August 4, 2014
SUNDAY: Another slow-go day, against the current, with barges passing. We even passed two paddle boarders going down river with their gear. Who knows what they do when meeting barges? There are few towns on this stretch of river, as flooding is common. The only town of note was Chester, Illinois, home of the creator of “Popeye” the sailorman. “Popeye’s” statue stands in town but we just cruised on by to reach our destination as early as possible.
As we neared Kaskaskia Lock & Dam, we couldn’t resist stopping for the night at this calm safe spot at the tail end of the Kaskaskia River, on the Illinois side. The lockmaster graciously allows recreational boaters to tie on the outer lock wall for a night. The cement outer wall floats and is in great shape, with good cleats and railing. After our 3:00 pm tie-up, Louis and I walked the lock wall, stretching our legs and feeling the “sort of solid” ground. We’ didn’t go ashore at the little public park because there was no place to tie the dinghy and the boat ramp was buried in thick wet mud.
At 7:00 pm, Mike fired up the grill to cook hamburgers and Linda & Fred joining us aboard SeaDream for dinner. Linda brought a complete list of locks and bridges for the remainder of the northbound trip, making it easier to see what’s coming next. We also discussed a very tentative timetable that would put us in St. Paul-Minneapolis on August 21, just in time for my Seattle flight to visit Rachel.
Our evening was calm and quiet, with no current or barges, only an occasional pleasure boat at day’s end, locking through the 12’ rise to the lake.
MONDAY: Thick fog delayed our departure until 8:00 A.M. We don’t know where we’ll end up but will try for St. Louis.
Note: When I monitor radio communications between towboat captains, their “southern” accents are starting to wane. We must be headed North!
|SeaDream leaving in morning mist.|
|SeaDream cruising behind Young America.|
|Paddle boarder going down Mississippi.|
|Large Barge and little SeaDream, the speck on left.|
|Kaskaskia lock wall.|