Illinois River Part 3

4 Aug

(sorry I’m late but there was ZERO internet out there on the river…so this post is actually all about yesterday)

When wandering around the Great Loop, there is no doubt that the scenery is lovely, there is a plethora of wonderful restaurants, and tons of fascinating places.  However, what I will remember and treasure the most are the friendly and generous people we have met along the way. With that said, let me tell you about our day…

As you may know, Boyd is really good at planning and anticipating (I’m pretty sure all those years playing with the Navy would have influenced this fact).  Being such a good planner, he gets what’s called Notices to Mariners sent to his email account. This week he noticed one saying that there will be “a Safety Zone closing the river from 7 am until 7 pm” (at mile 69.8) due to “high wire work”.

…hmmm, so we needed to time our departure from Tall Timbers Marina so we arrive at mile 69.8 just as they reopen the river (at 7 pm)…


So, planning ahead, we delayed our departure until midmorning, and then delayed our arrival even more by making an ‘ice cream pit-stop’ at a little place called Beardstown.  This is where we tied up…

2parked at barge1

…yep, that’s a barge that Bushranger is tied to. 

3parked at barge 2

Since the town marina is no longer viable (it silted up years ago), the local tug company…

4tug company

…allows boats to tie up to some of their barges.  It was fascinating, walking across all the cables, cleats, and unknown do-wappies as we escaped to find the ice cream shop.

5town of beardstown

We wandered around Beardstown, Boyd with the map open and me craning my neck in search of the illusive ice cream shop (mannn, it was a HOT day), when ‘a big pickup truck’ (Aussie friends please translate that into ‘a massive ute’) pulled over and asked what we were looking for.  I piped up, “ICE CREAM!” The truck driver told us to hop in and he would drive us there – so in we went! 

Turns out that Gary (our kind truck/ute driver) is the Beardstown manager.  Not only did he deliver us to the Dairy Queen, but he waited for us and then gave us a tour of the town, finally dropping us off at the local historical museum with strict instructions to have a ‘look-see’.

So, of course, in we went.  We were enthusiastically greeted by the local historian and given a tour of the site (which included a whole lot about Abe Lincoln, which was really cool but way too much info for this little blog).  I’ll just say that we were standing in the middle of some pretty amazing history…


7plaque to abe

As we were wandering around, the door opened and two gents walked in.  Putting out their hands, one gent introduced himself as the mayor of the town and informed us the Gary (our friendly truck/ute driver and town manager) had called him and told him that there were some Aussies in the museum and he should go meet us.

…now that’s what I call friendly!…

So, after our tour of Beardstown, we left to try our luck at the closed river.

8high wires

…which turned out to be a non-event.  They must have reopened early because we never even paused at mile 69.8.  All well – a tempest in a teapot, as they say…

So tonight, Bushranger is bobbing gently ‘on the hook’.  We have anchored just off Big Blue Island and are looking forward to a lovely tomorrow while sharing the anchorage with friends onboard a trawler named My Dream…

9Big Blue Island

…only 59 miles ‘till we hit the Mississippi River…


2 Responses to “Illinois River Part 3”

  1. Christine Sutcliffe August 4, 2016 at 18:19 #

    You need to come back. I just found out about an ice cream shop in Hilton Head that has 94 flavours!

    • MrsB August 4, 2016 at 18:43 #

      …all right! We’ll be right there!!!!!

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