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2 of 2 - Time does not stand still on the Loop!

Continued from post: 1 of 2 - Time does not stand still on the Loop!

Leaving Chicago behind us
Four boats left Chicago the same day - it was all our first time down river, so we felt there would be safety in numbers. Not that anyone was expecting trouble, but it is reassuring to know that we had others with us.

Illinois River:

So far, we've stopped at the free wall in Joliet, the Heritage Marina in the town of Ottawa, anchored behind Hennepin Island (coldest day and night so far, 3c!), spent two days in Peoria (one day at a marina, the next at the free wall), then had to spend the next 3 nights at anchor. The Illinois River turned out to be interesting.  I'm glad we did it. We've been on the lookout for the asian carp - and yes, they do jump out of the water when surprised.

Ottawa, IL:

Driving a car!
Courtesy car to go to Walmart to re-supply!
Overlooking Heritage Harbor Marina
Hennepin Island, IL:
Waiting at one of the locks - tied up to friends.
Home made chicken noodle soup - a gift from Trish! So good!!!
Coldest day so far!!!
Peoria, IL:
Tow and barges!!! 

Peoria free wall

Quiver Island:
From the dinghy

Bar Island
Early morning sunrise

Hurricane Island

We've almost reached the end of the Illinois River and are about to get on the Mississippi River! Bigger Barges, more debris and a swifter current. We are staying at the Grafton Harbor Marina for the next couple of days.  We're appreciating what it has to offer. Laundry, Showers, Ship Store, courtesy vehicle and a pool!!!

Grafton, Il
Re-supply trip to Walmart - another one!
Courtesy vehicle! 
Grafton Harbor Marina
Pelicans standing guard
This weekend, a couple of other boats decided to rent cars.  They both invited us to tag along to go visit Saint-Louis, MS. We are really glad we accepted their offers!  Padraigin and Carousel, you guys are awesome!  We visited the Gateway Arch (we will be trying to get photos from the boat when we go by) and the Budweiser Brewery where we got a tour of the grounds, stables and factory... it's a pretty impressive place and industry.

Saint Louis, MS
The foot of the arch

In the pod going to the top of the Gateway Arch - Yikes 
View from the top
Selfie with the Arch in the background
Visited Budweiser Brewery - including the stables... Wow

We've met many non-boaters/Loopers since we've started out Loop. One of the frequent questions we hear is are we traveling as a group. We are, but we aren't... we all need to follow the rivers and the seasons dictate our timelines, but we each do our own planning. We catch up, fall back, stay longer or go faster... the Looper fleet is like a giant slinky! We love meeting up with friends we've made along the way, and are always a bit sad when our schedule don't match up and we part ways again.

Ready or not, Mississippi River, here we come!!!!

Tina & Papi

"In life, it's not where you go, it's who you travel with" 

– Charles Schultz