Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We were up with the sun to get groceries and finish getting ready for the arrival of the Thul family. Shortly after 10 am, we saw Dan, Julie, Kevin and Justin coming towards us at the dock. Lucy was very excited to see everyone and gave her usual ‘exuberant’ greeting! We loaded everyone aboard and left the dock before 11 am. It was our hope to be able to lock through downriver and then back upriver today at the Starved Rock Lock and Dam so that the kids could have that experience on this beautiful summer day. We hadn’t noticed a lot of barge traffic yet, so we kept our fingers crossed for it to stay that way.

Our luck was good! There were three other pleasure craft waiting to lock through and the chamber was almost ready for us! Going downriver, the drop was about 20 feet and gave us plenty of time to observe the process and get a good idea of what it was like to be in a lock. After exiting the lock, we continued downstream for a short distance looking for a place to anchor the boat, have some lunch and walk or dinghy to shore. We chose a spot and grilled some hot dogs on the boat. After lunch, everyone waded to shore and found thousands of shells along the beach! We also found some pretty cool looking fish bones for the collection.

Our good luck held for the northbound lockage and we found ourselves alone in the lock on the way up. After locking through we motored to Buffalo Rock and at 6 pm we dropped the anchor for the night next to what had become one of our favorite anchoring spots. We baited up some fishing poles and started the grill. Kevin and Justin each caught a fish – one striper and one channel cat – which we grilled alongside the burgers and let the boys enjoy them with their dinner.

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