09  Detweiler Marina, Peoria

Chicago to Peoria

High winds and heavy rain foiled our plans to leave Chicago Monday morning. Even the inner harbor was surprisingly rough, persuading us to move the boat twice to slips that offered better protection from the swells.  By Tuesday morning, the winds had subsided and we were on our way. It was exciting to cruise through downtown Chicago as trains rumbled overhead and Chicagoans rushed to work. It was especially interesting now that we know the history of many of the city’s buildings.

Once into the Des Plain and Illinois rivers, we began encountering the huge barge tows (why are they called tows when the tug is actually pushing from the back?). Tows are often two barges wide and four barges long, and they have absolute priority at the locks. On a couple of occasions, we had to wait several hours as massive tows locked through ahead of us.  It takes up to three hours for the tug to disassemble the tow, fit all its barges into the lock, and reassemble the tow on the other side. It is amazing to watch how skillfully the tug captains maneuver and position long strings of barges in the confined space of the lock.

We were shown around Peoria and entertained to a wonderful dinner by relatives Danny and Nicole Peterson and their new son Davis.  Many thanks for your hospitality! And in Peoria the sun finally came out again.

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