Monday, October 7, 2013


OK, here we go. After a very short, whirlwind stay in Chicago we left early in the morning to travel through the centre of Chicago. If the height of our boat was more than 15 feet we could not have done that due to several fixed bridges with limited space underneath for boats to go under. We had a nice view again of the buildings along the river.

The building in the above photo was very interesting as there was no sign of support on the outside - no window frames, concrete etc. The whole of the outside was made of glass.
I mentioned when we were in Canada that a lot of buildings had graffiti on them. Well, Chicago was no exception.
Just look at that lovely calligraphy. I wish that person would write my Christmas cards for me. However, underneath this sign was another one with a person depicted in the picture. Unfortunately, the person was using a bad word so I could not show the photo here.
After we left Chicago we entered the calm waters of the Illinois River. After the big waves of Lake Michigan, that was a treat. We were motoring along minding our own business when we kept hearing a thump at the back of the boat. We could not tell what it was so I went to investigate. It was Asian Carp throwing themselves at the boat. We had heard stories about this and had been told that sometimes the fish will jump in your dinghy at the back of the boat. The fish is an invasive species and not welcomed by everyone.

As you can see from the above photo an electric fence has been installed across the Illinois River in an attempt to stop the fish from going any further North. Gary's cousin, Perry told us that the fish are a real nuisance to water skiers as they will jump out the water and hit the skier. The fish are no lightweights as we could tell from the thump it made when it contacted the boat.
Oh my, I was in hog heaven later on in the day as we came across many, many white pelicans en route to Florida for the winter. I did not expect to see them and was thrilled.
 This photo contains nothing but the white pelican circling around before they headed South.
After the white pelicans we saw some Snow Geese (I think that is what they were despite not seeing the black feathers on the tip of their wings). Snow Geese are a nuisance in Maryland as they eat the seed and new growth that the farmers have planted. Many farmers have noise making machines to try and frighten the geese before they do too much damage.

Nearer to Peoria we passed a boat graveyard where they dismantle large boats for scrap. A couple of them did not look too bad to me.

I wonder how they got them out of the water and onto dry land.
Well, we are now home. The boat has been left in Peoria for our return at the end of October. We came home for our neighbor's son's wedding. What a lovely evening that was. We have watch Nathan grown up from being four years old to becoming a lawyer who passed the bar in the 98 percentile. We could not be more proud of him. We wish both Nathan and Kristi a long and happy marriage.
                                      Nathan's elder sister, Rachel.
                                      Nathan's younger sister, Laura.
                                                  The bride and groom.
                 The bride and groom's first dance as a married couple.
                                        Father and daughter dance.

Mother and son dance.
To finish - a photo of sunrise on our home creek. We will take a break from the blog for a month so that Gary can go to see his parents in Independence and for me to see my parents in the UK.

Remember to smile at everyone you meet. They will return the smile or wonder what you have been up to. See you in a month.


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