Ottowa, IL

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We left Harborside Marina round 8:00 this morning along with Jim & Kay “Hiatus”.  What a beautiful sunny morning to be navigating on the river.  We are now on the Illinois river I have to say it’s nice to be back on the river system no what matter river it is.

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The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River approximately 273 miles long in the sate of Illinois.  This river was important among Native Americans and early French traders as the principal water route connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi.  The French colonial settlements along the river formed the heart of the area known as the Illinois Country.  After the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Hennepin Canal in the 19 century, the role of the river as link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi was extended into the era of modern industrial shipping.  It now forms the basis for the Illinois Waterway.

This area of the Illinois River is just as beautiful as the Mississippi River.  Kent just said we could be home in two weeks.  I am not ready for this journey to be over.  Traveling on our boat has been our life for over a yr.  What an experience we have had.

We didn’t have a wait this morning at Preston Lock 34ft. lift and the fourth one going down the river.   Jim & Kay “Hiatus” tied up to our boat port side (left) in the lock.  I found out that Kay had taken a bad fall before they left on the trip and it’s very hard for her to raise her arms.  Tieing up to us in the lock is so much easier for them than hanging onto a line.  So glad we could help them out and a great way to get to know them.

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This is the Elgin Joliet & Eastern Rail Road Drawbridge, they were working on it so the drawbridge was open for us.

We went past the city of Morris they have a free day dock so you can walk to the Post office, Library, and small grocery store.  Here is a historical note– The first canal to connect Lake Michigan with the inland water system entered the Illinois river here in Morris, Il.  It was dug by hand starting in 1836.  When we looked at our charts it appears as an abandoned canal parallel to the Illinois River in Morris.  This 96-mile canal was in use from 1848-1860, when trains replaced it.  It originally ran from Morris to Chicago via Lockport.

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This is Marseilles Lock the fifth lock going down the river from Chicago.  We had no wait at this lock.  We are now two miles from Heritage Harbor Marina where we will be spending the night.

Heritage Harbor marina had a courtesy car that we took advantage of.  This will probably be our last grocery run before we are home.  That is so sad to think of going home.  The marina has a pool but the water was way to cold, even for me to swim in.  We meet JR & his two kids on the dock they have sold their home and will be leaving for Florida on their sail boat in three weeks.  As Kent and I walked the docks we meet three guys with the same name Bob.  We also found out the dock we were on likes to party and we had a great time when we joined them on the dock after dinner.

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Another beautiful sunset on our journey.  I never get tired of them or being on the water.

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