Saturday, October 07, 2006


Sorry it's been so long since I updated. Believe it or not, internet connections are hard to get in Chicago - unless you want to lug the laptop all over town looking for a Starbuck's.
Chicago was a blast! We spent one whole day at the Field Museum and the King Tut exhibit. The King Tut thing was a little disappointing as the king himself wasn't there. It was just a bunch of stuff about King Tut and his family. The real stuff must still be in Egypt. The rest of the museum was cool, including Sue, the largest and most complete T. Rex ever found.
Tuesday we went to the Sears Tower, and then had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Our waiter was a guy named Walter and he was a total character. Another waiter came over and talked with us. He was a real rocker, and looked the part. He says his band has a CD out. His real goal is to be a paleontologist! He's actually working on a degree.
Wednesday we went to the aquarium and the planetarium. At the aquarium we came face to face with a live Komodo Dragon. We also got to see the real "Nemo" from "Finding Nemo."
Thursday, we lowered the masts as the waterway is loaded with low bridges. Thursday night, our last night in Chicago we took a walk downtown. We must have walked 5 miles in search of real Chicago style deep-dish pizza. We found some at an English pub called The Exchequer and it was excellent.
Friday morning we left the marina at 7:00 AM. We went through the Chicago lock which was really wierd. The lock is huge (200 ft x 600 ft?) but very shallow. Once we got in the lock and got hold of the ropes, the lock cycled in about 10 seconds. It must have dropped us all of 6 inches.
After that we cruised right through downtown Chicago, the skyscrapers towering over us. Then we made some good time, traveling down the river at 7 mph until we hit an area filled with barges coming and going. It took about an hour to get one mile down the river. Then we came to a lock which had half a raft of barges just going in. The tow had taken the other half through just before we got there. The lock tender asked the tow captain if we could tag along and he said OK. We entered the lock behind the tow and tied up to one of his barges. After the lock cycled, he towed us out of the lock along with his barges. An awesome trip, but it took over and hour to transit the lock. The result was that we couldn't make it all the way to our intended destination for the night, Harborside Marina. We had to stop in Joliet at the Bicentenial Park.
Finally, this morning we set out for Harborside. We got to the Brandon Road lock and the lock tender let us cycle through before the big tow that was waiting. If he didn't, it would have been a 2 1/2 hour wait for the tow to cycle through. We made it here to Harborside about noon and decided to take showers and relax. They have Wi-Fi here and cable TV, so it's a good place to update the blog and then just chill. We did over 60 miles in the last 2 days, so that's pretty good.
We're finally on our way South!

1)The Sears Tower from the Chicago River.
2)Canyons of concrete and steel.
3)Low bridge! Everybody down!
4)The skyline from the water as we were leaving.
5)The night time skyline from our dock at the marina.
6)Up close and personal with a dragon who just wouldn't hold still to have his picture taken.
7)The dolphin show at the aquarium
8)At the Hard Rock
9)At the Hard Rock
20)Bev and I at the top of Sears tower. Just past my right arm you can see the marina we stayed in.

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