June 5th, we went downriver on the Fox to Algonquin, Illinois, with Kevin and Kelly in our quest to get passport stamps for the 2012 Chain Crawl. They drove their boat, so it was even better for me as I just got to relax and go along for the ride.
They have a house on the Chain and picked us up at the Legion and we hightailed it downriver, through McHenry and to the locks at the McHenry Dam. You don't want to go on the river part of the Chain on a weekend or holiday because of how rough the Fox River gets and the horrendous waits at the lock, which can just accomodate four boats at a time going through each way. And with some of the bigger GRB boats, maybe only two.
Going on a Tuesday as it was, there were no boats ahead of us and we were the only ones through. We noticed a mile marker at the lock for the first time that read 99, meaning that there was another 99 miles of the Fox River before it joins the Illinois River.
An even bigger hassle at the lock is who gets to grab ahold of the slimy ropes hanging down into it to hold your boat in place, one good reason be the captain because that gets you an exempt. Those ropes are really nasty.
We then cruised straight through to Algonquin, as far south as you can go on the Fox River part of the Chain of Lakes because of the dam located there (no locks). We used to regularly go the distance until we found that we weren't welcome at Port Edwards, the last place to visit on the river.
More to Come. --RoadDog
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