Bridges and Barges and Locks, Oh My!

We started this morning at Hammond Marina. We entered the Calumet River about a mile from there and followed the Calumet River, the Cal-Sag channel, and the Chicago ship and sanitary canal, through South and southwest Chicago to Joliet, Illinois, which offers a free wall for transient boaters to tie up for the night.

“Pleasure craft, please tuck in behind those barges so I can get through.”

We experienced our first two locks, a baby lock with only 3 foot drop, and then a real lock, with a 40 foot drop. Rhonda is now an able first mate, with experience lassoing floating bollards!

Sometimes you drive right into a lock, tie up, and get through. Other times, large tows are ahead of you in the lock, or coming toward you in the lock, and you wait hours to get through.

Near the end of the day, we waited an hour to get under some low bridges, because car traffic had priority between 4:15 and 5:15.

We tied up easily at the Joliet town wall with the help of other Loopers who had arrived before us. We walked to dinner, and are looking forward to passing rural scenes tomorrow on the Illinois River.

All is well!

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