Picture Stories

Illinois, Mississippi & Ohio Rivers

A mile plus down the Chicago River, then four miles on the South Branch Chicago River to the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. 32 miles of canal to the Des Plaines River near Joliet. 17 miles down the Des Plaines to its confluence with the Kankakee River, the official start of the Illinois River. 54 total river/canal miles from Lake Michigan: 58 road bridges, 13 RR bridges, 3 suspended pipelines, 2 locks and 1 electronic fish barrier to keep the Asian Carp out of Lake Michigan.

Cruising through downtown Chicago is special and I’m grateful for the Sanitary Canal because without it you couldn’t loop the Loop. But it’s hard to escape the feeling that this is the armpit of the Great Loop. The northern part of the New Jersey ICW is a close second.

Five more locks as the Illinois slowly becomes a typical winding Midwest river making its way 273 miles to the Mississippi. Two locks and 218 miles down the Mississippi. One lock and 48 miles up the Ohio River to the Tennessee River (or 58 to the Cumberland – either gets you to Kentucky Lake).

The inland rivers of mid America are where L.T. is most at home and gives nothing away to bigger Looper trawlers, well, except for living space. She can slip into tight or shallow anchorages, under low bridges and even tie up to islands a la Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. She is nimble in locks, can easily hide from big barge rigs and is fast and efficient enough to overcome the strongest river current without guzzling fuel.

ALL boats are compromises. Try to be as comfortable as possible with the compromises you’ll have to make if you need to buy a boat.

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Conrail CSX Railrod Bridge

Conrail CSX Railrod Bridge

God Bless America

God Bless America

American Gothic

American Gothic

Starved Rock Lock & Dam

Starved Rock Lock & Dam

Florence Hwy Bridge

Florence Hwy Bridge

Mouth of the Missouri River

Mouth of the Missouri River

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

Hoppies

Hoppies

Bill Burke

Bill Burke

America

America

Little River Diversion Canal

Little River Diversion Canal

Horse Drinking Fountain

Horse Drinking Fountain

Paducah Floodwall Mural

Paducah Floodwall Mural

Gold Rush Cafe

Gold Rush Cafe

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival

Barkley Lock & Dam

Barkley Lock & Dam

Yes!

Yes!

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