September 30th, 2013

4 Oct

We are on the Illinois River for the 3rd day & only @ mile 222 having started at mile 333, the beginning of the Calumet channel in East Chicago.  Feels like this river will take for ever.  We did the best today @ 51 miles today & hope to do about 70 tomorrow with no locks ahead for that distance.  The miles today included 3 locks & stopping for groceries @ Ottawa, IL.  We started in heavy fog @ 7:00 A that lasted for the first 2 hours traveling 4 miles including 1 lock.  Bev teared up from tension for the first time during the trip.  I hope not to see that again.  We had both wanted to get the early start not realizing how bad it would be.  After getting the groceries it was only 3:00 P & we realized we could get thru another lock & anchor just beyond it all together another 8 – 9 miles or another hour so we went for it.  While locking down the attendant informed us the river was very low & we would not be able to anchor in the spot we had chosen.  Luckily we called a boat club another 9 miles further down river & they would take us so here we are @ mile 222.  If we can do the 70 miles for each of the next 3 days we will be in Grafton, IL @ the junction of the Mississippi River, 2 – 3 days on the Miss. & it up the Ohio & some nicer countryside to see we hope.

Yes this river real does stink exactly like Uxbridge used to 50 – 60 years ago but that was in the upper section we transited the first 2 days.  This area does not stink & the people here @ the boat club actually swim in this Chicago sewage & think it is great.  In fact they rent beach space from the local town for their personal use during the summer as we would rent a boat slip.  The water temp. is about 75 degrees here but no way we are going in it.

We saw our first asian carp today while docking @ the Ottawa landing.  They were jumping all around the back of the boat & almost hit Bev in the face.  Later locking through Starved Rock Lock we saw one dead inside the lock about 2′ long & the lock attendant said they get up over 4″ long.  Hope we chop a few up with our prop along the way.

We haven’t found a free wi-fi that worked since Michigan City, IN so have not been able to update the blog.  If we do not find someplace tomorrow we will definitely be able to do it in Grafton, IL.  We have to stop there to get the lowdown on traveling on the Miss.  We understand there is only one place to stop on the Miss between the Illinois River & the Ohio River, a distance of 220 miles.  Assuming we can continue to maintain the 9 – 10 MPH we did today when under way I hope we can do the Miss in 2 days.  The big question may be can we find a place to pull over once we get on the Ohio.  We’re finding anchorages & marinas can be far apart in some sections.

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