Peoria to Beardstown, an Illinois Odyssey

Yesterday we drove our rental car back from Lafayette to the IVY Club in Peoria. Friends we met in Ottawa, IL had passed through the IVY Club while we were gone and, with our permission, checked and tightened R&R’s dock lines. We are learning that Loopers look out for each other.

A couple of Walmart runs later, we were supplied for the next leg of our voyage. We again met friendly people on the docks, all on the Great Loop from many other starting points and with far more experience than we.

This morning Rhonda returned the Enterprise rental car while I went through my daily pre-cruise engine room checks and boat prep. Beans, the friendly Enterprise guy, drove Rhonda back to the marina, and we left the dock around 9 AM.

Many of the other Loopers had left earlier in the morning and traveled slowly. (I’m still trying to learn that.) We passed many of them during the day. We hoped to get through the LaGrange Lock that is 8 miles South of Beardstown and continue on, but the lock was under repair so the Admiral decided we should return to Beardstown for the night. Most of the slow boats beat us to Logsdon Tug Service in Beardstown, Illinois, a somewhat disorganized and marginally dangerous group of barges tied together at the side of the river, where LTS offers overnight accommodations but no other amenities. We tied up safely to a rusty barge.

Our Beardstown Marina

We clambered over a few barges, across the gangplank, and up a steep stairway over the floodwall to shore, heading into town for dinner at a former bowling alley and fine dining establishment. They were short-staffed on servers that evening, so one of the Looper women stepped in, took the group’s order, and helped deliver it to our table.

River Port, Beardstown dining with follow Loopers.

Rhonda told me not to “steal her thunder” so I won’t…

Ya’ll know what a storm-phobe I am….

Conversation just before we got to Logsdon Tug service…

Me: Was that lightning??!!??

Captain: Uh, I dunno. Was it?


Me: Guess it was….

Back to frantically crocheting….and trying to keep calm. 🤐

There are 11 or 12 boats tied to the LTS barges tonight. One person volunteered to get up early, call the LaGrange Lock, and coordinate with everyone by VHF radio at 6AM tomorrow to get our flotilla through the lock tomorrow morning on our way to Grafton, Illinois.

A long, warm, stormy, but good day!