|Sunset at Heritage Harbor, Ottawa IL 9/8/17|
After a couple nights in Ottawa at Heritage Harbor Marina (super folks and VERY nice marina), a Bulldog victory, a Tennessee victory, LOTS of visiting, eating and walking it was time to throw off the dock lines and move south – just a little.
|The Lower Place is ready for game day in Ottawa IL|
But first…let’s backtrack to the infamous Joliet IL FREE wall! Remember I mentioned the 16 boats tied there? Well, thanks to the early riser Diane – we have proof AND boat names! From the far left (front of the line), Southern Cross, Bad Habit, Kia Mae, Wild Willy, Islandia, Eleanor, Cormarant, Ivanhoe, The Lower Place, Tranquillity III, Crow’s Nest, Overtime, Barefoot Shoes, Unruly, Pharm Life and Jaycie Lynn!! Whew!! Everyone pulled their boat “snuggly” so there was room for everyone! We shared food, laughs, experiences, wisdom and a couple practical jokes.
|Hmmm, oak dining chairs on the bow of The Lower Place - wonder how that happened?|
We didn’t know everyone and we may not cross paths again with this specific group – but it sure was nice to feel like family for a day or so!! Yes, that’s the looper lifestyle – we all share a “looper chromosome”!!
|Blast of red at Starved Rock!|
Ok, back to Sunday – we are traveling south on the Illinois River for the next few days. We have cleared Starved Rock Lock & Dam and headed toward Peoria for those who need a map reference. And bit by bit we are seeing glimpses of autumn – my FAVORITE season!! The morning temps have been in the low/mid 40’s but warms up to low 80’s by noon – beautiful!! And let’s not forget the gorgeous September sky…ahhhh (read: lowers blood pressure).
And yes, our eyes and ears are tuned to Irma and Jose. Our hearts are heavy and prayers are specific for the safety of people and the patience for recovery. It is surreal to see some of the images on TV – thinking that we were in the very spot a few short months ago. Another point of reference, we spent the Christmas season south of Naples and north of Everglade City FL…it will never look the same.
Since we are captive in the River system now, we may experience unexpected & unavoidable delays as a result of hurricane remnants. Flooding is a real possibility as well as floating debris. And the Corp of Engineers has the ability (& authority) to close the locks – halting traffic – to minimize damage/risk. We are in a position of compliance and of course, will operate or dock our boat in a safe manner. The good news is we have a line of loopers in the same situation – with great attitudes!! YAY!!
Let’s continue to remember those in harm’s way and reach out to each other with compassion during recovery – we can all play a part in being someone’s bright spot!!!
|Interesting art along the waterway|