Miles Covered: um 275- to um 221 (54 miles)
Closest towns or landmark (chart): just before Lock 24 to Squaw island (a nice beach, chair exchange)
Original Post date: June 7
Day 10, we were settling in just prior to lock 24 (we could see the lock), – in the effort to anchor Carl tossed the anchor out (it was disconnected from the line) – needless to say – it didn’t ‘hold.’ “Lost to the sea” we began to call those things, sunglasses, a hand truck (later before Memphis), and probably a few other unintentional items along the way. The anchor bit was more funny than anything else – we kinda watched it happen, then anchored to a tree along the shore. “Just part of it.”
We preceded early to the Lock and awaited the movement of a Corps of Engineers crane (on a barge) to lock-through. They were performing some of the locks maintenance – once within the lock and as the water lowered we were again enjoying simple conversation with someone (likely low in seniority) on the other end of the rope.
After the lock came the riverfront town of Clarksville, so we stopped in search of breakfast. No luck, too early – or the town was simply deserted after a large festival a day or two earlier – missed it.
Further down the river we went absorbing the mornings scenery, Hamburg, Il. is where we noticed these steel boats settled on the shore – no restaurant in sight.
Carl couldn’t wait any longer and cranked up the stove creating egg and bacon sandwiches; river-good.
The day was another special one on a calm river flow, pleasant has to be the word of the day. Pretty much we just walk around the boat filling the void of the other as they stir (if its important such as steering) – this morning Carl spent most of the time on the lawn chair reading as I found places and ways to move and hang things in the cabin – everything has a place.
The passing riverfront is simply interesting to look at, for conversation even the simplest things are open to debate; where Carl has only simple responsibility (no authority) on the boat – he sometimes quips that “as we return to our workplace he’s going to ‘eliminate my position,” all in fun – good company.
At lock 25 the lockmaster wouldn’t return our call, we were beginning to think our radio was bad and without any further information we once again tied up to a ‘can’ (buoy) before entering. It was the nicest pool of water that we could remember entering (others had been windy and turbulent) – until we mentioned the fact to each other – and then the wind turned on us and our only saving grace was the buoy we had to tied to.
This is where the tow Gene Herde worked his magic around us (like parallel parking) so close that they easily sucked the water from under the ‘bird’ as maneuvered into the lock ahead of us – the buoy held.
Another tow (The Bill Berry) began working his way around us too and about that time we were able to establish contact through the telephone – they allowed us to ‘lock-through’ between the two tows.
That’s the short story, all of this took more than two hours of beating wind and current, after a cam entrance….. I was never concerned for what the tow pilots were up to, because they are absolutely aware of their surroundings – which includes us little guys.
For some reason on the low side of the dam/lock the wind diminished and the evening became much calmer – just outside the lock at the 240.2 we found the Cedar Hill Resort.
Very nice place overlooking the river with a Tiki bar and a 1957 Trojan boat for a stage, nice setup.
Kelley served us drinks and some fried green beans, really good – just like fries. Through conversation a few of the folks there had done a similar thing in 1991, and they were still friends.
Also with the several of them present was a model of their boat “Middle-age Crazy” that they floated to New Orleans on before selling it there (a common practice) for 700 bucks. It was a completely home made raft (boat), built by Al Morgans Dad (who is in his 90’s now).
After some beverages, we boated on down to the Riverbend Marina at 232.5 and met up with Jeff and Al again, where they provided us an extra stool. Riverbend showed us some warm hospitality and the marina was well kept and modern.
The river and the folks along her are friendly, helpful, open, and just awesome – we haven’t had a negative encounter.
Al then piloted the ‘bird’ a short distance down the river to his home (next to Riverbills) where we checked out his welding inventions, workshop, and where he gave us an anchor to replace what we had lost the night before.
A few more miles and we found a nice beach (Squaw Island) to tie up to, its now morning and a storm has blown up around us, storm world 3 – on to Grafton, Il.
Noted ‘Towboats’ for the Day;
The Cindi L Erickson
The Stephen L Colby
The Gene Herde
The Bill Berry
The Bootsie B
The Virginia Ingram