that is progress!"     Thanks for the info Kathy.
Grafton Harbor ------ There was an article in the Alton Telegraph yesterday about the Grafton Harbor. It was written that the Grafton City Council approved an ordinance to allow the developer to move forward with the new marina. It also stated that the developer hopes to have it complete by this summer. For more information see a "paper" edition of yesterdays Alton Telegraph.
01-27-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the one original section that remains from the old Alton Lock and Dam. It is on the Missouri side of the river in the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area off of Highway 367. Alton and the bluffs along the Great River Road can be seen in the distance.
01-26-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of a lone white pelican floating past the Alton River Front last weekend.
How far can the tows that are passing through St. Louis go up River this time of the year ? ---I was asked this question and I didn't have the slightest clue, so I sent the question on to Kathy Flippo of Tow Talkin. She was kind enough to e-mail me the following reply:
    "They can run all the way up the Illinois River, and they are running up to Meyer Elevator on the upstream side of Lock and Dam #20. Quincy, above Lock and Dam #21 is a normal run in winters when the locks below that aren't down for repairs. The big pool above Lock and Dam #19 runs from Keokuk up to Ft. Madison and it gets pretty heavy ice eventually during the winter."
Pick here to see the current location of all vessels on the upper Mississippi River.
THANKS Kathy !
01-25-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of more gulls. This time they are on the ice that was on the up-river side of Alton Dam this past weekend when the temperatures where still below freezing. Some of the gulls were always diving into the cold water for food and the rest seemed to be waiting to fight over and hopefully share part of the new catch. One of the gulls on the ice has some food in front of him that he is trying to keep the others away from. The river channel is on the other side of the island that is in the background.
01-24-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of gulls flying around on the down-river side of Alton Dam yesterday. Must have been lot of food for them there. This picture does not really represent all of the birds that were in the area. It seemed like thousands and thousands of them flying around, all diving into the cold water for food. When one gull got something the rest chased him trying to get it away. Quite the site !
01-23-05
Our River Picture of the Weekend ------ is of the Highway 54 Bridge that spans the Mississippi River from Louisiana, Mo to Illinois around the UMR 283 mile marker. Two Rivers Marina is on the far side of the river. A lot of boaters from Alton Pool have made the trip to Two Rivers many times.
Wood River Levee ---There was an article in the Saturday's "Alton Telegraph" about needed repairs on the Wood River Levee. The levee protects Alton and East Alton and other cities along the Mississippi River from flooding. For more information go to On-line Telegraph .
01-22-05
Our River Picture of the Weekend ------ Oh Buoy! The channel is getting narrow !     I think that it might be tough navigating your boat through these buoys. This is another one of those great River pictures taken by Steve Schulte. Take a look at his website http://www.steveschulte.com .     Thanks Steve !
01-21-05   (Updated 11:30 AM )
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the Clark Bridge that connects Alton, IL with Missouri. The Melvin Price Lock and Dam can be seen in the background. The Clark Bridge is at UMR 202.5 and Dam is at UMR 201.
Chicago Boat Show ---If you are looking for something to do this weekend, consider going to the Chicago Boat Show. It is not that far of a drive   "or"   you take the train like some of my friends are doing. For more information go to http://www.discoverboating.com/chicago/ .
Belleville Boat Show ---Looking for something closer to home ?   The Belleville Boat Show is this weekend, Jan 21 - 23.     618-233-0052
Jefferson City Boat Show ---Another Boat Show close to home !   The Jefferson City Boat Show is this weekend, Jan 21 - 23     573-636-7774
More Boat Shows ---Check "Upcoming River Events" in the upper left hand column for more Boat Shows near St. Louis !
01-20-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of a real River Pirate.     Yes!   He is a Pirate, about 200 years too late.  He is a River Dog - our River Dog. He was named after Jimmy Buffet's Pirate song and he loves going boating.     Not to worry !  The boat is just idling, so he is safe standing on the sun deck and he knows to stay down inside when we speed things up. I think the boat is heading up-river and that is Two Branch Island in the background. Send a pic of your River Dog to RiverBill's.
Alton OK's contract for design of Riverfront Amphitheater ---There was an article in the Wednesday's Post Dispatch about plans for a new riverfront amphitheater in Alton, IL. For more information go to STLtoday.com.
Bald Eagle Program in Godfrey---There was an article in the Wednesday's Post Dispatch about the Nature Institute holding a Bald Eagle Program on Wednesday and Saturday in Godfrey. For more information go to STLtoday.com.
01-19-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ was sent in by Greg Moore. It is of the old lock at Dam 26 in Alton, IL. This pic was taken on a cold winter day in 1986 when the frozen sludge was piling up inside the lock chamber. The old Alton Bridge and railroad bridge can be seen in the background. Thanks for the picture Greg !
Eagle Watching ------ A hotlink to the "2005 Eagle Watching Events" has been added to the "Upcoming River Events" in the left hand column of this page. Take a look !
01-18-05
Our River Pictures of the Day ------ show that the tows are still moving the goods down the icy River. The 1st pic shows the ice in the River above the lock at Winfield Dam. The 2nd pic shows a harbor tug clearing the ice away from the lock wall on up-river side of the Dam for the on coming tows. The 3rd pic shows the harbor tug breaking up more ice. Sort of looks like it could be making sharp turns by the angle of the vessel. The 4th pic shows some open water as the harbor tug starts to head up-river towards the oncoming tow. The pic of the day has the tow aligned to enter the lock. The pictures are from the Winfield Live Cam on Monday.
New e-mail address ------ I have setup a new e-mail account for RiverBill's so I can receive larger files. My new address is "riverbill@prodigy.net" and the "floating bottle" link on this page has been updated so just click on that and send me an e-mail   "or"   some of those River Pictures. Thanks - Bill.
01-17-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of a wooden boat with very classic lines moored in front of the Lighthouse at the entrance to the Duck Club. This is another one of those great pictures taken by Steve Schulte. Make sure to take a look at his website http://www.steveschulte.com . He has a lot of great pictures on it.     Thanks for sending in the great River picture Steve !
PWC Whoops ------ Brian Schaffer sent me a url to a good picture of a Personal Water Craft and a boat that collided. It looks to me that the PWC collided with the boat - but I am only guessing. Ha ! Take a close look at the registration numbers on the boat and you can only guess where this might have happened. Pick here and take a look..     "Thanks Captain" for finding this picture for us !
Eagle in Flight ------ Debbie House sent me this picture of an eagle in flight that she took near John's Boat Harbor. Thanks for the great picture Debbie.
01-16-05 (6:30 PM update)
Our River Picture of the Day (another late edition) ------ is a shot of the fresh snow that covered the Riverbanks this morning. This picture is looking up-river near UMR 233. That is the upper end of Two Branch Island on the right hand side of the picture. There were a few sheets of ice floating in the River, but it is mostly open.
Internet connection problems ------ I have had major internet connection problems the last few days, but they seem to be fixed now so stayed tuned for pictures, changes and river info .
New Link ------ I just added a new link to RiverBill's. It is an "All in One"   River Stage and Weather Map page. It contains a Doppler Radar weather map from the Weather Channel and "ALL" of the river stage charts for Alton Pool in one place ------ Alton Dam, Grafton and Winfield Dam.     Take a look ! The link is in the upper left hand column of this page under "River Stages - Weather".     Captain Gary Bowers out of Woodland Marina developed the software to display this page. Thanks Gary !
St. Louis Boat & Sports Show ------ I also added a link to the upcoming "St. Louis Boat & Sports Show" on the right hand side of this web page. Take a look !
New Years Day "Toast To The River Gods" ------ Darlene Skeen sent me some pictures from New Years Day when some of the folks from Two Branch Marina gathered at the harbor for their annual "Toast to the River Gods". Check out the pictures on RiverBill's Harbor page in the left hand column of this page. Thanks for the pictures Darlene!
01-15-05
Our River Picture of the Day (late edition) ------ is of some of the River crowd at Syberg's last night helping Sharon celebrate her 29th birthday. The "Birthday Girl" is in front of the table on the left in the black and white outfit. Next to her is Teri whose birthday we celebrated Thursday night!    I think everyone had a great time last night - I know I did.   Happy Birthday Sharon and Teri !
Stay tuned today ------ for more pictures, river info and changes to RiverBill's.
01-14-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the Grafton Ferry in a snowy and partially frozen river. The "Hackermax" sent me this picture right after Christmas and I didn't get a chance to post it. It seems fitting to post today considering all of this snow and cold weather we have again. Thanks for the great pic "Hackermax" !
01-13-05 (3:30PM update)
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is looking down river near the end of Highway C in St. Charles County at UMR 231. There are two eagles in the picture. One is in the air after taking to flight from a lower branch of the tree in the foreground and the other is sitting in the higher branches of the same tree.
Water on Highway C ------ I just got the following info from Mike D. "There is still water on Highway C.(in St.Charles County) They still have the sign on the road that says "Road Closed". You can get thru in a truck but I would not go thru in a car."
01-12-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is another great shot from Steve Schulte. I thought this pic might help cheer everyone up considering all of the dreary weather we have been having lately. Make sure to take a look at Steve's website http://www.steveschulte.com . He has a lot of great pictures on it.     Thanks for sending in the great River picture Steve !
01-11-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the old houseboat Ma Belle setting on the Missouri bank of the Mississippi River near South Shore Marina around UMR 226. This old rusting hull has caught my attention quite over the past years as we motored up and down Dardene Slough. I took this picture yesterday when I spotted it for the first time from the landside of the River. Looks like it might have been "some boat" in its day.
01-10-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of Old Glory flying proud with the bluffs on the Illinois side of the River at UMR 233.5 in the background. This picture was taken on one of our last boat rides in December.
01-09-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of some of the houses near the entrance to Two Branch Harbor at UMR 231.5. This picture was taken on a cold December day when we were still boating
01-08-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the Golden Eagle Ferry heading towards the Missouri ferry landing on a bright winter day. This picture was taken from Calhoun County just down-river from Kinders.
01-07-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of some of the bluffs along the Great River Road taken while driving from Grafton towards Alton, IL. You can see the power plant is in the distance.
01-06-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is looking at Kinders across the Mississippi River from the Golden Eagle ferry landing at the head of Dardenne Slough. The docks that float in front of the restaurant in the summer up on the bank in front of the parking lot. This time of the year really makes the "blues" stand out in a photograph.
01-05-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of another one of those spectacular fall sunsets taken a couple of weeks ago looking up-river towards the power plant.
01-04-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is common sight for a lot of us Missouri boaters. It is the cluster of river related signs at the intersection of Highway 94 and Highway B right outside of St. Charles.
01-03-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of a sunrise taken from the deck of Mike D's house right before the end of 2004. The ice was floating down river in sheets that day. Thanks for the picture Mike.
01-02-05
Our River Picture of the Day ------ is of the sign at the entrance to the Wind Rivers Condos that are being built along the bank of the river right out side of Grafton, IL. The units are between the river and the River Road. They were just starting the first unit when I stopped there. You can see Grafton in the background.

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