TUESDAY — OCTOBER 4, 2016
We are off on the Rivers now. Departed the Chicago Yacht Club , made a turn to port ( left), and directly entered the Chicago Harbor Lock. This lock is only a 2 foot drop, but was built primarily to reverse the flow and course of the Chicago River. In doing so, the Sanitary Canal was also built and as you might guess…..this was used to carry all of the waste and trash back down to the Illinois River and from there into the Mississippi River. It prevented and still does prevent this flow into Lake Michigan.
Cruising down the Chicago River directly thru the middle of Chicago was a thrill for both of us. Hank especially liked it. The lovely old and new buildings, the many bridges, the hustle and bustle of the city, the noises, smells, were all right there before our very eyes, noses and ears!!
Our buddy boat, Moondance, was too “tall” to go this route, so they took a more Southern Route where we planned on meeting up at the point where the Cal-Sag connected with the Sanitary Canal. Due to lock delays for them AND for us, we ended up meeting at the dockage wall in Joliet, Il at the end of the long day.
As Hank and I were cruising down the Chicago River, we get a phone call from Doug Holler. He is one of Mr. Jim Holler’s sons who happens to live in the Chicago area. He had just missed us at our marina, as he was coming to SURPRISE us with a visit. Y’all remember the Holler’s?? They practically adopted me while we were docked in North Tonawanda, NY at the end of the Erie Canal. We enjoyed a good phone chat and I was able to catch up on the Holler family news.
When we finally pulled up to the wall to dock in Joliet, these two men came up to the boat to help assist with the lines. One guy gets the bow line, and the other grabs our stern line. A great help and as we are saying thank you and introducing ourselves, this guy at the stern says “hi, I’m Doug Holler”!!! HOLY MOLY —–SURPRISE!!!!
OH MY GOSH — how exciting was this and truly what a great surprise. Doug missed us at the marina, went to a second marina, thinking we might have been there, and then found his way to Harlem Street bridge, saw our boat, took some photos and THEN,,,,,, knowing we were going to dock in Joliet……hopped into his car and headed to Joliet to spring the surprise visit on us. What fun and delight it was to meet him. We called “Dad Holler”, (Jim), and talked with him too. Doug stayed and joined Mike and Debbie and us for pizza. A fun evening!!
It is humbling to experience this meeting and event. Doug had to have driven about 150 + miles JUST to make that surprise tie up at the wall happen. WELL — he will admit that he made a quick stop across the water to Harrah’s for about an hour before we arrived!!!!!!!! But even so…..thru his Dad and brothers to hear about us and Salt Lick and to make the effort to hunt us down to say hello face to face is very special. WOW!!!! this Holler gang is something to behold!!!
NOW BACK TO THE TITLE OF THE BLOG FOR TODAY
The Federal Corp of engineer locks take all commercial barges and tows before any pleasure craft. As a result there is often a wait. Yesterday while waiting for a group of dignitaries to get off a Corps of Engineers barge/tow, we were tied up along a wall. I DID tell you this was the Sanitary Canal, right? Floating off our stern was this grossly bloated dead deer amongst the plastic bottles, weeds, and other debris. GAG……
I’m getting there…… once we get into the lock, we are with this tow with one barge, and two other pleasure boats. I couldn’t get up along the wall, current and the stern thruster not functioning properly. A d0-si-do was done, 360 degree turnaround ,in the middle of the lock. NOT a pretty sight.
And then for today —– Moondance and Salt Lick went round and round in a great big circle at least 3 times,, while waiting for a lock to open. This, mind you, after they had given us a time to get there. So around in circles we go — sometimes intentional, and sometimes NOT!!
WHITE PELICANS —- LARGE FLOCK OF THEM HANGING OUT ALONG THE SIDE OF THE DES PLAINES RIVER.
Today is Wed., OCTOBER 5, 2016 We are docked in Seneca, Illinois at the Spring Brook Marina.