Day 6 Kimmswick MO. to Cape Giradeau MO.
Hoppie's Marine Sevice was basically 1 very large floating dock made of old barge flats & run by an elderly couple who had obviously been there forever. Mrs. Hoppie had a dark tan on wrinkly leather skin and certainly let you know how things should be. When we pulled up to the fueling dock she immediately went to work correcting our tie off job. She went on to warn us about the very long trip before more gas would be available on the river so we bought 4 of her $15 a piece plastic gas cans with the worst nozzle & breather setup either of us had ever seen. then we took showers in their on dock bath house & paid our first overnight dock fees, more than $400 later we were fueled & ready to move on to the next problem.
We had noticed that our belt on one engine was slipping & squeeling so a pair of new belts was our next purchase. Mrs Hoppe offered to drive us in her old custom van to Arnold MO. about 5 miles away, it took two stops to find our belts & we were on our way again.
Dodging debris in the water was starting to be a two man job, we made a lot of last second manuvers to avoid trees, railroad ties, tires & other man made objects. We both noticed how dirty the water was becoming and the scenery was not nearly as impressive as north of St Louis.
Another good bit of information Mrs. Hoppie mentioned was the lack of places to dock before we would reach the Ohio River, she told us about a diversion channel near Cape Girardeau and we reached that before dark. Supper was soup & sandwiches made on the boat. After we set anchor a large cabin boat with a flying bridge that we had passed earlier pulled in to the channel behind us to spend the night.