Chicago was interesting from the water, but it was time to move on, so we've traversed the "Illinois Waterway" which consisted of the rest of the Chicago River, the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, the Des Planes River, and mostly the Illinois River.
Going down the Illinois with the mast down reminded me of when we did the entire Wisconsin River in our canoe. bow wake.jpg We stayed in Seneca for a couple days of biking and we stayed in Ottawa for a few days of biking & great hospitality. windigo along ottawa dock.JPG windigo ottawa dock.JPG mountain bikin' moultons.JPG Here we passed under the last bridge that is less than 50' above the water - the clearance we need to put our mast up. Peoria was the next town with facilities to step the mast, but there wasn't enough water depth for us to access the dock. We had a tug service in Beardstown step it with their working barge. Good thing Rick taught me well at Yacht Works; I had to tell 3 towboat drivers how to get the mast up. windigo on mast stepping barge.jpg mast stepping, barge style.jpg
We've found libraries along the way to do email and read the latest news. We have met several cruising couples and other sailors from Germany & Florida, but MOST everybody we meet has connections to Wisconsin, Door County & Milwaukee. One couple is from Sturgeon Bay, another guy used to run the maintenance at PJ's there. We heard word of a friend from Milwaukee that keeps his boat in Sister Bay, but didn't see him [yet] - he left the boat in Peoria and flew home, but will come back and continue along our route. Two guys from Germany are doing the US tour thing in their old steel boat. A Canadian is single-handing around the eastern US.
All in all a wonderful experience, but we are still waiting for a boring day. There is always a small adjustment to make, a run to Radio Shack or some other specialty store for a part or tidbit. Depth sounding with the keel is always exciting! And now with the mast up, we have sailing to occupy the less busy moments.
We stayed at only the best marinas along the way, as long as they were free. very nice marina.jpg O.K., so it isn't really a marina, it's just an old barge. And we had to walk the plank and scale the wall. good thing i brought this plank.jpg nice ladder.jpg KL nice ladder.jpg But it was free!
We've passed through lots of locks so far, always something different to find there. leave dresden lock.JPG We found out where the "Illinois Waterway Visitor Center" is, but could not access it from the water. So we had to ride our bikes from a town upstream. IL waterway visitor center.JPG safety first.JPG
There have been wonderful bike trails everywhere. But still not enough for me - I gotta take the 'shortcut' through the cornfield and cake 2 pounds of mud on my bike. KL on I&M trail.jpg moulton view I&M trail.jpg
Oh yeah, the eagles – we found quite a few! Got close enough for these pics:
So now it's on to the mighty Mississippi-
KL & KJ Hughes
Just barely stayin' ahead of the weather . . .
p.s. I must be from WAY up north - everyone south of Aurora has a southern accent!! ?