Tuesday, August 23, 2016

8/23 Goodbye Chicago into the Rivers

It was time to say goodbye to Chicago.  We had such a great time in the Windy City.  We knew we had some new experiences ahead of us as we headed into the rivers of the U.S. 

We got an early start and went through the Chicago Lock that separates Lake Michigan from the Chicago River before 7 a.m.  The Chicago River was not dyed green today.  The challenge is that one must navigate your boat under some VERY low bridges that do not open.  We made it under the shortest of them with just 2 feet to spare. 
The city views were terrific in the sunshine.

 At this Chinese Pagoda, many Chinese people were out in groups and individually performing their exercises. 
Soon, we could only look back on the city and wave Goodbye.

The Chicago River quickly turned very commercial.  The trains that made Chicago famous were everywhere.
  I liked this picture that showed the silos, the trains and the tow barges.

This vertical railroad bridge had to open for us. 
We waited for a few different types of trains to cross and then it went up for us. 
Look at the concrete that counterbalances the bridge to open.

Soon we were in the Illinois River.  The tows are everywhere.  In many places, they can seem to take up the whole river.
  In fact, at one point we saw a barge that had broken loose and was wedged across the river between a docked barge and the shore.  We could not see anyone around it and no one answered our calls on the radio.  So I called the Coast Guard.  They took the information and said they would call the company right away.  Then we heard the Securite warning being issued on the radio by the Coast Guard.  Well, it wasn't long until the company sent a tow to move it.  Once, they moved it back into position we cruised on past. 

Asian Carp Fish infected the rivers.  These non-native fish have no natural predators and eat all the fish and food of the area, severely affecting the fishing industry.  To keep the Asian Carp from swimming into Lake Michigan, they have created an electric fence on the river.  It is a couple of thousand feet long and electrocutes the fish if they try to swim up to the lake.
These carp are huge and aggressive and known to jump right on to boats.  John and I are not sure who will take the carp off the boat if one gets on the Hydrophilic.

The tows are moving huge amounts of goods.  We saw tows with scrap metal, coal, sand and gravel. 

John suspects this mound of blue is copper sulfate. 

Tonight, we are docked at the wall of the river in Joliet, Illinois.  The wall is free with free Wi-Fi and electricity.  There is a Harrah's Casino on the other side of the river, but I have had enough excitement for today.

Lat 41 degrees 31.25 North
Long 88 degrees 5.23 West.

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