Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
rivermiles.com Missouri American WaterMissouri River Relief Alpine Shop St. James WineryPfefferkorn Engineering & Environmentalladsurfski.com Olathe Ford Lincoln Mercuryprojectathena.orgFarmer's Insurancehealthyriverspartnership.comLewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center2013 Stickers
Home Help Search Login Register
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Portaging the Chain of Rocks (Read 2493 times)
10/14/16 at 09:25:11

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
For those who've done it, any advice? Reading what can be found but have not really seen much describing the actual portage area (have read it's on the left). Depending on weather, may do this on consecutive weekends this & next. Responses and your experience would be appreciated and paddle safe.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #1 - 10/14/16 at 12:14:45

HoganHaake   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
Kawlloween Veteran
Saint. Louis, Missouri

Posts: 499
*****
 
I've done it twice. When you come around the corner, you'll see two bridges and two water intake structures in the middle of the river, get river left. Just after the second bridge, be on the left shore and portage when the rocks start. Look at the attached map I modified from Google Maps.

Also to build comfort, consider driving to the park to see it from land first.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Chouteau+Island+Fishing+Area/@38.756221,-90.17...
Or look it up by name
Chouteau Island Fishing Area
Granite City, IL 62040

Have a great time and with a little research, it'll be a breeze!

Hogan
 

ChainPortage.gif (434 KB | 211 )
ChainPortage.gif
IP Logged
 
Reply #2 - 10/14/16 at 13:00:14

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
Hogan---THANK YOU!! That's exactly what I needed. Will report on how it goes and think it will be fine. Next step will be to decide where to land by the Arch but don't see that one as the major obstacle that Chain of Rocks could have been.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #3 - 10/14/16 at 19:07:27

brad126   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
Branson MO

Posts: 172
*****
 
I'm not familiar with this area, what is the portage for? Looking at the map it just looks like open river , what am I not seeing?
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #4 - 10/14/16 at 21:08:23

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
From what I've read, the chain of rocks crossing the Mississippi between Il & Mo can be quite dangerous and a nasty fate for a canoe / kayak and any paddlers. The more experienced paddlers can address this better than a chain of rocks rookie like myself. A lot boats & paddlers use the canal & locks to get by it. Preference on this end is to portage the Chateau Island fishing area on the left, walking around the line of rocks, whirlpools, churning water around the rocks, etc, and then put in to paddle to the river front .
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #5 - 10/15/16 at 05:46:35

brad126   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
Branson MO

Posts: 172
*****
 
So there is literally a line of boulders all the way across the river?
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #6 - 10/15/16 at 06:36:15

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
It literally is, yes. It's a drop off and mess, enough so that COE decided it was easier to build a miles long canal system for river traffic to go around it rather than deal with it. Will report back after the trip. Hoping to do this on two consecutive weekends if it goes well...
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #7 - 10/15/16 at 18:02:25

brad126   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
Branson MO

Posts: 172
*****
 
Sorry to completely hijack your thread...... but what are the water intake buildings in the middle of the river?
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #8 - 10/15/16 at 20:54:40

MeghanV   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 27
*
 
There's a cool video showing the inside of one of the water intake towers here (and also what they look like at river level)

https://www.google.com/amp/fox2now.com/2015/02/13/rare-glimpse-inside-mississipp...

 
IP Logged
 
Reply #9 - 10/15/16 at 21:26:44

brad126   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
Branson MO

Posts: 172
*****
 
That's pretty cool!
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #10 - 10/16/16 at 13:41:49

Ozark paddler   Offline
3X MR340 Veteran
Independence Missouri

Posts: 161
***
 
Yes, for sure. Think a string of white water rapids all the way across the river. They are caused by a rock formation in the river but argumented by a lowhead damm / weir. White water kayakers play in it but it'd be a nasty trip for a recreational or expedition canoe or kayak.  Shocked You have to portage on the left (Illinois) side. West side belongs to the city of St Louis and they won't allow access to there bank.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #11 - 10/16/16 at 17:23:56

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
And portaging it was harder than expected (as was the whole day)! Strong headwinds, very rough waters in the Mississippi and the unexpectedly tough portage made for a slow go. Anticipated arrival time was 4:30PM, actual arrival time was around 7:30PM. Yup, it was dark. It was also neat to see the city lit up and a full moon to boot. Even though familiar with the area, there were several surprises.

First, there's no clear 'portage path'. Thought there would have been. It was frustrating to land so close to the parking area and think 'How are we supposed to get across this to the parking lot?' Portaging the large ditch was muddy, rocky and steep both up & down. Guessing the portage from there was maybe 200 meters? Just a heads up that it's obviously doable but not easy. Figured 15-20 minutes. Actual time, over an hour. That was with two of us in solo boats. Was glad to have my buddy Danny L, who finished the MR340 this year. Took a lot of work/effort with two of us to be able to do the portage.

Second surprise, the Mississippi was a much different river than the MO. It may have been because of the strong headwinds coming directly from the south. Waves were large enough at times to catch air time and came over the bow. Even the largest barge-induced was encountered on the Mo were much smaller than these Shocked. We were appreciative to be in canoes that had a spray skirt & a deck. They came in handy yesterday.

Third, there's more than one chain of rocks. The first is obvious and one I assume everyone knows about. The second, maybe two km's downstream, crosses the full left side. Go to the right, my friends...Then comes another chain of rocks, past the large island and on the left side. Again stay right. No wonder they built around it!

Made it but much tougher than expected. Andy & Meghan, I won't be going next weekend again but may paddle down to the boat ramp, located approximately the four mile mark (just before the confluence).
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #12 - 10/17/16 at 09:07:28

MurKee Water   Offline
3X MR340 Veteran
MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 693
***
 
That sounds like an adventure! Did you paddle a Sea Wind? Thanks for sharing, it's great to be able to "participate."
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #13 - 10/17/16 at 11:07:47

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
I was in a Sea Wind, well known for stability & staying dry with the partial deck. Danny was in a spray skirted Wenonah Voyager. Both boats/paddlers got rocked Saturday but the Sea Wind was the more stable of the two. We've both done plenty of canoeing but it got crazy & scary out there.

One additional concern was hypothermia. During summer months & until recently if you dumped, you got wet. The water temp has dropped. While we're not in the ice cold mid-winter temps yet, it would have made for a bad experience.

Will attempt to post a pic or two with wifey's help tonight.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #14 - 10/17/16 at 12:58:01

HoganHaake   Offline
5X MR340 Veteran
Kawlloween Veteran
Saint. Louis, Missouri

Posts: 499
*****
 
Love the video link, that is really cool. Sorry to hear that you're portage didn't go that well. I was in my Kruger Cruiser the first time I went through. Its slightly larger than your Sea Wind. But there were two of us focused on getting it through the portage.

Sounds like you picked the wrong day to paddle, cause the river was wonderful and fast both times I went. It sure is an experience just the same!!!

If you're interested in a different perspective, take the Mississippi River Trail from downtown up to the Chain on a bicycle and you can see that same section of river from the land.

Hogan
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #15 - 10/17/16 at 17:53:11

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
Agreed, Hogan. The unusually strong headwind whipping things up made for a memorable trip. Would / will do it again, just not next weekend. Will also check the wind direction & forecast Cheesy!
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #16 - 10/18/16 at 16:59:10

Steve W   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 248
*
 
Sea Wind night pic at riverfront landing area.
 

Arch_Sea_Wind_pic1.JPG (379 KB | 166 )
Arch_Sea_Wind_pic1.JPG
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print