Illinois River Surprise

Today, we planned to leave Heritage Harbor Marina at 2:00 PM with a flotilla of boats hoping to lock through the Starved Rock Lock when construction ended late in the afternoon. But (being both curious and impatient) around 9:30 AM I called the Starved Rock lockmaster, who told me that if got there in an hour he could get us right through. So we and another boat (“God’s Grace”) jumped on it, loosened our lines, and locked through quickly and easily.

We hoped to get from Ottawa to the Ivy Club (Illinois Valley Yacht Club) in Peoria, about a 70 mile run. We were blessed to have little boat traffic, so we moved along most of the time on plane at around 18 MPH. We were delayed for a few minutes when a tow (a massive push-boat and its barges) got crossways and blocked the entire river. “I’ll get ‘er straightened out here in a bit, Cap”.

We were about ten miles North of Peoria when Rhonda got a mobile phone call from good friend Kim. Kim asked about our Great Loop route and where we were right then. Rhonda told her we were passing under a railroad bridge on the Illinois River North of Peoria. Kim asked if there were orange and black railroad cars on the bridge! Rhonda said “YES”. Kim said that while visiting her parents in a town north of Peoria, on a whim she drove to the Illinois River to see if we might be there. Incredibly, we saw Kim on the shore, slowed down, and gave her a blast of R&R’s air horns! She then drove to the Ivy Club and met us when we docked. What an amazing and unexpected blessing to hug a good friend at a completely unexpected place and time.

Kim, from the boat.
R&R, from Kim’s camera.
Entering the harbor at Ivy Club in Peoria

We plan to travel to Lafayette for meetings and return to Ivy Club next week. Stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Illinois River Surprise

  1. Just got caught up on your week so far — so much fun!

    Now I’ve discovered the “Notify me of new posts” checkbox, so I’ll be staying right up to date. Happy trails!

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