This last leg of our official Loop spans from Chicago to Green Turtle Bay in Grand Rivers, KY. To say we were impressed with the Great Lakes and sad to leave them is an understatement.
Pulling just barely off Lake Michigan into Hammond, IN (near Chicago) brought back the reality of big city, industrial scenery. Nothing says “Big City” like smoke stacks, gravel piles and yet another casino.
After swearing off donating to another casino, I left $30-$40 at said casino after a quick dinner. I knew better, but I don’t listen to myself very well.
The river banks here are filled with industrial goin-ons and we passed piles of, sulfur (We don’t know, but it was yellow), wood chips, coal and a few land fills.
It took us 8 hours of traveling to cruise the 45-ish miles to Joliet, IL. Because commercial traffic takes priority in the locks and with bridge openings, our speed on the river slows us way down sometimes. We haven’t traveled an 8-hour day in quite awhile and my captain was worn out. One night tied up along the wall at Joliet, IL was sufficient.
As it turned out, the next day to Ottowa, Il was even longer bringing us to the marina after dark. We both believe this to be the only time we ever had to dock in the dark and we’re ok not doing that again.
We stayed two nights there only to pick up yet another of Tom’s college roommates, Bruce, and his lovely bride-to-be Deb.
What we had in from here on out was a few nights doing some bare bones tying up on walls before cruising into Alton, IL near St. Louis.
I apologize for the lack of beautiful scenery in this portion, but sometimes you have to take the not-so-gorgeous to appreciate the gorgeous.