Friday —- Grafton to Alton IL

September 10th, 2010 john Posted in The Loop Part II | No Comments »

Day: 451   Miles Today: 15   Locks Today:  00   Total Miles:  5092   Total Locks: 141

We had a lazy start today because it was to be a short day.  Several of the boats left this a.m. and were headed to Hoppie’s but I wanted to stop and see Alton.

When we backed out of the Grafton Marina and turned around to head south we were immediately in the Mississippi River.   This of course is a landmark moment.  And yes, the current was swift.  We ran at our normal 1800 RPM but we were doing over 12 mph. 

The Alton marina was very special.  It had plenty of room and had an easy entrance to navigate.  It had a little marina store and the showers were the best yet on the trip.  It again had the office, restrooms, showers, and even the pool all located on a floating dock to enable it all to rise and fall with the river.

We walked into town.  Even though it was a small old town it had impressive architecture.  All of the buildings were decorated with care.  We walked down hill almost 10 blocks.  It they have one central theme it was antiques.  There were shops after shops after shops.  If you are ever in the search for old antiques, I would recommend Alton.

In the middle of town there was a square where they had life size statues of Lincoln and Douglas.  This is where they had their seventh and last debate.  It was this debate that launched Lincoln into the presidency.

Then it was 10 blocks back up hill.  We had found out that they had a “memorable” restaurant in town.  We thought it was only four more block past the marina but it turned out to be about eight.  “Fast Eddies” turned out to be a special treat. 

It was about 4:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon and the restaurant was full of people.  As it turned out it was more of a bar, with an inside covered patio and a live band.  Then you had to walk to a special food bar and order and pick up your own food.  But it was definitely a bar that served food as a courtesy to its customers.  It had pork on a stick, steak on a stick, and chicken on a stick. They served a great ½ pound hamburger for 99 cents and best of all they served good iced peal-and-eat shrimp for $3.20 a dozen. 

Fast Eddies’s was truly a special place.  Then there was the long walk back.  I definitely had my exercise.  I think I was in bed by 6:00 p.m., reading through my closed eyelids.

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