Getting lonier on the Illinois

First of All –

  • First time seeing goose hunters in their blinds
  • First time seeing white pelicans on the cruise
  • First active dredge operations
  • First river bank levee
  • First hint of fall colors

Namely Speaking-

  • Vermillion River
  • Peru
  • Tree Top Bar

Loop Log:

  • Miles Cruised today: Power: 43; Sail: 0
  • Total Miles Cruised to date: 299
  • Hours Underway: 6.5
  • Fuel: 30 gallons (just under 6 mpg)
  • Morning House Battery Reading: NA
  • Wind Speed: 5; Wind Direction: variable
  • Daily High Temperature: 92
  • Water Temperature:

We wave goodbye to our friends Randy and Cindy at 7am, as they pull away from Ottawa dock. We’re 20 minutes behind them, going slower and planning to stop sooner. Hopefully we’ll cross paths with them again along the way, so we can compare stories and renew the friendship. We run for an hour or so down to the Starved Rock Lock, where we wait an hour to be locked through. We’re the only boat in the chamber. The river is getting progressively lonlier, with fewer towns (we pass Peru, Spring Valley, and Hennepin before arriving at Henry), fewer but larger tows, and DSCF7744 only the occasional fishing boat working up or down the river. One boat we see stirs up the Asian carp, which start jumping out of the water. They guys in the boat are armed with bows, and they try shooting carp in mid jump, without luck. Also apparently without luck are the goose hunters. We see a couple groups of hunters, lounging around in their blinds, with several dozen goose decoys artfully arranged in the water and sand bars in front of them. Apparently the hunters and geese have a peaceful arrangement worked out. The hunters stake their space out on one sand bar, and the geese congregate on other bars, well away from the hunters. The geese don’t fly (it’s too hot for that), and no one gets bothered. The geese aren’t disturbed and the hunters don’t have to bother with cleaning guns or plucking geese at the end of the day. Peace and calm reigns. We push on, round bend after bend, until we arrive at Henry’s Marina. It’s located at the site of the first lock and dam on the Illinois River. I fill the tanks with gas and take a slip for the night. The office is in the bar, a classic country bar with country music throbbing from the loudspeakers and an impressive collection of bras draped on the beams above the bar. Makes one wonder about the circumstances of their getting up there.




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