Beginning Location: Beardstown, IL
Ending Location: Hardin, IL
Miles Traveled: 67
Weather: Windy enough to slow us down
Stayed at: The Illinois Riverdock Restaurant ($25 flat fee)
Wednesday morning we woke early again for our most challenging day yet. We wanted to travel 67 miles from Beardstown to Hardin, IL where Mel’s Riverdock Restaurant has a floating dock we could tie to. We also had the La Grange Lock to navigate.
Lucky for us, we called the lock and they told us to be there at 9am, after they had finished locking a tow through. We were able to get through the dock by 9:30 and start a long day of motoring. The wind was against us much of the day and it was enough to slow us down by about a 1/2 mile an hour. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you travel 6.5 to 7 mph, every little bit helps.
The day was mostly uneventful, except we passed our first tow traveling in the same direction as us. Bruce expertly powered our little 21 horse motor up a few more RPMs and got by the tow without incident. Unfortunately, Maria was too busy trying not to wet herself to take pictures! We were happy to find we have a little bit of power reserve when we need it, and can push the boat to about 7.5 mph. It does heat up the engine, but it’s good to know we can do it if needed.
We docked at Mel’s at about 6pm, just as the sun was beginning its descent. Mel’s is one of those “must stop” places people on the Great Loop rave about, but honestly we weren’t impressed. The restaurant is a family-style diner with good but not great food. It provides a great service in giving boaters a safe place to tie up, but we wouldn’t recommend anyone travel out of their way to visit.
After dinner, we watched New Dawn, the tow Bruce had passed earlier, go by us. If we hadn’t passed him, it would have been well after dark by the time we reached Mel’s. Good call Bruce!
Exhausted after another long day, we slept well in this quiet stretch of river.