Birthday Boy and now Joliet, IL

October 2, Monday, from Hammond, IN to Joliet, IL

Last Tuesday we left the Chicago area for a visit to our daughter’s home in Florida to celebrate our energetic and funny grandson’s Arden’s second birthday with Sarah and her husband Chris. I was amazed at how much Arden has developed since I last visited this summer – he is really talking now. And singing and dancing – what a joy! We had a great time and it was hard to leave…


We returned to our boat late Saturday night and spent Sunday cleaning up and getting ready for the next segment of our journey – heading down to the Mississippi river. My cousin Donna visited our boat and also was nice enough to take me shopping for provisions – much appreciated.

Today, Monday October 2nd, we left the marina around 9am after filling up with water and getting a pump-out.  We headed to the Calumet canal that leads to the Illinois River, saying one more good-bye to Chicago in the distance. The canal is largely an industrial area as you’ll see from the photos, making an interesting journey. The specs on the large white dome are painters!

There were also a couple of parks with little waterfalls along the way…

After the Calumet joined the Des Plains River there is also an invisible electric barrier to prevent flying Asian carp from getting into the great lakes. We haven’t seen them yet but we probably will.

We had no trouble with the first lock on the canal, but the 1000 foot second lock was literally full of barges with two tugs ahead of us as well, so there was more than two hours wait before we could lock through and by then it was dark. And therefore today was another first for us – the first time we’ve boated at night. Fortunately it was only 3 miles to the free tie-up wall in Joliet Illinois and we had no trouble. The wall is in a city park with lights so we did find our way here without any trouble. Fortunately they also  provide free electric so we are all set.



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