It’s been a great three days of cruzin. First leg we did one lock. Peoria Lock, distance today 77miles. The day was great slightly over cast and windy out. Beardstown was our first stop; Pura Vida and Inspiration spent the night on the side of a barge. This is a great overnight spot for people passing through and wanting to check out a great small town. This is the only transient space in this town, N40-01.05 W90-26.30 Contact Logston Tug Service for space (217) 323-1290 MM88.4 There is a small fee for overnight dockage and no services are offered. If you phone ahead a deck hand can assist in catching your lines.
Barge headed up the river at night, spotlights blazing a path
Second leg is from Beardstown to Harden with 1 lock Lagrange lock. Distance today, 69 miles with lots of open stretches. Hilly terrain and plenty of water depth. The current is helping our speed around ½ a knot on this part of the Illinois. There are lots of cool homes built on stilts, keep an eye out for logs. Many buoys are broken off and lying on shore. It’s amazing how many abandoned barges line the riverbank. This night we are spending the night at Illinois Riverdock Restaurant, formally Mel’s (618) 576-2363. It’s a 250’ face dock on the river, no services but only 25$ a night at MM21 Illinois River.
Third leg is from Beardstown to Alton Marina in St. Louis, distance today 36 miles. Rain in the AM before we left, the river is very wide in these parts. Deep water 15-25’ the Illinois joins the Mississippi at Mississippi MM218. Debris is heavy on Illinois and even more so on the Mississippi. The current was pushing us an extra 3 knots, this really helps speed and fuel economy. Tons of logs trees and buoys litter the water, some buoys are sitting right under the surface from the crazy current. Harbor Master Greg will be happy to have you at Alton Mariana MM202 (618) 462-9860 A bunch of my looper friends are here and we have been having a great ole time. Watching the Mississippi from the marina is great. all the goods and materials being moved by barge, and all the debris floating by from the flooding a week ago is a site to see.
Alton Marina covered slips, buy 3 nights get 3 free. 1$ a foot covered, hot tubs, pools, nice deli and ship store. Many businesses offer free rides to and from the marina.