XXVII – Part II

We took a substantial pounding just getting from the marina to the entrance to the Cal Sag. The Cal Sag was pretty straight forward today. The navigation lock was a pussy cat and the remainder of the river to the confluence with the Chicago was very peaceful. It was cold and wet but very nice cruising. The occasional shoe, tree and other junk to dodge it is different…I’m used to water I can see through. That ended today.

The cruising guides mention that things will change when you join the Chicago River and they did. Traffic was interesting to say the least. Barges were piled up on both sides leaving ‘one lane’ in many locations. You have to time your jumps so that you are not left in the lane facing down thousands of horse power…you get the idea. It was stressful and exhilarating. With the help of the skipper of the Natalie Alexander who asked a Tow to hold for us to pass and the day improved considerably.

Now we were racing the dark. We arrived at the Lockport lock at 4:30 they were locking a Tow which takes multiple lockings to pass all the barges through. By the time we exited the lock it was 7:30. It was already a dark and rainy day so dark came early. We pushed FRACAS up to her quick cruise speed and did 8.3 to arrive in Joliet in time to just make out a nice opening on the Wall. There was also a power receptacle left. Our first day on the rivers went well all considered.

Once we were secured to the dock, power connected, internet and most of the stuff back were it belonged Mary Lynn poured us atta crew rums. They tasted amazing. We are lucky to have electricity so that we can heat the boat for us and to dry things out.

The talk out there amongst the loopers ahead of us is the big rivers are almost at flood stage. That means lots of junk, trees and cars to dodge. We may have to slow down a tad to reach the rivers after the water has receded a bit. I will explore the comments in the morning. I think we will spend the day here in Joliet and move again on Sunday…

joliet jakeWhile Fracas was locking down the 40 feet at Lockport, I had to pee. There was no leaving my post, Mary Lynn said there was no option to pee over the side and I wasn’t going to pee  in my foulies….no pun intended. Luckily just in time the lock gates opened and we flushed out.

I am tickled pink to be docked in Joliet. Anyone out there remember the greatest movie ever? The Blues Brothers…Joliet Jake Blues. I think Joliet may have referred to where he was incarcerated I hope to avoid reliving that. I just need to find a church to do some cartwheels in…

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