~~~~~~ RiverBill's Archives~~~~~~
February 2007

 

A WEBSITE FOR THE  BOATING COMMUNITY 

OF THE 

MISSISSIPPI, ILLINOIS AND MISSOURI RIVERS

 

 Wednesday...... 28 February 2007....

 

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Kim is Our Newest "Girl of Alton Lake"...... 

   Here is a shot of her out in front of Sharky's Restaurant.....looking beautiful !  

   Her and Tauni were on their way to Jamaica Daze 2006 !

 


RiverBill says....Kim.... Congrats ! ......you are now one of the   "Girls of Alton Lake"  Your picture will be added to their webpage in a few short days.   

 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's on this day in years past ? 

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was of Mason_Chute, a favorite summer hangout for a lot of boaters. This pic was sent in by Steve Schulte

February 28, 1870 in River History ------  
   The east channel pier caisson for the Eads Bridge reached bedrock more than two years after cornerstone was laid on top of bedrock for the west abutment.

    For more info click here

Welcome 2 new Sponsors This Week..........

 

Kinder's Restaurant .....and...... Grafton's Bar and Grill

See below !

Missouri Conservationist on-line Magazine........The March on-line edition of  Missouri Conservationist on-line Magazine is out..       Click here to view it.

 

Did You Know ----- The Mississippi River drains 32 of the United States of America and 2 Canadian Provinces……..Thus the name …Father of Waters.

  Source:  http://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/Rivers/locks-dams.html        

 

 

 Tuesday...... 27 February 2007....

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Our River Picture and E-mail of the Day...... are from Connie Burke. We have another River Dawg named .......Luci ! 

 

Conie  wrote:

 

BILL, 
   HERE IS A PICTURE OF LUCI. 
    WE ARE ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IN OUR BOAT NEAR GRAFTON, ILL. SUMMER 2006.   SHE INSISTED ON BEING THE DRIVER THAT DAY UNTIL...WELL, WE WONT GET INTO THAT.--LOL. ENJOY.

CONNIE BURKE
ST LOUIS, MO
HAILING OUT OF LAKE CENTER MARINA, ST. CHARLES, MO

 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

    

    

CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE

 

The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was of Captain Jacks Bar and Grill all blocked up and ready to be raised up above the 500 year flood level.  

Quite a difference.....Then and now  

Grafton Harbor..

OUPV (Six Pack), Towing, and 100 Ton Captain's License Course

Classes  for New Boaters and Kids.

 

Hi Bill,

    Grafton Harbor is hosting a OUPV (Six Pack), Towing, and 100 Ton Captain's License Course.
    I have attachment with all the information on it. Please let me know if you know of anyone interested.
   We are also hosting classes this spring for new boaters and kids.

Thanks, 

Joe DeSherlia

Grafton Harbor
(618)  786-7678

RiverBill's Rockin River Extravaganza ..... I was cruising around on Grafton harbor's website and I noticed they had pictures from last year's Rockin River Extravaganza   Click here and take a look.

 

   This year's event is planned for Saturday July 14th.....Mark it on your calendar.

   4 Bands:   Powder Keg, The Lookbacks, Rail and Ivory Tiger

 

Water Temperature..... Capt'n Gary Bowers has our ...."Water Temperature".... back up and running at the top of this page in the:

 

   ALTON POOL RIVER LEVELS, WATER TEMPERATURE & WEATHER    block

 

Check it out !

Paying Too Much For  Boat Insurance ?....... Check out Mixon Insurance. 

Fill out Bill Mixon's  on-line quote form for a fast, friendly insurance quote for rates on your boat..

 

Grafton's Landing Restaurant Is Opening Next Friday....March 9th..... 

  

   Stay anchored right here for more information

  

Kinder's Restaurant Is Opening This Friday.....March 2nd...... 

  

   This is a sure sign that Spring is just around the corner.  Kinder's Restaurant is opening for business this Friday around 4 PM.  Drop by on Friday and help us start the boating season off right.  Have a bite to eat and a good cold drink...visit with river friends and the good folks at Kinder's.  ........There are some docks out !

  

See you there ! 

 

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday every weekend in March.

  

 Click here to go to Kinder's website

 

 

 Monday...... 26 February 2007....

 

 

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Our River Picture and E-mail of the Day...... are from Russel Holloway.  It's a go-fat fishing boat !      

 

Russel  wrote:

 

Bill, 
thought I would share this interesting image of a Go-Fast open fish that my dad sent me from his home town in North Miami Beach Florida.


Russel Holloway

 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a river sunset sent in by Debbie.  She sure captured the last bit of bright sun as it was disappearing below the tree line.  The yellows turning into blues...those soft puffy clouds...And that one streak of yellow reflection on the water.

Missouri River..Blanchette Landing Access Boat Ramp..... The Missouri Department of Conservation wants to extend the Blanchette Landing Access Boat Ramp. The ramp is used by the Missouri Water Patrol and can not be accessed for emergency purposes at it's present length during low water periods. The ramp is located along the right descending bank of the Missouri River at St. Charles.

  

   Click here to go read the public notice

Mississippi River Forecast.... The Mississippi River levels jumped quite a bit the past few days !   The following are the forecasted crests as of 10:00 PM Sunday night:

  • 23.1 at Winfield Dam on Monday  (Flood Stage = 26.0)

  • 17.7 at Alton Dan on Tuesday   (Flood Stage = 21.0) 

  Click here for more information

Kinder's Restaurant Is Opening This Friday..... 

  

   This is a sure sign that Spring is just around the corner.  Kinder's Restaurant is opening for business this Friday around 4 PM.  Drop by on Friday and help us start the boating season off right.  Have a bite to eat and a good cold drink...visit with river friends and the good folks at Kinder's.  ........There are some docks out !

  

See you there ! 

 

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday every weekend in March.

  

 Click here to go to Kinder's website

Missouri River..Blanchette Landing Access Boat Ramp..... The Missouri Department of Conservation wants to extend the Blanchette Landing Access Boat Ramp. The ramp is used by the Missouri Water Patrol and can not be accessed for emergency purposes at it's present length during low water periods. The ramp is located along the right descending bank of the Missouri River at St. Charles.

  

   Click here to go read the public notice

Tows Are Running On The Mississippi River Again..... Dave Ash, of Cedar Hill fame, told me yesterday that he seen a tow headed up-river.  I spotted it on the Winfield River-Cam.  Thanks for the info Dave. 

   

  Click here to go to the Winfield Dam River Cam website..

Did You Know ----- that you can sign up for Water Safety Education Classes on-line on the the Missouri Water Patrol website ?

  Check it out.....Go to      http://www.boat-ed.com/mo/index.htm    

Sandy Chute Rehabilitation Project..... There is a plan on the Corps Of Engineers website about a rehabilitation project slated for  Sandy Chute.  The plan is marked " inactive" but here it is anyway. 

    Sandy Chute is located on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River at Winfield Dam.  It's a good place to go during high water, but it is not navigable during normal pool.  

   The proposed rehabilitation includes restoring flow through the chute and dredging lower reaches,  thus revitalizing about 200 acres of aquatic habitat.  

    The project has an " inactive status" due to funding and priority constraints. 
  

   Click here to go to the " US Army Corps Of Engineers - St. Louis District" website and read the project plan.

 

 

 

 

 Fri, Sat, Sun...... 23, 24, 25  February 2007....

 

  Updated Sun @ 12:00 Noon

Sharky's Cove ------  

  • Friday February 23rd

  • D J Ray spins from 8-12

Sharky's Landing Specials

  • Monday's- all you can eat Alaskan King Crab Legs $ 17.99

  • Wednesday's- all you can eat Walleye $ 8.95

  • Saturday's- Prime Rib 18-20 oz $ 21.95

  • Sunday's- Fried Chicken $ 7.95

  • Monday - Friday Lunch Buffet- Includes pizza, pasta, salad , bread and beverage $ 6.99

 

  CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

@12:00 Noon

Our 2nd Set of  Pictures and E-mail of the Day....(Sunday).. are from Steve Schulte.  He just got back from, where it's still boating season.  He sent us some pictures of some big Sea Rays, the Coast Guard and some ocean traffic.   

 

Steve wrote:

 

Hello Bill,


   Just returned from warm Florida and while there I captured a few photos of some very unique boats! Also special thanks to JD Schmid for setting up the awesome tour of the Meritt Island, Sea Ray Factory. We got to tour the big side of the operation where the 52'-60' Sundancers are made. Its amazing how big the 60' is out of the water. 
    Unfortunately I can't show you the pics from inside the factory but the two I included were completed yachts afloat and ready for sea trials. These boats will get 4 hours of sea trial tests then get pulled out and disassembled for shipment!! 

    Mabey someday we will see a 60 on the river!

Enjoy
Steve Schulte

 

 

  

  CLICK ON THUMBS (ONLY)  TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures and E-mail of the Day....(Sunday).. are from Betty Bannister who hails out of Grafton Harbor.  She sent us a series of action pictures of a fox that is trying to catch some gulls for dinner.   

 

Betty wrote:

 

Bill,

I could not believe how far out on the river this fox was. You could barely see him from shore. I hope he made it back to land. 
Betty Bannister

RiverBill says....Thanks for the pictures Betty.   You sure caught that fox in action !

 

And Larry.....It's Sunday...it's a new week.. so I put some more pics up with birds in them. ( Mr Fox is trying to reduce the bird population.)

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Our River Picture and E-mail of the Day....(Saturday).. is from Sharon G.....She sent a picture of a GREAT SUNSET !

 

 

Bill:

   Ok, that (Larry Demko's e-mail) had me rolling on the floor too !! 

   How about a summer sunset, dreaming of warmer weather...no birds, just a peaceful evening on the river.

 

RiverBill says...Thanks Sharon for the great picture !    

 

 

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Our River Pictures and E-mail of the Day......(Friday).. are from Larry Demko, who hails out of the Duck Club.  Seems as if he went into bird overload yesterday and wrote us the the following e-mail.  What a hoot !

 

Bill:

   Couldn't help but notice that almost everyday for the last week or so--and many days before that-- I check your site and find...BIRD pics! 

    Look, I agree the eagles are majestic birds...and I love it when I get a glimpse of them. They are, after all, a symbol of the United States..

   But, man, it's February.  Boaters want to see boating pics...at least I do. Maybe a little bit of the spring and summer to come..or the summer past. Get us in the mood Bill !    Break out older pics if need be. Model your new Speedo (well, maybe the bird pics are a better choice than that.) Go to another boating website and grab something that will make us all feel warmer.

    OR, pick out a pic from a Con Trios Yacht Club party (like the one from 2005 with my granddaughter dancing by the Duck Club pool) or pick a photo from one of the links down the left side of your site..A little wildlife "flavor" is fine. But, this is, like, the 6th day in a row, you've posted pics of eagles or heron or yellow-bellied sapsuckers or Orangis-Eating Chee-Chee birds (yes, I spelled it correctly. I had to. I made it up!) !.

   Let's see the kind of "wild life" we're REALLY looking forward to. (yes, I KNOW I've just ended 2 sentences with a preposition, but all of those bird pics have me half crazy!)

   When you were in Jamaica, did you get up every morning and look for birds? I'm thinking...umm...no!

    If you post one more bird pic in the next week, I'm gonna start a petition and make you change the name of your site to RiverBirds.com! 

   Yeah, that's the ticket. Maybe we (your adoring public) can keep you on a regimen of, say, one day of bird pics per week. (maybe there's a 12-step program for posters of bird pics!)

    As a last resort, I've sent along some pics of my trip to Saugatuck, MI this last July (2006). I was in a Dinghy Poker Run with about 60 other small inflatables. It was a blast! It's not the river, though, but it IS boating and fun! (the water was pretty clear and 74 degrees. (My inflatable is on the left in a couple of the epics...the one getting squashed at the city dock after the Poker run was over.)

    Notice: no birds are in these pics. so, if you choose to post them, Riverbills.com will be a bird-free zone for at least one day!

    Otherwise, I love your site -- as do lots of other river boaters...well, up until the onslaught of the bird pics. Now, I even hate to admit I belong to Duck Club...a marina named after a bird!

Larry Demko (314) 799-0900
Fastrac Media

 

RiverBill says...Larry....You had me laughing so hard when I read this.... it brought tears to my eyes.   You were joking...Right ?     

   Ok..Ok I agree......We have been overloaded with birds, birds and more birds lately.  Lets take a little bird break and show some boating pics !   Ya Mon.  

 

Well....It's a bird free weekend on RiverBirds.com, EagleBills.com, RiverBills.com  

    

 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

Sunday

 

The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a shot of the Alton Riverfront,  courtesy of John Hentrich at RiverBender.com.  

   Alton Marina is in the foreground, the mill in the distance and a good view of the downtown area of the city. The concrete wall along the river is from the old lock and dam and it is where the City's new dining and party boat, named Boat at The RiverBend,  is moored now.

 

Saturday

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2005) was some of Mother Nature's Frozen River Art

 

Friday

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2005) was of the Civil War Memorial built to honor the Confederate Soldiers that died of small pox while in the prison camp hospital that was on an island in the Mississippi River during the Civil War. As inscribed on the base of the memorial their remains still rest beneath the regulation pool of the Melvin Price Lock and Dam.  The memorial is located in the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area across the river from Alton, IL.

Sandy Chute Rehabilitation Project..... There is a plan on the Corps Of Engineers website about a rehabilitation project slated for  Sandy Chute.  The plan is marked "inactive" but here it is anyway. 

    Sandy Chute is located on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River at Winfield Dam.  It's a good place to go during high water, but it is not navigable during normal pool.  

   The proposed rehabilitation includes restoring flow through the chute and dredging lower reaches,  thus revitalizing about 200 acres of aquatic habitat.  

    The project has an "inactive status" due to funding and priority constraints. 
  

   Click here to go to the "US Army Corps Of Engineers - St. Louis District" website and read the project plan.

 

 

 Thursday...... 22  February 2007....

  

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures and E-mail of the Day...... are from "World renowned photographer" Steve Schulte.   Wow !

  Make sure to click on each one to enlarge.

 

Steve wrote:

 

Hello everyone,
    I was up at the river last Sunday 02-18-07 with my Dad and Capt. Glenn Sadowski and witnessed something we have never seen up there before, 120 plus eagles on the island across from Sharkys, there was probably 200 plus but they stopped counting at 120. 

   Hopefully everyone will get to see this many again but if you don't ....here were a few of my favorite pics, hope you enjoy!!

Steve Schulte

 

RiverBill says...Thanks for the pictures Steve........Each one is absolutely fantastic. 

 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2005) was of the Civil War Memorial built to honor the Confederate Soldiers that died of small pox while in the prison camp hospital that was on an island in the Mississippi River during the Civil War. As inscribed on the base of the memorial their remains still rest beneath the regulation pool of the Melvin Price Lock and Dam.     For more information click here.    The memorial is located in the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area across the river from Alton, IL.

Eagles On-Line.....  The website has moved and we just updated the RiverBill's link with their new one.   Click here or on the "Eagles On-line" link in the left hand column to check it out.  

According to the website there should be renewed activity at the nest during February, with the eagles bring new nesting material. The eggs will appear about the middle of March and should begin to hatch in about  35 days. 

 

Should be interesting !

River History ........... I was cruising around on the internet and ran up on this one.   The Secret History of the Mississippi’s earliest Locks and Dams .  Lots of facts and pictures. 

   

 

 

 Wednesday...... 21  February 2007....

  

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

Our River Picture and E-mail of the Day...... are from Captain Glen Sadowski who hails out of Woodland Marina.  The picture above is only a small portion of the panoramic he sent us.  Make sure to click on it to enlarge it.

 

Glen wrote:

 

 

Hello RiverBill,

This past Sunday morning, Steve Schulte called and asked if there were any eagles in the area. I told him that I would check and call him back.

I walked up to the point, overlooking the slough. There were eagles in the air, eagles in the trees, and eagles on the ice. 

With binoculars in hand I scanned from left to right and counted 119. I'm sure I missed a few. I then scanned right to left, just to check my count. I counted 117.

I returned the call to "World renowned photographer and friend" Steve Schulte. A short while later he and his "River Dog Dad" Larry arrived.

We took a few photos and then healed out to check out some other nearby marinas. I have attached a photo that I took of some Ducks near the lower end of the slough. This was probably 5% of the ducks in the area.

If you haven't already, I'm sure you can be expecting some photos from Steve.

Regards,
Glenn

 

RiverBill says...Thanks for the neat picture Glen........

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was sent in by Greg Sadowski, who hails out of Woodland Marina.  Greg snapped a picture of these 3 white pelicans as they were taking to flight.  

 

RiverBill rates this one  as a "National Geographic quality picture" !

 

The River Rat's Nest ------ Added a link to Capt'n Robert Cope's blog..."The River Rat's Nest"..... in the left hand column under "Boater's Websites / Blogs"


Click here to check it out ....He just added more eagle pictures.

Volunteer Help Wanted.....Join the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

Click here

Paying Too Much For  Boat Insurance ?....... Check out Mixon Insurance. 

Fill out Bill Mixon's  on-line quote form for a fast, friendly insurance quote for rates on your boat..

River History ........... The city of Portage Des Sioux was founded in 1799 by Spanish Lt. Gov. Zenon Trudeau and François Saucier. 

   The French name, Portage Des Sioux, originated from an overland escape route between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers that was used by a band of Sioux Indians fleeing enemies. The Sioux portaged their canoes across the land in this area and outdistanced their rivals who took the river all the way to the confluence.

 

Source...Wikipedia Encyclopedia

  Tonight....Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Class-----  8 week course starting Wednesday at 7 PM at Lewis and Clark Technical School, St Charles.  Satisfies State Certification.

 

For more info call ......314-837-8483...or....636-947-1637

 

 

 Tuesday.... 20  February 2007....

  

Our River Pictures of the Day...... are from Capt'n Robert Cope of the boat "Slow Ride".  He sent us some real good / colorful shots of the eagles on the ice and some eagles roosting in the trees.

  The top and bottom pictures are cropped to fit this webpage....make sure to click on them to see the full picture.

 

RiverBill says...Good pictures Robert !

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

 The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) of eagles flying closely were sent in by Betty Bannister.  She wrote in her e-mail that the eagles were excited to see a little ice on the river.......and ....on the move.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was of Eagle Rest Area that is located between the river channel and Sandy Slough on the Missouri side of the river at Winfield Dam. The road that goes over the bridge in the picture goes to the Lock and Dam. You have to go under the bridge and down the slough to get to the river channel from this picnic area....... "Only when the water is high".

    

Winter's Answer To Boating  ------  Robert Cope sent us a link to a video he took of some 4-wheeler's riding on the river-ice.

 

Bill,

    Here's winter's answer to boating.   ll that's missing is an inner-tube and some rope. I took this video over by Harbor Point Yacht Club.  You can see the Clark bridge in the background.   

   Yes, they are driving on river ice....

http://media.putfile.com/4-wheeling-on-the-Mississippi-river

 

More fun stuff on my new blog......

 http://360.yahoo.com/rcope2@sbcglobal.net

    Robert Cope

 

  Update On One Of Our River Friends -----  Little John sent us an e-mail with an update on Teri Ruf.   

 

Hi

   In this note, I would like to share some bad news, and some great news.
    Until this time, it has been kept fairly quiet until there was definite news, one way or the other.


   On wed. Feb. 14th. Teri Ruf, suffered a brain aneurysm. We all know the horrible outcome that usually goes with this situation. It has been a very difficult time for several people in the last few days.

Now, I am so very proud to spread the news that she has a long way to go, but doing remarkably well. After four days, she has motor skills, memory, and knowledge of who is there. She is partially conscious, and that is getting better every day.


Now, if I may, I would like to share what may be some reasons that Teri is alive, and why prognosis so good.

  • At 9.30 on Wed. morning, Ashly was not in school because of the snowstorm. Keith’s van would not start, and was waiting for the battery to charge. Normally, Teri would have been alone, and not be here today. 

  •  Thanks to Keith, and Ashly’s, obvious great skill in CPR, (even on wife, and mother). They kept her heart pumping, and oxygen to her brain until the ambulance got there. 

  • Thanks to St. Charles Ambulance District for their fast response, and great skill. 

  • Thanks to Orchard Farm Fire Dept for their help getting the ambulance in and out in the snow. 

  • Thanks to the staff at St. Josephs Hospital in St. Charles. 

  • Thanks to the surgical staff at St. Johns Hospital for an immediate three-hour mission to keep Teri alive.

       Everything in this chain of events had to be perfect, to get Teri to where she is. We can all feel so very lucky to have these people around us, although, we, so often take them for granted.

       At this time, there is not much to do, but keep the Ruf family in your thoughts and prayers. Teri is a fighter, and WILL get through this.

Little John

 

 

 Monday.... 19  February 2007....

  

Our 1st River Picture of the Day...... Is from Betty Bannister who hails out of Grafton Harbor.  

  She sent us a pic of a great river sunset taken through some bare winter  vegetation with an icy river just a few steps away... stretching all the way to the far shore !   The sun is below the tree line...but still showing through the trees and lighting up the sky with reds, oranges and yellows.  

 

RiverBill says...Good shot Betty...See ya on the river soon.

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our 2nd River Picture and e-mail of the Day...... Is from Larry Hellrung who hails out of Grafton Harbor in the houseboat Liberty. Larry went fishing in Florida last week and caught a 33lb Grouper !  

 

Larry wrote:

 

Bill

Here is a picture of a fish I caught at Marco Island, FL on Tuesday, February 14.  It is a 33 LB Goliath (Jew Fish) Grouper. Caught it on a DOA shrimp in 5 foot of water with light tackle. We had to start the motors and chase it for a short distance. It took about 25 minutes to get it in the boat.

Larry Hellrung

RiverBill says....Congrats Larry....Nice fish !  

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

 The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was sent in by Tony and Debbie.  It's a picture of a beautiful orange and yellow river sunset with a silhouette of the lighthouse at the Duck Club in the foreground.  Great shot !

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was a shot looking up-river at Sandy Slough from the road that goes to the Winfield Lock and Dam.

    

 

 

 Fri, Sat, Sun.... 16,17,18  February 2007....

  

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures and e-mail of the Day....Sunday.. are from Clarence Forti. He titled them "BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR"

 

    

Bill, 
I hope this weekend is the start of the spring thaw.......We shall see.......

 

Clarence 

 


 
RiverBill says.... Boy...it really looks cold in those pictures !   

 

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures and e-mail of the Day....Saturday.. are from Dave Gilroy. It's a series of pictures of the Grafton Ferry coming into the ferry landing on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River.  

 

Dave wrote: 


  
Hi Bill, 

   I thought I'd send in a couple of pictures I took of the Grafton Ferry coming to land on the Missouri side of the river. These were taken on Saturday, January 20th around 12:30 pm. A friend & I decided to see if Grafton's Landing was open for lunch but they had closed for the season. We tried the Finn Inn but they had a long waiting line so we ended up eating at the old hotel in downtown Grafton. I'll use any excuse to go for a boat ride in January. 

I check your site everyday and enjoy it very much. Keep up the good work. 

 

Dave

 



 
 RiverBill says....
Dave, I have had these for a while..... they got lost in my in-box.  Good pictures ....keep them coming !

Tow Tracks

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Picture of the Day....Friday.. is named Tow Tracks....It's a picture from the Winfield Dam Web Camera...and ....you can still see a path in the ice from where a tow locked through earlier. 
   Click here to go to the Winfield Dam River Cam website.


  

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

Sunday

 The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was sent in by Lou Amighetti of the Missouri State Water Patrol.   Looks like the heaven is opening up and shining its light down on the river.  That bright spot of sun in the middle of those ominous looking clouds, along with those beams of light shining down on the river make this a very neat picture......And then there are those couple of boats that decided not to ride the storm out !

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was a shot looking down Sandy Slough from an area near the road that goes to the Winfield Lock and Dam. The lock and dam are on the left hand side of this picture and river channel can be seen out of the mouth of the slough. This is a popular hangout for a lot of boaters in the Spring when the river is flooding and the water in the slough is deep enough to navigate. In the summer months it pretty much dries up.

 

Saturday

 The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a series of pictures from Lynn Williams of the Grafton Ferry crossing the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.   Put on your life jacket, throw out your anchor and then  click here  to see what happens when the ferry disturbs the flock of white snow geese in it's path !

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was sent in by Andrea, of the cruiser named "River Diva".   The pic is of the Clarksville Boat Club with the Lock and Dam 24 in the background. The club is located right below the Dam at the UMR 273 mile marker. I remember when a bunch of us tied up at their courtesy dock one hot summer day a few years ago while waiting for a tow to lock through. After a short while one of the members from the club came down to the dock and invited us all in to cool off and have a drink.     That is what I call "River Hospitality"!   

 

Friday

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a Grafton Ferry River Sunset sent in  by Lynn Williams.  Lynn captured the ferry crossing the confluence just as the last glow of the setting sun was showing through a clear area between the tree line and the overcast sky, creating a bright yellow line and unique red streaks that glowed through the clouds. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was taken from the up-river side of   Winfield Lock and Dam when the river was within 4 feet of Flood Stage. Notice that all of the gates are raised except for the 3 center ones. This is about the same view that the tow operator would have seen in yesterday's pic.       

   

  Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Class-----  8 week course starting Wednesday at 7 PM at Lewis and Clark Technical School, St Charles.  Satisfies State Certification.

 

For more info call ......314-837-8483...or....636-947-1637

Spring & Longer Evenings  Are On The Way------ 

  • Only 34 more days until Spring.  The Spring Equinox is Wednesday, 3-21-07

  • Plus Daylight Savings Time starts earlier this year too.... it will be extended by one month, so it begins March 11 and ends Nov. 4.

River Bill's Rockin River Extravaganza------  We are going to splash some news next week about this year's Rockin River Extravaganiza......4 bands with more sandbar time and less river travel.  Stay tuned for more info.

 Thursday.... 15 February 2007....

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Fire On Ice

 

Our River Picture of the Day...... was sent in by Dave Tiefenbrunn , who hails out of Eagles Landing Marina, in the boat "Wet Bar".

 

Dave wrote:

 

Bill,

   A few of us got together yesterday at Eagles Landing Marina. (Sunday..02/11/07). 

   When being close to the river just isn't good enough you have to move the fire onto the river.   I know this does not look like a good idea, but Butch said it was fine!!

Thought you might like the pic.

Thanks,
Dave Tiefenbrunn
Boat - "Wet Bar" - Eagles Landing Marina

 

RiverBill says.... Oh Buoy...Fire on Ice ....Did anyone fall through ?

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

  

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a river sunset sent in  by Carol Bindbeutel of the boat  "Change In Latitude".  

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was an aerial view of a southbound tow heading towards the locks on the up-river side of Winfield Dam.   What a view of the river and the surrounding terrain.   This is another one of those wonderful pictures taken by Steve Schulte.  http://www.steveschulte.com.       

   

Plans For New Barge Fees ------   WTOP, Washington's News, Traffic & Weather, reported that on February 6th that the Bush Administration wants to charge the commercial barges a new "user fee" to help pay for maintaining our river channels.

  Click here to read the news article on www.wtop.com

2007 Corps of Engineer's Budget ---     

 

A few of the highlights:

  • Increases funding to maintain locks and dams on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

  • Includes a focus on the restoration of three important aquatic ecosystems, one being the Upper Mississippi River.

  • Increases funding to preserve and protect the Nation’s wetlands.

  • Upper Mississippi System Environmental Management Program - revitalize the side channels of the Upper Mississippi, where habitat has been damaged by the construction and operation of the existing navigation system.

Click here  to go to the whitehouse.gov website and read the budget in it's entirety. 

 

 

 Wednesday.... 14 February 2007....

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Our River Picture of the Day...... was sent in by Sharon Gwillim.   She took this picture at West Alton on Monday the 12th.    She snapped this picture just as this eagle caught his lunch out of the river.   

 

RiverBill says.... Good picture Sharon ..... Thanks!

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Our 2nd Eagle Picture of the Day...... was sent in by Capt'n Gary Strope.   Gary caught this one with some food and he looks like he is ready to protect his dinner !

   This picture was actually taken in Alaska

 

RiverBill says.... Thanks for the picture Gary !

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

  

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was of the Timber Ridge Condo's.  A life with a view.......And what a view it is .... the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi River's right outside of your front window..  

   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was of an eagle looking right at the camera as Pat took this picture. Yes, another great eagle picture by Capt'n Pat Reid .   Check out his website http://www.crystal-photo.net.     

   

Bald Eagle May be Removed From Endangered Species List ------  According to an article on TMCnet news the bald eagle is about to be removed from the "Endangered Species List".  The de-listing isn't because the population has made a successful comeback !  

   No.........It's the result of a lawsuit filed in behalf of a property owner in Minnesota that claims he was prohibited from subdividing his land because bald eagles were nesting in the trees.

  Click here to read the article on TMCnet news.

 

 

 Tuesday..... 13 February 2007....

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Our River Picture of the Day...... was sent in by Carole Frew .  She sent us the picture named Mystical River a few days ago that is the background for the February RiverBill's Calendar.   This is a shot of the same area of the river without that mystical fog.  

 

Carole wrote...

Same view. Different day, like today. This was shot on the same digital camera in color but what a difference.

 

RiverBill says......Thanks for the picture Carole.  It's a good comparison to the Mystical River picture ...and.... it shows a slough and clubhouse on the back side of the island that most boaters never see as they motor past this area out in the main channel.  After looking at my maps, I would say that the island in the foreground  is " Piasa Island" and the picture was taken just a bit down-river from  Piasa Harbor.

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

  

  

   The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was sent in by Nancy Kreiger.  Looks like it was taken from the Missouri side of the Mississippi River near the Golden Eagle Ferry Landing.  That house always intrigued me.  It looks like it is built right over those limestone caves......I bet they must have one heck of a view ! 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

   The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was of the construction going on at the Wind River's Condos .  They are located just down-river from the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers near Grafton, IL. This picture was taken from a spot near the Grafton Ferry Landing on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River.

 

   

RiverBill's February Calendar......... Added a link in the upper left hand column to this month's River Calendar. 

Little John's Website Updated......... We received an e-mail from Capt'n Darryll Weil that Little John's website has been updated with pictures of Ashly and Kwitchabitchin at the Boat Show.

Click here ...And.....Check it out.

ITCS Memo ......Transportation Worker Identification Credential --- 

Dated 08 Feb 2007.  An informational bulletin issued to assist the maritime community with the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. 

  

 Click here to read the ITCS Memo # 2487.  

Con Trios Yacht Club......... We received an e-mail from Capt'n Darryll Weil.....

 

He wrote:   

 

The Con Trios Yacht Club website has been updated.

Board Meetings schedule has been changed due to scheduling conflicts. Click on the "Club Calendar" link.

More importantly, Mark Miles handed out the Grand Raffle tickets at Monday's Board meeting. This raffle is not only a great opportunity to win some money but a portion of the money raised goes to various volunteer organizations that contribute to the well being of our boating community. Go to the Con Trios Yacht Club website at:

www.contriosyachtclub.org

and click on the "Grand Raffle" link. All of the board members have their tickets and are ready to go. If you know one tell them you want one, if not email us and we will put you in contact with one of them. You can click on the "Board and Officers" link to see if you know one of them.

Darryll

Added A New Link --- to the Clarksville River talk - Message Board.....in the left hand column under "Boating / River Message Boards".  It's another way to keep up on  what is going on in other river towns.

 

Click here to check it out.

 

 

 Monday..... 12 February 2007....

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Our River Picture of the Day...... was taken by Capt'n Darryll Weil.  It's Gary and Judy Meinershagen at their surprise retirement party at Sharky's Cove on Saturday Night.   Judy and Gary hail out of the Yacht Club of St. Louis in the houseboat "Beads".  You can usually find them on Iowa Beach during boating season.

 

Happy Retirement Judy and Gary

 

Scroll down to the Con Trios Yacht Club entry for more pictures from Judy and Gary's party. 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

  

  

The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was of the ......Stripper Named Phoebe !  These guys really had everyone rocking and rolling last year at Rookies.  The placed was packed and there were a lot of River Folks there.  

 

 

Stripper Named Phoebe has broken up and Dale Williams is now playing in Powder Keg....Check them out.

   

RiverBill's February Calendar......... We have decided to issue a February calendar even though the month is almost half over already.  Hang it on your wall or make it a screen saver for your PC.   

    

   To make a wall calendar.....click on the picture above for an enlarged view and print it on a piece of  8 1/2 X 11 photo paper. Set the paper to "landscape" and "center" the photo on the paper.

Enjoy

 

A big thanks goes out to Carole Frew for providing us with such a great photo.

Con Trios Yacht Club......... We received an e-mail from Darryll Weil.....

 

He wrote:   

   

   The Con Trios Yacht Club website has been updated with pictures from a couple of parties involving our members.

   Director 3 Keith Ruf and his wife, Teri, one of the club's photographers, celebrated a joint 40th Birthday Party January 27th.
   Fleet Captain Gary Meinershagen and his wife, Judy, our newsletter editor, celebrated their retirement with a party February 10th.

   To see some pictures of the parties go to www.contriosyachtclub.org and click on the Photo Galleries link.
Congratulations again to Keith, Teri, Gary and Judy!

Enjoy, Darryll 

ITCS Memo ......New Safety Advisory for Ice conditions on UMR and ILRr --- Dated 08 Feb 2007.  Safety Advisory issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Upper Mississippi River, about severe ice conditions and tow restrictions.

   Click here to read the ITCS Memo # 2486.  

 

 

 

 Fri, Sat Sun.. 09, 10, 11 February 2007....

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Our River Picture and E-mail of the Day....(Sunday)... are from Robert Cope of the boat Slow Ride. He sent a a picture taken by his son, Michael, of some ducks on the ice in some open water on a backwater pond behind Our Lady Of The Rivers at Portage Des Sioux.  

 

Robert Wrote:

 

Bill,

As planned, my son and I went to the river today to check out the ice, the Eagles, and my new camera.

 

Robert Cope

 

 

RiverBill says....Thanks for the pictures Robert...Wow !    A new camera

Robert sent us a boat load of photos...so look for more from him later this week. 

Mystical River

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Our River Pictures and E-mail of the Day....(Saturday)... are from Carole ......

She named them

....Mystical River....

 

Carole Wrote:

 

We live on a bluff across from Portage De Sioux power plant. This is a pix I thought you might enjoy seeing. All the fog was moving when I took these pix and it was mystical. Now we are seeing thousands of gulls, white pelicans, geese, ducks and, of course, bald eagles. 


- CAROLE

 

 

 RiverBill says....Thanks for the pictures Carole.   They are simply Fantastic !

  You must have a great view from your house ! 

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures and E-mail of the Day....(Friday)... are from Larry Snopek.

 

Larry wrote:

 

Bill:

Most of your website viewers are looking forward to getting out on the river as soon as possible. What I saw the other night might make a few of the most ardent boater pull their hair out, at the very least.

I live on the bluff in Alton. The other night I saw a northbound barge, near the boat salvage area, just west of town. I watched from about 8 pm to midnight, as the barge tried to move up river. The barge would move forward, back-up, and make another run trying to break-up the ice.

Sorry for the poor quality of the night photos, but note the change in the position of the towboat lights. At one point, the towboat broke from the barges. The pilot/captain traveled up along the port and starboard sides of the barges, trying to find or make an ice free path up river. I got up several times that night, but the barge hadn't progressed very far. In the morning, the barge had made it as far as the blue water tower, near the Alton Water Plant or about 1/2-mile in about 12-hours. The tow wasn't there when I returned home later that night.

What I found interesting was how well the pilot/captain maneuvered the towboat right next to the barges on the dark, cold, ice-clogged river. He/She piloted that boat with great skill. 

While the river can be fun when the weather is nice, there are a few who are out there in just about all conditions. 


Larry

 

 

 RiverBill says....Thanks for the pictures and e-mail Larry !  Your right...... working on the river in these conditions would really be tough ! 

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

Sunday 

 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) were of Dale Williams , of the band Powder Keg, and his son with some more big catfish.  They caught all of these guys on rod and reel in the Missouri River.   Wow !

  The top one is a 68 pound blue cat that Dale caught last year on February 18.  The 2nd is  57 pounds and 3rd is 37 pounds.  

The bottom pictures are of Dale's son, Eric, holding a 56 pound flathead.

   

 

River Bill says.....Lets go fishing for the big ones Dale !  

   

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was from New Orleans near the French Quarter. It is of the some of the river crew at the Mississippi Riverfront. From left to right - Bill, Judy, Gary and Laura. The riverfront is a very appealing with walkways for pedestrians and many attractions. A good place to spend a few hours relaxing while doing some river watching and people watching. The river was very busy that day. Some of the things we seen include the Riverboat Natchez leaving the dock as it headed down-river for a cruise and another ship heading up-river.     

    "Oh Buoy" - then there are the buoys ! Much, much larger than those used in our area of the river.

 

Saturday 

The "Pictures and e-mail of the Day" from one year ago (2006) were all about Ma Belle ! ....Read on !

 

   

It's another story about the rusting old houseboat named Ma Belle when she still had some color to her. The artist rendition of Ma Belle in her prime is at the top and then a couple of real pictures of the old houseboat follow.   

 

 Rick wrote in his e-mail:

 

 

Bill, 

  Here is a couple of pictures we dug up of Ma Belle. I can't find any of Morris. There is another funny story about these two pictures. The gentleman you see is a long time, very close friend and his girlfriend. They live in Atlanta, GA., and every so often we get together and it was his turn to be here. We had recently bought our 39' Sea Ray at the time these were taken, and Dave hadn't seen the boat yet. Our Sea Ray is pristine, and Ma Belle isn't! In fact, at this time Morris was already gone for some time and Ma Belle was getting in bad shape inside. Nasty bilge water had been laying in it for some time and stunk. The furniture was broken down and dirty. Clutter was everywhere, and things were rusting and decaying and broken all over. So when they came up to see us, we were naturally very "anxious" to show our new boat! With the cooperation of everyone else on the dock, we marched them straight into Ma Belle and proudly began showing off our new "palace on the river", describing how we were "going to paint this and that" and "do some decorating" and "get the furniture recovered" and so on... My wife even picked up a broom and did a little sweeping, which at that point was like trying to kill a bull elephant with a flyswatter. Meanwhile, we were amusedly watching their faces through all this farce and they looked like they'd been told the IRS made a mistake on their taxes and wanted their first born male child as payment. They were absolutely blank and had the color of a linen tablecloth. Dave finally rasped out a weak: "Well, maybe we could help you clean it up a bit while we're here...hrmpff" To which I replied: GREAT! lets get a few things and we'll spend the night!! and we left the Ma Belle. They looked like Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine as we walked down the dock. Of course as we passed our real boat we explained our accidental misrepresentation and that this was the real one. And of course their response was, ...well I've never been called things like that before or since. In fact, I'm not sure what some of those words meant, but they sounded kinda bad. And all we could do is laugh our nautical butts off. We went back to Ma Belle and got their "real" opinions of what needed to be done and I won't say what they were here. The pictures are of them getting back off Ma Belle after that. We're still friends to this day, but I suspect I've got a payback coming!

Rick Sievers

 

 

River Bill says.....Thanks for another great story Rick.  

 

     

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The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was of an eagle sitting in a dead tree on the Missouri side of the river near Alton, IL. with the Clark Bridge in the background. Photo by Pat Reid of "Crystal Photography". 

 

 

Friday

The "Picture of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was  from the Winfield - Live Cam .  The snow flakes look orange as they are coming down.  It would not have been a good morning to lock through.

   

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was of the Clark Bridge that spans the Mississippi River from Alton, IL to Missouri at the UMR 202.5 mile marker. The blue roofs of the boat docks at the Alton Marina can be seen protruding above the rock breakwater on the far side of the river.

 

The Sharks   ------   will be playing this Saturday night at Sharky's Cove !  

See ya there ! 

 

2005 File Photo      

FOR SALE.... Ma-Belle and the Channel Where Ma-Belle is Located 

Lot is 91 feet wide and 500 plus long from road into the river. 
May be able to put 20 docks in there off river with annual rent of $20,000.
Will sell for $50,000...... may finance.

Earl Davis
P.O. Box 1229, St. Charles , Mo 63302
Phone.....636-949-6986              Fax.........636-723-1522 
edavis36@sbcglobal.net

Ice Problems AT Melvin Price Lock and Dam ------  There was an interesting article on the St. Louis District, Corps of Army Engineers website about ice conditions and problems at the Melvin Price Lock and Dam (Alton).   

   

   Click here to go to the St. Louis District, Corps of Engineers website and read the article

Ice Conditions on Mississippi River ------  There was an interesting article in Friday's on-line Post Dispatch about the ice situation on the Mississippi River and how it's playing havoc with the tows that are still running on the river.. It has a great picture of a towboat pushing 6 barges through what looks like a barren waste land...but it's all of the ice on the river.  Ice, ice, ice and more ice. 

   

   Click here to read the story in the on-line STLtoday.com

Bill Seebold Sr. Died Feb.1, 2007------    He was 91. Mr Seebold was a native of Granite City, IL and started the six-decade Seebold family racing dynasty by building boats in his basement in the 1930's..

   

   Obituary in Friday's on-line Post Dispatch

ITCS Memo ......Severe Ice Conditions &  Tow Restriction at Lock 26---   Safety Advisory issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Upper Mississippi River, about severe ice conditions and  89' Tow Restriction at Melvin Price Lock.

   Click here to read the ITCS Memo # 2482.  

 

The Band... Rail   ------   Rail will be playing this Saturday night at Rookies !  

Stop by and see see them. 

Make sure to ask them to play.... "House Of The Rising Sun"

  Rookies ~3721 New Town Blvd   ~ 636-724-3737   

 

 

 Thursday... 08 February 2007....

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Our River Pictures of the Day..... are from the St. Louis Boat Show.  They are pictures of some of RiverBills.com sponsors and friends.  Stop by and say hello to the friendly folks at Little John's Motor Sports, Portage Boat Works, Lewis Boat, Dan's Boats, Dri-Port Marine and Marine Max.

 

 Tell them you seen them on RiverBills.com !

 

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Did you find the eagle in the picture yesterday ?..... That was a tough one !   Click on the picture above for an enlarged view of an immature eagle flying right at you. 

 

Photo By Pat Reid of Crystal  Photographery

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was of a bald eagle, named Liberty.   Pat Reid of Crystal Photography took a picture of Liberty at Eagles Day in Clarksville, Mo  and imposed it against a backdrop of the American Flag.  An eagle named Liberty and the American Flag....what a good picture !   

       Liberty is about 15 years old and blind because it was hit by a car. He is described as being very calm in public.  He tolerates everything except dogs and horses. Liberty has appeared in parades, TV programs and has been to the White House several times.  

   

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was view looking up-river from the top of the one remaining section of the old dam at the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area on the Missouri side of the river near Alton IL. 

 

Calhoun County Ferries ------  There was an interesting article in yesterday's on-line Post Dispatch about the Mississippi & Illinois River ferries that service Calhoun County, IL.  

    According to the article, the Winfield Ferry is the only one that is "not frozen-in" .

   Click here to read the story in the on-line STLtoday.com

More in Depth Account of Rescue of Woman From Mississippi River Last Friday   ------  I ran across a more in depth account of the river rescue that took place last Friday on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat in downtown St. Louis.. 

  Check it out on  CW11 News.

ITCS Memo ......Low Water & Ice on Upper Mississippi River ----   Safety Advisory issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Upper Mississippi River, about ice and low water conditions on the upper Mississippi River.

   Click here to read the ITCS Memo # 2481. 

 

Paying Too Much For  Boat Insurance ?....... Check out Mixon Insurance. 

Fill out Bill Mixon's  on-line quote form for a fast, friendly insurance quote for rates on your boat..

February 07, 1812 in River History ------  
   An earthquake in the New Madrid, Mo., area caused the Mississippi River to run backwards. The uplifted earth caused both dams and waterfalls at different location…. and it created Reelfoot Lake.

    For more info click here

February 07, 1953 in River History ------  
    1st day of operation for Chain of Rocks Lock and Dam No.27.

    For more info click here.

 

 

 Wednesday... 07 February 2007....

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Our River Picture of the Day..... is another taken by Capt'n (of the camera) Pat Reid,  of Crystal Photography.   It's an eagle in front of Winfield Dam, gliding along looking for a bite to eat.

 

Thanks for the great pictures Pat !

 

 

 

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our 2nd River Picture of the Day..... Is named.......Find the Eagle.......

  

What a contrast to yesterday's eagle picture !......There is an Eagle in there,,,

Can you spot it ?

Photo By Pat Reid of Crystal  Photographery

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a close-up shot of a river gull gliding through the air.  The picture was taken by Steve Schulte

.

    

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was a picture of a bench with a good view at the St. Charles County Hide Away Harbor Park .  The park is about half way between the Grafton Ferry Landing and the town of Portage Des Sioux on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. 

 

Looks like a good place to spend some time with good friends

 "Watching the River Flow"

 

 

 

 

 

 Tuesday... 06 February 2007....

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Our River Picture of the Day..... I've named it.....

 

Eagle Feast 2007

 

  Capt'n (of the camera) Pat Reid,  of Crystal Photography snapped this picture on Sunday afternoon just below Winfield Dam.  30+ eagles sitting in the trees along the Missouri bank of the Mississippi River.  Pat told me the water below the dam was still flowing and not frozen and that there were at least a dozen more sitting in trees on the Illinois side of the river.  What a sight !

 

  Watch for more eagle pictures from Pat later this week.

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was of Dale Williams and a 57 pound Blue Catfish he caught on a rod and reel.  They are both smiling because Dale caught another big fish and the cat is smiling because he knows he is going back into the river !  Yes, Dale put this one back in to grow up a bit more.  

Catch and Release.

  Dale is in the band Powder Keg

    

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was a picture of Our Lady Of the Rivers shrine, a 25-foot fiberglass statue of Mary, watching over the Mississippi River near Portage Des Sioux, Mo. The statue was erected in 1957 and it is where the annual "Blessing of the Fleet " takes place. 

  It is also a darn good place to sit and watch the river flow.  

  For more info click here .

Two Grafton Riverfront Projects Delayed   ------   According to an article in the on-line Post Dispatch..... A state agency is withholding permits for two new businesses on the Grafton Riverfront. The Grafton Riverboat Inn & Spa on the Wayward Lady and the Driftwood Restaurant.  The permits are being withheld over concerns that the businesses on the sites would limit public access to the riverfront.

  Click here to read the story in the on-line STLtoday.com

Little John's Motor Sports   ------   

 



Bill

Ashly, and our team will be representing St. Louis Drag Boat Assn., with our boat, at the St. Louis boat Show Feb. 6th thru Feb.11th 

BOOTH 1510 in the dome

Get the word out to come see River Bill's and Little John's Motorsports at the show !


LJ

www.littlejohnsinc.com

Woman Rescued From Mississippi River Near Arch   ------   According to a news story on KSDK News Channel 5 ..... An unidentified woman was rescued from the Mississippi River near the St. Louis Arch last Friday. She was conscious and talking when rescued.
  Click here to read the story on 5ksdk.com

ITCS Memo ......Ice Conditions...Illinois River ----   Safety Advisory from Sector Upper Mississippi River about ice conditions on the Illinois River

Click here to read the ITCS Memo # 2475  

ITCS Memo ......Width Restriction Locks 24, 25, & 26 – UMR ---- 105-foot width restriction on all tows which traverse the subject locks due to ice formation along the walls of the lock chambers.

Click here to read the ITCS Memo # 2476 

Little John's Motor Sports ...Racing Update 



I have had a couple of people express concern about Ashly, at her age, driving the race boat this season.
If I can, I would like to explain the safety procedures, and what we do to insure that she is safe when driving the boat.
SAFETY IS OUR PRIORITY!!!
Race officials inspect the boat at every race, we inspect it after every pass.
We race under very strict rules on the water, in a very controlled environment.
Examples are, No engines running on the track except the racers.
Absolutely quiet water
All gear worn by driver is totally fire proof (pants, shoes, gloves, jacket,)
Nascar type helmet restraints are mandatory (five point restraint)
Nascar type helmet is required
Life jacket, including parachute, inspected every pass
Double safety shut down on every system on the boat.(electric and fuel.)
Fire suppression system on boat, And tow vehicle.

In the unlikely event, that something would go wrong, the race assn. has procedures to ensure the safest situation possible.
Examples are, Personal water craft tow vehicles!
Emergency response, and recovery boats!
Professional divers in recovery boats, always in full gear!
A race will NEVER take place without EMT staff on site!
In most cases a Medivac. Is on site!
AGAIN SAFETY IS THE PRIORITY

I would like to share a few things that Ashly has done mentally, and physically, to get to where she is, after deciding she wanted to race.
Examples are, No alcohol or drugs, or she is out (in todays world, a good incentive)
A complete physical mandatory
A very extensive involvement in her school sports activities, to stay fit.
Also, Ashly has maintained a 4.0 grade average since the first grade.

Ashly has been working with us for two years now, to learn, and know the equipment.
We raced her in the 2006 season in the personal water craft class, to get her familiar with the time clocks, and the holding ropes.
Ashly was high points runner up in her class in IHBA, for the 2006 season.
Some of you on the river, may have heard us working with Ashly at 6.00 am on many mornings, when the water was quiet. We all worked very hard on communication, launching, and knowing what to do when the unexpected happened.
We would put a surprises in, to let her experience different situations.

I could go on and on, but Ashly is dedicated to doing this right, and we are dedicated in keeping her safe. Having the nerve to do what she does, is only a small part of the picture.
Common sense, and the knowledge of her equipment, will make her a safe winner.

We are all very proud of our equipment, and very proud to have Ashly as our driver. We enjoy showing our equipment and explaining it, to anyone.
We are always interested in comments, or concerns, and do welcome them.

Thank You
Little John
Ashly Ruf
The Entire team and Family Of Little Johns Motorsports
www.littlejohnsinc.com 

More on the Hennepin Canal ---- I received the following e-mail from Chris Fox, who spent many a day on the canal while growing up.

 

Chris wrote:

RiverBill,

Just looked at your website, and noticed the paragraph on the Hennepin Canal. I grew up in LaSalle, Illinois on the banks of the Illinois River. LaSalle by the way was the terminus of the Illinois-Michigan Canal.

Back to the Hennepin Canal. I spent many spring/summer/fall days on its banks near Princeton, Illinois. Being an avid fisherman it was like a paradise to me. Bass, bluegills, channel cats, big bullheads, northern pike, walleye, sauger, goggleye, sunfish....you name it we caught it. It was a great place! I still remember the large concrete locks, always lots of bullheads there. My whole family would spend all day there on the weekends fishing and cooking out. We even witnessed the touching down of a tornado on the opposite bank of the canal, quite exciting!  As I remember many canal access sites were quite nice. They were mowed, had picnic tables with small shelters, and rustic toilet facilities (outhouses). Never did venture into the water as there were many water moccasins.

Thanks for bringing back warm memories of my childhood on this cold winter morning.

Chris Fox
22ft. Crest Family Fish Pontoon
1115hp Johnson 4Stroke

P.S. My brother & sister in law have a camper site on the river to the right before you get to Two Branch, right next door to a fellow named Mel who keeps his houseboat at Two Branch. See ya on the river!

RiverBill says......Thanks for the story Chris.   I had never heard about the canal until I read Kathy Flippo's article.....sounds like a good place to spend some time. ....And everyone knows Mel at Two Branch.  He is one of the good guys !  

 

 

 

 Monday... 05 February 2007....

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Picture of the Day..... Was sent in by Robert Cope of the boat Slow Ride. 

Robert wrote:

 

Bill,

Your pic of the day (Sat 2-3-07) from Lou (Amighetti) looked familiar, and sure enough, It was the same day....

This is Brian and Terrie Bert from the boat Gulliewash looking at the same sunset on the same day. We were about 6 miles upriver from Lou, camping out on bolter Island


Robert Cope

 

RiverBill says.....Good eye Robert....And a good memory too.   I agree, its the same great sunset.

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a wonderful sunset as seen from the outside deck at Sharky's floating Restaurant.   At the moment this shot was taken the sun was in a clear spot between the cloud line and the trees on Enterprise Island.  Sharky's is on Dardenne Slough at the UMR 222.5 mile marker.

    

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The "Picture of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was a picture of gulls and bluffs. These gulls were all sitting in a row on a rock dike a few weeks ago around the UMR 213 mile marker. The Bluffs and the Great River Road are in the background.

 

 

 Fri, Sat & Sun... 02, 03, 04 February 2007....

 

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Our River Picture of the Day....(Sunday).. Was sent in by Gayle La Marr of the boat "Sound Waves"...She wrote

 

 Hi Bill,

We took this picture 2 weekends ago. We had stopped in Alton after a drive down the river road. We did see a few eagles, and had a great afternoon. But this was a 1st. We had a great laugh after we walked out of Fast Eddies and this was in the parking lot.

See ya on the river soon!
Gayle


CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Picture of the Day....(Saturday).. Is a sunset sent in by Lou Amighetti of the Missouri State Water Patrol.  Look at those colors streaking up into the sky !

  Looks like this picture was taken looking up the Illinois River with the lights of Grafton on the right. You can even see part of the Water Patrol boat (and antenna) at the bottom.

 

RIver Bill says....Good picture Lou.....keep them coming.

Murrell from the

 http://www.visit-louisiana-mo.com/ website

 

Safety Diver In

 

Plungers Ready ....Oh it's cold out here!

 

Plungers In !

Oh...It's colder in here

 

Plungers Out !

Now it's really cold !

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Pictures of the Day....(Friday).. are from last weekends Polar Plunge that took place on the Louisiana Riverfront. Eight of us from St. Louis took a "river road trip" up Louisiana, Mo. in Capt'n Jack's suburban to witness the event.   Made a few stops along the way and met a lot of new river people. 

 

Click here for lots more pictures

Click here to read the story on  KHQA News - Keokuk, Quincy, Hannibal

Photos by Mary Tiemann

Our River Pictures of the Day .....    were taken by Betty Bannister.  They are photos of the progress at Grafton Harbor.  I have had these since early January, but  they got lost in my "Inbox" some how along with a few other e-mails.  

  Betty sent us a picture of a spectacular sunset over Grafton Harbor, some of the harbor progress and a close up of an eagle. Great shots !

 

River Bill says....Thanks for the pictures and the pictorial harbor update Betty....Please send us more !

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

 

Sunday  

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) were sent in by Betty Bannister, who hails out of Grafton Harbor.   Betty sent us a picture of a spectacular sunset over Grafton Harbor, some of the harbor progress at this time last year and a close up of an eagle. Great shots !

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The "Pictures of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was an aerial view of the Towboat America when it was still setting on the Illinois side of the river right below Winfield Dam. This pic was sent in by Steve Schulte. Check out his website http://www.steveschulte.com.

 

Saturday  

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was sent in by Captain Carl Seidler.  It's a shot of the Grafton Ferry, a tow and maybe an eagle .  Carl took this one last Sunday and you can tell that the weather was really nice by all of the passengers standing out on the ferry deck, enjoying the ride and the afternoon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The "Pictures of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was  series of 3 pictures of an eagle catching lunch on the Mississippi River near Alton, IL. The first picture is of the eagle right after grabbing a fish out of the river. He has one leg down and is holding the fish with the other leg sort of behind his body. In the next one he has his head down checking out the catch. (He is flying towards us.) The 3rd picture is an excellent shot of the eagle and his prey.

   Capt'n (of the camera). Pat Reid of "Crystal Photography" also took this set of pictures. Check out his website http://www.crystal-photo.net

 

 

Friday

RiverBill says.......The following "pictures of the day" are among my all time favorites, so I decided to show the pictures and e-mails again in their entirety. 

 

   The first (2006) is an artist's rendition of Ma Belle, the old house boat rusting away in a harbor on Dardenne Slough along with a very well written story about the old boat and one of it's owners by Capt'n Richard Sievers.

    I recently received some new information about articles published in National Geographic and The River Current about Ma Bell from a reader and the original owner's daughter contacted me also.  Hope to get back with both of them soon for another Ma Bell edition of RiverBills

 

   The next picture (2005) is of an eagle floating along just above the water, with it's win tips up taken by Pat Reid.  One of my all time favorite pics.

 

Enjoy them for the 2nd time

Bill

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was an artist rendition of Ma Belle all restored to her former glory.  You remember how she looked in the picture we posted on 11 Jan 2006,  rusting away in that old harbor off of Dardenne Slough.   Pat Reid of Crystal Photography repainted the old scow for us to give everyone an idea of how she used to look.  I would have to say she was a fine looking boat in her day.

   There was some interest expressed in the old boat on the message board and I noticed one guy, Richard Sievers,  seemed to know a lot about her.    I contacted him and ask if he had some additional information or a story about Ma Belle.  He submitted the following account about the boat, the little old man that used to own her and one adventurous day at the harbor......  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Hi Bill,

We knew Morris because he was on the same dock as us out at South Shore. He was a neat old guy. He was a very proud Merchant Marine in W.W.II and kept a lot of his citations on Ma Belle and had lots of stories of "those days". He was very proud of the Ma Belle and actually wanted, when he died, to be buried on it, having it sunk in some deep hole on the river. ..The authorities didn't think much of his idea.

  You were asking for a story. I don't know if this is what you're looking for, or if this is funny or not or just one of those " You just had to be there" things, but I'll send it along and you can edit it, delete it, or what ever you want with it.

  The Ma Belle is a custom made boat built in the 1940's in St. Louis for some guy whose last name was Stork. It is all steel and of course heavy.

-Very heavy, 26 tons worth. It was also powered by a single diesel engine, that sounded like an old ringer washing machine when it ran, to one single screw. It has one, and only one rudder, Therefore, at slow speeds making steerage was nearly impossible. Now South Shore is a fairly small marina, and when Morris first came there he was already in his 80's and a bent over little old man, and not completely familiar with the boat. One day, shortly after he had come there, he decided that he wanted to take the "old girl" out for a spin. It was a nice day and a lot of fellow boaters were out there as well. He backed out of his slip just fine, but it became quickly obvious that getting it turned and headed in the right direction was going to be daunting to say the least. We were over on the other side of the harbor and watched in horror as Morris came within spitting distance of a boat. Everybody quickly got up and started helping him try to fend off, but fending off 26 tons of ship steel is like trying to fend a Burlington Northern locomotive onto a rail siding with your bare hands. So everyone starts yelling at the poor old geezer with their ideas of what he needs to do to rectify the situation. As you can imagine, the Ma Belle was all over the place and every time it would head for someone's boat, the entire cast and crew of the docks would run full tilt down the dock in a scene reminiscent of the movie Airplane when the plane was landing and everybody ran from gate to gate to where he was headed with arms out and voices raised in a cacophony of "   Morris port!   Morris starboard!    Morris back,    throttle Morris,    Forward Morris,   No Morris!,    the other way Morris!"    One time as it swung around, I could see Morris at the controls and his eyes were the size of dinner plates, and he was working the controls like Dr. Frankenstein's Igor and was spinning the wheel so fast it looked like the wheel was going one way and the hand pegs the other! Amazingly, he never hit a boat, but did put a few kisses on the dock fingers like a big pinball, which always brought out a recitation of the vowels of the alphabet, (AAY, EEEee, aye,aye,aye, OH, OH, Yeww!).   We finally got him pointed in the right direction and chugging toward the mouth of the harbor. In a last insult, a large tree had floated down river and lodged itself across the left side of the harbor mouth. Everyone watched with an aghast blank look on their face as Ma Belle sailed right into it and broke a 10-12 inch around piece of the tree off without missing a beat in a monstrous crrraakk, and out into the river he went. At least he cleared a hole for everyone else. The rest of us finally inhaled and decided it would be a very good time to change underwear and go for a boat ride before he got back and our insurance premiums went up. Most everybody went out and eventually found him chugging back towards the harbor. It looked like he had a V.I.P. escort. Of course, no one was going in before him, so everyone else went their way again for a while. Later on we found the remaining people in the harbor had to help him get back in the slip in a similar, but not quite as bad scene. After that, he brought out some friend who was pretty good at skippering the Ma Belle, much to our relief.

   -And that is how boaters learn to drink.  

Richard Sievers

   

  River Bill says.......I can close my eyes and almost see the whole thing taking place.  Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us Rick. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from two years ago (2005) was a shot taken by Mr. Pat Reid of "Crystal Photography".  (Also know in some circles as Capt'n of the Camera)

    What a great shot of that eagle cruising along, with his wing tips "up", right above the surface of the Mississippi River. Pat told me he took this picture from the Missouri side of the river the near Alton Lock and Dam when him and a friend were trying out a new lens.   What a shot !    

 ! 

    

 Boating Accidents Down ------ 

According to a news snapshot in the Friday edition of USA today....Boating accidents are down:

  8,019 boating accidents in 1995....compared to 4,969 in 2005.

 

Go to www.usatoday.com for more info.

RiverBill's Visitor Stats ------  The visitor stats are in for January 2007....

28,856 unique visitors !

 -  Up more than 11,000 visits from the January 2006 numbers

 

Click here to look at the visitor stats chart.

Mississippi River Navigation Notice ......Developing ice conditions on the Illinois River.

 

Click here to read the Navigation Notice  2474

Update..Proposed Downtown St. Louis Bridge ------  There was a news article in yesterday's on-line Post Dispatch..... (with artist's sketch) about the proposed Mississippi River bridge and problems of financing it.

  Click here to read the story in the on-line STLtoday.com

The Hennepin Canal ------ I was reading this week's edition of Kathy Flippo's Tow Talking  ......And.... she mentioned a canal completed in 1907 that was supposed to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River somewhere near Clinton, Iowa.  I did a little research on it........ The new canal did reduce the distance between Chicago and Rock Island when it was done by more than 400 miles, but it was out of date before it was completed because of new lock widths on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

  Click here to go to the on-line Wikipedia Encyclopedia for more info.

Con Trios Yacht Club's Spring Ice Breaker ..... is scheduled for March 24 th at Pere Marquette Lodge.    Cocktails, Pool Party, Italian Buffet, Music by the Sharks Band.........Lets get the boating season started.   

 

Make your reservation early......Contact any Con Trios member for an invite.

 

For more information go to :

     Con Trios Yacht Club website / event page

     Spring Ice Breaker Flyer    PDF file

Super Bowl Party...Sharky's Floating Restaurant..... Sunday....Feb 4,  2007 at Sharky's Cove 

Starts 4:00PM

$5.00 Cover Charge...Included Munchies and halftime Buffet

...Click here for more info

 

 

 Thursday ... 01 February 2007....

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

Our River Picture of the Day...... was sent in by Little John and  Anne Lewis

 

It's Greg Lewis of Lewis Engines....

Always trying to get more horses out of the boats he sells

 

 

It's actually a picture of Greg carrying HIS horse Tink when she was about 3 days old...... that's 3 years ago now...

Happy Birthday Tink.....   Maybe you will get that boat ride this year !

Last Year's River Picture of the Day  ------  What picture was at the helm of RiverBill's last year on this day ? 

 

The "Pictures of the Day" from one year ago (2006) was a picture of the flag on the sailboat Dazzler, owned by Denny and Reggie Heisler, who gave up boating on the Mississippi  to sail the Caribbean !  No one knows how long they will be gone....some say only months and others say years maybe !   

   They have a link in the left hand column under "Caribbean Connections" named www.sailingdazzler.com .  Denny and Reggie keep all of their river friends up to date with what was going on in their Caribbean adventure......Pictures, journals and more. 

   

  River Bill says.......A lot of people talk about it...Denny and Reggie are doing it.  Hats off to them both ! 

    

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE

 

More Ice on the Mississippi River ..... The above is a picture of the ice forming above Winfield Dam was taken Wednesday evening by the web camera located inside the lock at Winfield Dam.  Lots more ice than the picture from Monday.
 

 Click here to go to the Winfield Dam River Cam website..

Louisiana Missouri's Polar Plunge into the Mississippi River ..... KHQA had a news article about the Louisiana's Polar Plunge that took place on the town's riverfront last weekend.

 

Click here to read the story on  KHQA News - Keokuk, Quincy, Hannibal

 

Look for pictures from the Polar Plunge on RiverBill's tomorrow !

 

Missouri Department of Conservation's Dresser Island Hike......  A  6 1/2 mile hike along the Mississippi River to view an amazing concentration of wintering birds and wildlife.

Saturday, February 10 ....9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Click here for more info

Con Trios Yacht Club's Spring Ice Breaker ..... is scheduled for March 24 th at Pere Marquette Lodge.    Cocktails, Pool Party, Italian Buffet, Music by the Sharks Band.........Lets get the boating season started.   

 

Make your reservation early...Contact any Con Trios member for an invite.

 

For more information go to :

     Con Trios Yacht Club website / event page

     Spring Ice Breaker Flyer    JPG file     PDF file

 

Barge Worker Survives Fall into Mississippi River------  Here is a news story from last weekend's on-line Post Dispatch that I missed.  It's about a barge worker that survived, after falling into the Mississippi River and being under water for as long as 5 minutes.

  Click here to read the story in the on-line STLtoday.com

Grafton, IL Restaurants ------  added a link, under "River Towns and Things" to a list of Grafton's restaurants......... Phone numbers addresses and business hours.

Click here and check it out

Click here for more past edition's of RiverBill's.com

or

Go to "RiverBill's Archives" 



This website is a bit like the River___a bit muddy and continually changing !!
Check back often to see what is going on !!!
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