Holidays are never quite right without family. We missed everyone but especially being at Camp Lookout for friends and family weekend. However it was hot so we pool swam, ate out, and used the marina courtesy car to take two trips to Walmart and Farm and Fleet for an assortment of needs and wants. We considered buying a portable air conditioner but have put that idea on hold until we come across something small enough that we can actually use and store. After much procrastination and a couple of YouTube videos Sammy received her first home-groom with the help of Sarah onboard Tangent. It was a painstakingly slow process with apricot hair drifting everywhere. We never got to her feet and she is a little bit uneven but the goal of cooler has been met.
Since Chicago we have been traveling with Vicki and Ron Montgomery onboard their Sea to See. They are from Orcas Island, WA and left Delaware in early May so hey have good loop experience under their belts. We have been delighted with how quickly we bonded (over food, shopping and grandchildren) and how much we have in common besides boats.
Early on Labor Day we left Ottawa headed for Hennepin which was to be an easy 32 mile day with one lock. Due to a long wait at the lock and moving past Hennepin because the docks looked like they might safely accommodate a small canoe we traveled 11 hours and 46 miles with a 3.5 hour wait at the lock tied to a 10’ diameter cement cell. There were boaters, water skiers, fishermen and families camping along the river. Who knew that the IL Waterway was such a recreational hot spot? We continue to see Blue Herons, Eagles and a white Pelican along with the tows pushing barges who didn’t seem to understand it was a Holiday weekend. This was a hard day but we are none the worse for ware except lighter by one boat hook that bit the cement and one fender (those big rubber things you hang over the side to keep the boat from hitting stuff) which we must have left tied to a dock somewhere.
We ended the day at Henry’s Landing tied to an old lock that seemed more like being tied to the wall of a gravel pit. Not aesthetic but useful. Henry’s Landing had a bar/restaurant which was a welcome reprieve from cooking in the heat. Sammy couldn’t be inside with the air conditioning that we craved so she sat with some guys drinking beer on the patio (the guys, not Sammy). She loved their attention. We left there early again this morning with a window of clear weather heading for The IL Valley Yacht Club (IVY Club to those in the know). No locks and only 28 miles but today our challenge was pouring rain with low visibility and high winds for the last 5 miles of the trip as well as a depth issue getting into the unstaffed yacht club. After “kissing” the bottom several times we finally tied up at the fuel dock which is likely the deepest spot outside the river channel. It is a beautiful place with great laundry facilities and excellent showers. After drinks on the deck with seven other looper couples, we enjoyed a feast of bbq ribs, rice, squash, asparagus and salad with Vicki and Ron. The sun is down, it must be time for bed.
Boat name of the day: “Island Office” owned by a looper couple we met tonight
Dog name of the day: Brutus (Marilyn and Ron Steiner’s new Daisey puppy)
Quote of the day: “It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting the high technology from weaponry to livingry.” -R. Buckminster Fuller