13 Oct Day 30 – Good Bye Great Lakes!
On Sunday Oct 11th. we woke to a beautiful sunrise.
It was marathon day in Chicago, with the running of the Chicago marathon. There were helicopters, police sirens and even the Chicago fire department’s fire boat buzzing the habour.
With the Wason’s and our new friends on Bella Donna and Two Loons, we set out for the Chicago lock to enter the Illinois River system.
Because we were behind Group 1 and a day ahead of Group2 , we dubbed ourselves Group 1.5 and headed into the unknown. None of us had traveled the river system before but we set out on our own just happy to be off Lake Bitchigan.
We passed through the Chicago City lock which dropped us a few feet to the water level of the Illinois rivers.
Some of the group were apprehensive about bridge clearances,
We had to wait for a train at the Amtrac Bridge.
We passed our first (of many) barges
This one was tiny compared to what was to come.
We had to pass through the electric fish barrier that keeps the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. We didn’t see an fish but there were a few Great Blue Herons hanging out on the side of the river waiting for a free meal. I was told there is a $25,000 fine if a fish lands on your boat and you throw it back. You have to carry it until the next lock and tur it over to the Lock master.
We ended the day in Joliet Illinois, home of the Blues Brothers, at a free wall and went with a group of other Loopers to the casino for a quick dinner and very small donation to the slot machines.