Not sure where the last 5 days have gone, but here we are on Sunday morning, August 25, in Grafton Harbor. There has been little to no connectivity since our last post and that makes it impossible to update the blog.
We enjoyed our stay at the Illinois Yacht Club in Peoria (Monday thru Wednesday) even though we had to spend one additional night that we had not planned for. It was a great time to Uber to a real grocery store and re-provision the boat. Also a good time to catch up on some boat maintenance and cleaning. When we awoke early on Wednesday morning, Linda called the Peoria lock, which was about 10 miles downriver, to be sure there were not too many committed barges and the lockmaster told her to stay put...the lock was socked in with fog and basically closed. We were looking out at a beautiful morning and sunshine where we were. About an hour later the fog came rolling in. By the time the fog lifted, it was too late to start out on the 85 miles we wanted to cover that day...so another day of cleaning and catching up. The folks at the Yacht Club were most accommodating and friendly. We had docktails on the Elaine May with Rick and Theresa and Gary and then had a nice dinner at the Club House. If you look at the picture of the Yacht Club, the dining room and bar are located where the windows are...they had 6 inches of water inside the dining room when the floods came last May. Everything below was under water and we estimated that to be nearly 20 feet higher than it is today. They are still trying to recover.
We headed out on Thursday morning to the Peoria Lock without incident. It was a long day rolling down the Illinois River, but we finally located our next overnight accommodations...a work barge tied up at Beardstown, IL. This is an old river town with very little going on. Once we got tied up we went into town to visit the Old Lincoln Courthouse and Museum in Beardstown. It was quite fascinating. We stood in the courtroom, which is still used today, where Abraham Lincoln won his famous Almanac case. There were many original documents and large photos and paintings of Lincoln on display. Other than that, not much else going on in this little town.
Friday, August 23, was another fairly long, 88 mile day to Grafton, IL. We witnessed more of the devastation that the spring floods caused to the shorelines of the river. We had to go thru one more lock at LaGrange...easy, peasey! The lockmaster had the doors open and waiting for us and we were able to float in the middle while we locked thru. Now that is how you want to do a lock! We arrived in Grafton late it the afternoon and this town is one hopping place. The location is where the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers converge. When we depart here we will be on the Mississippi. We met many loopers here. Elaine May pulled in Sunday morning. We met Tom and Angie on Maggie Jo...they are out of Sturgeon Bay. They joined us for an after dinner get-together. Also met Dale & Mary on yes Dear. It was also exciting to see another Carver Californian like ours pull into the harbor on Saturday afternoon. We walked over to their slip later and found out that they are 6 miles from crossing their wake. They were very busy being greeted by family and friends they hadn't seen in over a year, including a new grandbaby. Marty and Deb were gracious enough to stop over and visit with us this morning and we talked for a long time about all aspects of their trip. It was great information for us. Next stop, Alton, IL.