America's Great Loop
Page 8
Off to Leland Michigan
Straight away, a lady bug landed on our chart, an omen of good luck! and as it turned out , it was a pleasant day on Lake M.
Like many of the ports on the East Coast of the Lake, this is a small lake that is connected to lake Michigan. As is the norm, the entrance is guarded by a light house and a concrete channel.
This harbor of Refuge, turns no one away. The had full slips and rafted us all up outside and along the aft of the docked boats.  Up to 3 deep.
This small fishing village was really tourist shops. Kinda looked like the movie set from the movie Popeye.
On to Frankfort Mi.
Having put my camera and cell phone on top of the cooler on the aft deck, I immediately turn on the hose , which, as it happens, is lying in such a position, it soaks the camera, and kills it DEAD! So , we had to buy a new one,and there are not too many pics of Frankfort, cause I din't get it till the 2nd day there.
Frankfort Municipal Marina, a harbor of Refuge
Stayed two days, to catch the bus to Radio Shack for a new Camera.
Walked to the beach area just north of the inlet, here's the view looking north and south.
Off to Ludington, where the Municipal Marina was full.
Looking back, there was fog in the valley of the town.
The municipal Marina was full, so we got out good ol "Skipper Bob's Cruising Guide" and he said there was a "rough" wall you could tie to,,,,,, but
it was very rough, water wise and It was corigated like this wall, so your fenders were pretty much useless, and you boat would get beat, and the municipal marina charged you regular rates to dock there so... we went back to Skipper Bob's book.
and found the Yacht Club.
Dockage was along side at $1 a foot, and they had nice showers, electric, water, and protection. Anchoring there was out of the question , Way too Deep.
And they had swans.
Most of the Harbors of Refuge had these small Coast Guard Stations.
There are two large car ferrys that go across the lake. Beats the drive on a good day.
Next destination, White Lake
Why is it, every town we have been to on this trip, that has a cinema, this it what's showing?
This small town main street was closed for some kind of a festival.
They had a Fire Engine Pull, down main street.
Concluded the festivities with Hor de Vours and drinks at this fine local establishment.
On our early morning departure, many fishing boats were headed out. Note the numerous fishing rods, and downriggers.
Another reminder that I wasn't in Key Largo anymore , Toto.
The following part of this trip is WAY out of order!I left out the Great Chute somehow, so I will put it here, (it was back in Canada at the end of the Trent.) Enjoy!
If you don't already know,your probably wondering what the Heck this is?? Well I'm gonna show you. This is the Big Chute, a rail lift system that takes boats up and over land, and  down a hill to the next waterway. I found it an engineering marvel!
I had read and seen picture of the Big Chute on the net, so I was very excited to see this in operation. We tied up to the courtesy dock, got of the boat and walked over to see exactly how this works.
First some facts.
First they drive the Marine Railway into the water, and the boats drive in, one at a time
Large straps are used to hold the boats upright, secure, and in place
After the Marine Railway is loaded, and the boats secure, they start to drive it out of the water and over the hill.
The Railway drives on Rail Road track, like a train. Here it has come out of the water and is crossing the street, headed over the hill. It is just like a train as the RR crossing board stop traffic on the road.
Here's the view from on board at the top of the hill, looking down. What a THRILL!
Starting down the hill
Half way down....
By the way, the dingy I was towing behind, was put beside the boat, and as the water drained out, it rested on the wooden floor of the Marine Railway.
After the Railway drives into the water, the straps are lowered, and the boats drive off. WOW! What a ride!!!
To celebrate the Big Chute, I bought chili dogs with fries at the local marina restaurant.
How long can I get away with buying the first mate these cheap meals?

And Now, we return you to our regularly scheduled web pages.
Our last Marina before Chicago, and one of the best yet!
New docks,new clean marina with all the amenities, and nice price. Pay attention here Florida!!
Fixed new docks, and that's ok, cause there is NO tide.
After a long, long, rough crossing, we could finally see Chicago! LAND ho~!
Our Marina for the nite

The Marina was protected by this breakwater wall.
We were in a terrific slip, right on the bike and joging path, with security gates, right down town.
The next day we unloaded the bikes, and rode to the museum, just a mile or so away.
This is a bad picture of our million dollar view at nite.
Off to Joliet , Ill.
We had to go thru the Chicago Dam , that prevents the river from flowing into the lake.
The Lock Master would no lock us thru until we put on Life Jackets, never had that happen before or since. Power thing I guess.
On the Illinois River, this is for real! We were bottom of the totem pole, behind everyone else.
We literally went right thru down town Chicago. What  a  ride.
After leaving down town, things got really comercial, and traffic was exciting, to say the least
We had to go thru here.....
and here....
and here.
There was some pretty neat manuvering going on, so neat we din't take any pictures. Too busy, too nervous.
This is where they crunch cars into small squares. This is before.
This is after.
After a short wait, we lock thur the 2nd dam , just before jolliet.
We tied off at the free docks, with free electric, at Joliet.
Headed to Starved Rock Marina
River navigation is alot simpler, there are mile markers at most shore side daymarks.
This part of the Illinois is very commercial. Lots of Barges and unloading docks for them. I ALWAYS gave them the right of way!
It was a Sunday, and small boats were everwhere. The barges just kept chuggin, and the little guys just seem to ignore the barges.
Everyone Beached their boats here,.......
Ignoring the "no trespassing" sign.
Finally, an un sinkable boat, that's cheap to operate!
How to recycle a boat into a bar
We were booked and supposed to stay here , one of the members named Dennis, a drunk, ignorant, throwing his beer can in the water  jerk, who claimed to be the dock master,changed our minds.... We went to Starved rock marina instead. Guess there's one guy on every trip.
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