Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Illinois Valley Yacht (IVY) Club, Peoria Heights, IL to Tall Timbers Marina, Havana, IL — September 27, 2013

What a glorious morning with temps in the low 50’s but warming quickly.  No clouds and little wind and temps predicted in the mid 80’s.

Candy and I saw a tow go by when we were finishing our morning walk about 7:00 and I called the Peoria Lock at 7:30 to find out what their status was.  They thought they would be clear in about 2 hours.  I woke Lenore and said we would leave in about an hour or so to time getting to the lock around 10:00.

The cruise down to the lock was uneventful but Peoria looked nice in all the sunshine and there seemed to be plenty of boats in the marinas in downtown.  We did not pass any tows on the way to the lock although there was some traffic re-arranging barges on the side of the river.  When we got to the lock, it was empty and they opened the doors as we approached.  Only a drop of 10′ so it went quickly.

The weather stayed good for the day.  We did pass probably 5 tows during the day going south and probably 2 headed north.  Some of the towns are fairly large, 3 x 4 (3 barges wide by 4 barges long). They seem to all be traveling about 5 or 6 mph.

We arrived at Tall Timbers Marina in the early afternoon and tied up.  We had stayed here last year and this is the last marina on the Illinois River.  We still have 120 miles to Grafton IL. at the intersection of the Illinois River with the Mississippi River.  We will need to anchor out one night.

Havana is a medium small town of about 3600 residents with more than enough restaurants.  They are a little light on grocery stores.  The only store with some groceries is the Dollar General store.  No fresh food but lunchmeat, eggs, juice, snacks and dry goods.

There is a very nice Riverfront Park in town.  Candy and I have walked it.  It stretches about 5 city blocks along the river and has a Nature Center and a Campground.  The Tall Timbers Marina is at the north end of the park.

I talked with the Owner Bob about the spring floods.  He said the flood reached the 100 year flood mark plus 8″.  So they set a new record at flood level. He said he was glad they made him put his house and workshop above the 100 year flood level.  He designed the marina to be able to withstand flooding and other that one broken gangway he achieved his goal.  He had 3.5′ of water in the parking lot and had to launch the boats he had on stands but he survived well.