Woke up at 6:00 to get Nightingale ready for a 78 mile trip down river to Beardstown, IL and see Audrey off for a couple days to attend her friend’s wedding. Eric, Jess, Alyssa, and I set off for the day. We first came across the Peoria Lock and Dam which is also a wicket dam, they lower down the gates when the river is high to keep water moving instead of flooding the upper lock areas. This is a very strange feeling passing by a lock that you normally would enter and lower down in, the plus side is this saves a tremendous amount of time and we were able to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.
The trip down the river was uneventful, by now you might be asking why we chose to stop in beardstown? Well…. This is the only real place to stop and tie up that can accommodate Nightingale’s size and draft. I should mention that you do not tie up to a dock, you tie to a barge that is working 24/7 and there is a pretty strong current here also which makes things interesting. For dinner Eric grilled up some steaks and vegetables which were excellent on our newly refurbished grill that is built into the bridge deck. After dinner we elected to go walk through the “town” and quickly determined that this is not our kind of place!
We got back to the boat to watch some movies and turn in for the night, tomorrow we head to Alton, IL and the Mighty Miss.
Capt. Ray Bock