#58 St. Charles, Missouri to Alton, Illinois

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

October 22, 2019

It’s time to get back to business.

After being home for three weeks, we flew into St. Louis.

Kurt of Uncharted Service located at Polestar Marina, and who worked on our boat, picked us up from the airport.

How’s that for customer service???

Getting Back

We decided to stay at Polestar Marina for an extra day because the winds were a little crazy.

The marina was decorated for fall.


Sam loved the way the bathrooms/showers were decorated.

Can you believe that?

Definitely designed by a man.

And, yes, I had to laugh.

Leaving Polestar

As crazy as the wind was the day before, it was the opposite today.

Calm as could be.

Just like we like it.

As we pulled out of Polestar, we saw a bird statue.

Quite stunning.

Out on the Mississippi

It was time to get back out to the Mississippi River and go the 15 miles down to Alton, Illinois.

It was amazing how the current moved us right along.

Really incredible.

We certainly didn’t use as much fuel as we did going to Polestar Marina since we had to move against the current.

We had to dodge logs and sticks and debris but we were rewarded with the beginnings of fall foliage.

The white cliffs were stunningly beautiful and the stark contrast against the fall colors were quite a sight.


Every now and then we were reminded that this still is the industrial Mississippi River.

The Sights of Alton

When we got closer to Alton, we started to see factories.

Then we saw a very unusual riverboat casino.

We couldn’t wait to get there.

Alton seemed like a happening place.

Clark Bridge

We knew we were getting close because we could see the Clark Bridge named after one of the team, Lewis and Clark.

After we went under the bridge, we made a left turn into the marina.

We went to get fuel and a pump out first before we got into our slip.

Alton Marina

I really didn’t know what to expect.

Sam does the planning and we usually don’t know what kind of condition the marina is in before we get there.

Alton Marina was a nice surprise.

The staff is helpful and friendly.

The facilities are nice.

They even have a store plus a grill that is open on the weekends.

Looks like Sam found some friends.

Around Alton

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, there is a farmers market within walking distance of the marina.

We took advantage of it and got some lettuce, basil, tomatoes, bing cherry jelly and bread.

We also drove to Piasa Park to check out the mythical creature, the Piasa.

Our first meal, though, after we docked and got everything in order, was at Fast Eddie’s.

Fast Eddie’s is an iconic establishment that locals and loopers must visit.

And you should too.

Downtown Alton

Across the street from the Argosy casino is a vibrant downtown area.

Lights are strung across the street and makes for a very fun evening.

But in the daylight, you can get a good look at what is around.

Looper Party at the Piano Bar

Looks harmless enough from the outside.

The Ragin Cajun Piano Bar.

Oh my.

What happened one Saturday night with loopers from Canada will go down in history.

At least our history.

Alton at Night

After we could party no more, we walked back to the boat.

Saw a statue of Miles Davis.

He was born here.

Walked right past the casino without even dropping a dime.

Since looper midnight is 9:00 p.m. and it was almost 11:00 p.m. we were not tempted at all.

Belgian Waffle Day

If you have read our blog or follow us on YouTube, you know that every Sunday is Belgian Waffle Day.

This Sunday was no different.

But is was.

This Sunday, I let someone else cook the waffles and they were delicious!!!

Definitely tastes better when someone else makes them.

Road Trip to St. Louis

We got a rental car while in Alton and decided to see the sights of St. Louis.

We took the Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River.

It was so weird going down the highway and then see the arch of St. Louis right there.

Sam has seen it many times but this was a first for me.

The Hill

Our new friends Brian and Beth told us that we HAD to visit the Hill.

So we did.

The Hill is an Italian neighborhood with incredible restaurants, shops, bakeries, and grocery.

Sam and I went two days in a row and ate at two different restaurants and they were both fantastic.

Really fantastic.

Toasted Ravioli at Mama’s on the Hill
Spaghetti and Meatballs at Mama’s on the Hill

But it wasn’t just the restaurants, the Italian neighborhood seemed like another world.

From a plane, to a car, to a boat, it’s time to be moving on.

Our Thoughts

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  1. Glad to hear of the wonderful time you are having in Alton and Saint Louis. Only 202.5 miles to Cairo and the mouth of the Ohio. Then you leave the muddy Mississippi to sail up the Ohio for 46 miles to the mouth of the Tennessee before you head south again. These are waters that I have sailed several times on LST 325. Fair winds and following seas as you continue your adventure!

    • Thanks, Cousin Rus!

  2. Also a great video for this segment. Rev, you are great at meshing the pictures and video clips with the narrative. Bravo Zulu

    • Thanks Cousin Rus!

  3. I’ve boated this area since 1973, currently keep my boat upstream from Polestar at Yacht Club of St. Louis. The bluffs alongs the Great River Road are so beautiful this time of year. While you are at Alton Marina, walk over to Tony’s for an outstanding Italian dinner. Safe travels, love following your travels. Did you ride the ski lift while in Grafton?

    • Hi Paul! We didn’t make it to Tony’s but we did go to Fast Eddie’s, Gentelin’s, Bluff City Grill, Old Bakery Brewery and Ragin Cajun. We didn’t get to the ski lift in Grafton either. We’ll have to do that next time. ?


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