Anchorage, Mile Marker #148, Illinois River

Traveling the river after we left Peoria was quite peaceful. The weather was great; 75 and sunny.  We started to see the weekenders coming out on the river.  There were people fishing from the sandy banks on the river. It is always nice seeing others enjoying their day too. Bryce and I motored to a beautiful anchorage spot just off Mile Marker 148. We are anchored in 14 feet and a good sandy bottom for the anchor.

It was incredible night. We sat and enjoyed watching the tows as they passed.  Throughout the night, we must have had 6-8 huge tows & barges go by.  We are once again getting use to the sounds of the tows and can hear them at least a mile or so away.  At night we can see them early on because they use massive spotlights to shine on the banks of the river.  They shine the spotlights on the navigation buoys to help guide the huge tow through the channel.  Some tows/barges are larger than the biggest aircraft carrier.

We anchored about 15 miles from Peoria.  What a peaceful place to anchor.  Across the river on the East side of the bank is a small stream called the Mackinaw River.  And as usual, a sandy beach nearby.  So many cruisers rush down the river from marina to marina and never experience this.

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This is the Peoria Lock.  As this picture shows water levels are at normal levels.  If water was higher, it would be washing over the lock gates.

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After we arrived in side the lock, the lock master told us to go ahead and float. Do not to tie up.  Floating is an easy way to lock through. The lock didn’t have any floating bollards. Not sure, but I don’t remember a lock without them. If you do not float, they had lines that you hold during locking.  When you reach the bottom you just release the line. If you look closely you will see the waterfall from the dam. It’s how they control the water depth on the rivers.  This is also an indication that water levels are normal.  Pretty cool I think…

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The horn blew given us permission to leave the lock, I turned to see the 110×600 foot lock closing its doors. I could also see the water rushing over the dam. It looked so pretty.

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I had to take this picture to show you the trapped trees that rush down the river during spring floods. I guess they will continue their journey down the river next Spring.

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This is pretty awesome.. We watched the Coast Guard putting in/replacing the buoys on the river.

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I started laughing.. I looked over at Bryce and said “someone surely didn’t want anyone to steal their ditch digger. They put it on the concrete slab..” Then he explained to me;  they keep it there to remove items from the barges…

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Pekin Boat Club with gas.  It also looked like a camping area.

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Look how long this tow is..  Jerry Jarrett is his name and it’s the Marquette Transportation Company.

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Here is a satellite view of our route in the river from: http://trackmytour.com/35L17

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Thanks to all of you for following us. Red rose

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