When we woke up on Saturday morning our plans were to leave early, as we have an 80 mile day ahead of us. Well we all know that the best made plans don’t work. Fog had rolled in this morning limiting visibility. One thing we learned on this trip is if the weather is bad don’t travel and that is what we did. The fog finally lifted and we left the marina along with Jim & Kay “Hiatus” an hr later.
This is the Ottawa Rail Bridge spanning the Illinois River. The first rail crossing on this site was in 1871 constructed by Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad between Ottawa and Streator, Il. The current bridge was constructed in 1898 by King Bridge Co. and altered in 1932 to include a vertical-lift span and operates trains over the bridge between Ottawa, and Montgomery, Il.
Look how calm and beautiful the Il. River is today as we navigate towards the town of Ottawa.
In the Ottawa Cemetery is a Boy Scout Statue which marks the grave site of William Dickson Boyce. He is the founder of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. Boyce was an American newspaper man, entrepreneur, magazine publisher, and explorer. Boyce learned about scouting when he passed through London on his way to Africa in 1909. Upon his return to the United States he started the B.S.A. and focused the scouting program on teaching self-reliance, citizenship, resourcefulness, patriotism, obedience, cheerfulness, courage, and courtesy in order “to make men”. He also founded the L.S.A. in January 1915 which catered to rural boys who had limited opportunities to form a troop or a patrol. In June of 1924 the B.S.A. and L.S.A. merged. Boyce received many awards and memorials for his efforts in the U.S. Scouting movement, including the famed “Silver Buffalo Award”.
Off to our starboard side (right) we saw three deer grazing on the hill-side.
We have passed Ottawa and are headed for Starved Rock Lock & Dam or known as lock #6 in Utica.
Now you really wonder how they come up with all these different names for the Lock & Dams. I tried to find this answer but to no avail. I took this picture not for the lock but look how beautiful the tree is only changing red on one side.
This is the abandoned Henry lock wall, which was the first lock and dam on the Illinois River constructed in 1870. A lock tender was on duty most of the time, opening and closing the locks, by manpower. The lock was last used in 1927. Transients (like us) are allowed for a fee to tie up to the abandoned Henry lock which allows you to walk downtown. We didn’t tie up to the wall as our day has been very long and our destination for the evening is at the Il. Valley Yacht Club.
As we maneuvered the boat down the Il. River the Asian Carp started jumping and hitting the boat. Two of them decided to land on our swim platform. What a terrible noise they made when they landed and the bloody stinking mess they left behind.
The entrance to Il. Valley Yacht Club can be challenging with the low water. The Yacht Club founded in 1923 is a members only private club but loopers are welcome. The IVY marina is a great place to stop and take a break. The marina offered nice slips, laundry, restrooms, and the IVY Club house offered full service dining room and bar.
The first thing I did after we docked was washed off the swim platform. Our friendly Asian Carp that visited us left a mess on the swim platform. Kent and I took advantage of the IVY Club House for a few beers along with Jim & Kay (Hiatus), Tim & Alice (Observer), and Mike (Dash Away). This was a great way to end a long day conversing with other loopers.