Ottawa to Peroria day trip
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Ottawa to Peroria day trip

  1. #1
    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    Default Ottawa to Peroria day trip

    Went down the Illinois river a few weeks ago, Ottawa to Peroria for lunch @ Joe's Crab Shack. Kind of cloudy, and marginal weather, but stayed warm and dry. The temps were in the 90's, and humiduity was high, thank goodness for the clouds. Launched @ Starved Rock Marina, and proeeded south to the lock & dam, got right in and out, and continued on our way. The water was smooth as glass, the whole trip, till reaching the Peoria basin. The last two miles were choppy, untill reaching the bridge and down town area. Had a great lunch, and checked out the river festival going, before heading back north. We headed up river to fuel up, water had gotten rougher, so getting into and out of the marine was a chore. We got as much fuel in as we could, and started up river. The chop lasted for the next seven miles, that was when we could get up on plane. This ate up much more fuel than we planned, and getting home was going to be tight on fuel. The low fuel horn came on about three miles south of the lock & dam, 6PM on a Saturday, most of the marina's were closed. we really did not know where to readily get fuel. We made it to the lock but were in line for three 12 pack barges. Well we radio'ed the lock master for passage, and were told it would be a while, before we could go thru. So we thought about the fuel issue, and decided to go down river a little to ask for help, from the fishermen, on the shoreline. Someone we were very grateful to, drive one of us into town for fuel, if we watched over his wife and two dogs. There were several Ruskies twenty yards or so down river, that made the angler worry for his wife. We agreed to to watch over them for the next 25 minutes or so. Our angler and friend returned with a two gallon fuel jug, and a gallon of milk, so it appeared. Two gallons of fuel in the can can, it as all they had the only one they had, and a milk jug filled with gas.... So we fuel up on three gallons, thanks the angler and his wife, for their troubles, even begged them to take money from us. He said he owned a boat, and knows what it was like, so he refused to take any money. we returned to the lock, and proceeded to wait, Lock master radioed, and said we needed to relocate, so we did, and the barges came thru. The kept coming, breaking down in six packs, half through at a time. We finally got notified by the lock master @ 8:30 we could go thru with the last barge if the Captain agreed. 9:30 comes, and we get radioed in to the lock. It is anther hour before we reach the top, and the tug re-atached to the first set of barges he pushed thru the locks. so no it's after 10:30 pm, and we follow the barge thru the channel, keeping distance from the turbulance, and deciding the next move. Well we were not sure how far it was back to the marina, and is was a no moon night, so it was DARK. We decided if we were gonna make it, we had to do it on plane, so we fired up the spot light. The Barge Captain lit up the channel for the next couple miles, so we had some visiblity at least. We gave the barge Captain a wave and hit it. Not sure exactly how far we went, but lost sight of the barge, when we found Starved Rock Marina, just as we turned in the fuel warning came on again, Whew we made it! Loaded up the boat, and finally emptied the coolers and our bladders. The Tug boat churned on by as we were pulling out of the marina, and we were thinking wow what a hell of a DAY! With all that went wrong, we had a friggin blast. Good think we brought some snacks, cause that was dinner 75 miles one way in a jet boat is a feat, 150 mles round trip is un believable. Over 65 gallons of fuel was burnt in 14 hours............ Till next time
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
    DRAG BOAT RACING UMPBA #926


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  3. #2
    Senior Member APOLLO's Avatar
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    What a story! The river can get a little scary at night in a little boat. I would love to do a trip like that but I would have to bring some gas cans with for sure.

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    The Great Humongous P-Money's Avatar
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    What boat were you guys in?

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  6. #4
    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    thankfully not mine, I have no lights, but otherwise I could have handled the journey on this day. No but we took rode along with some friends in thier Sugersand.
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
    DRAG BOAT RACING UMPBA #926


  7. #5
    Pie Wagon Newbomb Turk's Avatar
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    The lock's down there are always a biotch. I've been stuck on the houseboat a few times (which isn't too bad on the houseboat). Also made the trip with the jet boat once and got real lucky with the locks. Chuck, while you were below the locks did you notice how few boaters were there? How about the sandy beaches? I actually prefer putting in at Henry and boating down to one of the beaches and playing all day. Henry has a small hotel at the marina plus good chow and now and then a band plays. They also have fuel there. Plenty far enough from all the BS up Morris/Seneca way. Check it out, let me know, I'd like to head back down there.
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  8. #6
    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    Mark, Yes your correct, no boat traffic! un believable, more tugs than boats moving, and more barges than boats on the water. Yea you could say it would be a hot boater paradise, due to lack of heavy traffic and jet-skis. The beaches looked as if they could be nice, saw just a few camped out, as the water was very high still. Yea we want to go back, when the water levels drop some.
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
    DRAG BOAT RACING UMPBA #926


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