Wednesday, September 15, 2010
September 12th through 14th
We started the day leaving Heritage Harbor very early. Planned a series of 3 long runs (avg. 80 miles) in order to get to Grafton, IL in three travel days. We reached the Starved rock Lock at sunrise and went through with 2 other pleasure boats, a tug and his barges. Our new friends, Darrel and Sue, gave us locking tips for handling the lines dropped from the top of the lock.
We reached Peoriaand after much searching found a spot on the city wall right below a rock concert. We had searched the marinas and found the water level too low for our draft (4.5 ft). We enjoyed pizza at Old chicago Pizza. Peoria is an impressive city with a very nice park along the waterfront. The boys enjoyed walking in the park.
Since the Peoria Lock is closed for repairs from 7Am to 5PM, we needed to be through the lock before 7AM or after 5PM. There was no place to dock after the Lock, so morning was the only option. We rose at 430Am and left at 515 with searchlight on. Jim lead the way with his radar on and the searchlights. We found the Lock with no problem and locked through quickly.
The day was a long one with the Lock and 77 miles to Beardstown. In Beardstown we tied up to a barge at the Logston Tug and barge Co and use the bathroom used by the tug Captains and crew (no shower again!). Beardstown is a very small and sad city. Much retail space with little commerce.
Tuesday was another early start and we cruised 88 miles to Grafton, IL. Though rain was predicted, it was a lovely, but long day.
We saw many barges on the Illinois River with less barges on the southern part of the River. We enjoyed cruising down the River just like Huck Finn and tom Sawyer, only we were enjoying tunes on the radio the entire trip!
Our friends from Fenton, the Kaspers, Julians and Fergusons would have loved it.Dr. Kasper, being the President of the Fenton Yacht Club, is always interested in cruising at this speed and enjoying the day.
We reached Grafton, IL late in the day and will stay here at least two days.