Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

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curtgard
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Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby curtgard » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:50 am

On August 2, 2017, I met up with Ray Macke with his boat in Peoria, Illinois for a 5 day cruise up and down the Illinois River. We launched at Detweillers Marina and stayed overnight after launching at the Peoria city docks. The city docks were in good shape but left a little to be desired because of bird dropping all over the docks. They were free but no power so I ran the generator for the A/C. The docks are located next to the downtown area but the area is in decline but it was a quiet night aboard "Curt's Dream."
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Ray's True Grit boat at the docks while Ray and I cruise on the river by the docks
The next morning we headed South downstream with a destination of Havana Illinois. There was one lock to go through a few miles downstream of Peoria but we did not have to lock through since the river was high. The dam at this lock is a wicket design where the dam is lowered into the river when the water is high.
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Relaxing day on the river with the auto pilot doing the steering
We stayed at Tall Timbers Marina in Havana for the night and walked to the downtown area and had a good meal at the Townhouse restaurant. It was a very quiet evening with the marina sitting is a small cove off the river. Ray and I stayed up way past my bed time talking about boats and boating.

The next morning we headed back up stream to the Peoria area where we stopped for the night at the Illinois Valley Yacht Club. The facility was very nice but the on site restaurant appeared too nice for us dressed in blue jeans and shorts, so we opted to have supper on our boats instead. Even through there were lots of large and nice boats in the marina, I still liked my boat better than any parked at the marina.

The third day we continued on upstream to Spring Valley, Illinois. We passed a couple of neat things on the way to Spring Valley. First we went under the double track railroad bridge of the BNSF railroads main line from Los Angles to Chicago. Being a railroad fan also, I was pleased to see two trains cross the span but we were too far away for good pictures.
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Continued in next post with more pictures

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby curtgard » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:36 am

Later in the day after meeting and passing several barge tows, a helicopter with a chainsaw like device on a long cable was trimming trees near a power line along the river. The pilot was leaning out the side of the copter as he steered along the power line. I had never seen this done before and it was quite interesting to watch.
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Saw got stuck while cutting and smoked


We stayed that night at the Spring Valley Boat Club where the people were very nice. Several people had to have tours of Ray's boat and my boat. They were in awe that Ray and I had built our boats and one of the gentlemen even had to bring his wife back the next morning to see our boats.
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Docked at Spring Valley Boat Club


We headed back downstream the next morning to Peoria passing back under the BNSF railroad bridge. This time I got lucky and two more trains went over the bridge as we got close and was able to get several pictures. Life is good, trains and boats.
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BNSF fast freight


A very exciting cruise comes to an end when we arrive back in Peoria but not before spending another night at the Peoria city docks. This time we were able to find an area on the docks with no bird droppings. The next morning before pulling out to head back to our trailers, a couple of boats on The Great Loop pulled into the docks. We talked to them about The Great Loop, which I plan on traveling next year and they also wanted a tour of our boats.

Only too soon, the boats are loaded back onto the trailers so I could get back home for a doctors app't. I can't remember when the last time was that I had so much fun. It was even made better to be boating with Ray as he showed me many things about my electronics. Ray and I talked about when we can get together again and I can hardly wait to got boating with him again as he is so enjoyable to cruise with.

Stay tuned for my next cruise

Curt

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby Bill Edmundson » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:52 am

Curt

The Gathering would be a great time for you and Ray to get together! You sure had the chance to learn from the best!

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

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psychobilly
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby psychobilly » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:23 pm

Bravo gentleman! Nice adventure.

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hoodman
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby hoodman » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:26 pm

Thanks for sharing, Curt. We can live the cruiser life vicariously.

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raymacke
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby raymacke » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:22 pm

Yes, Curt and I had a great time knocking around the Illinois Waterway. We covered a little over 200 miles and had just perfect weather to do it. I was looking forward to getting to see his boat for the first time and I wasn't disappointed! It is well thought out, very nicely built and truly impressive. He plans on attending The Gathering so everyone there will get a chance to see it for themselves. We took a lot of photos but I really like this one. It really doesn't do his boat justice but captures the spirit of our cruise.

IMG_3908 (Large).JPG


Also, Here is a video of him making a high speed pass. Not bad for a 30+ ft boat!

https://youtu.be/qk1eHWqbcYc

The True Grit /Coastal Cruiser stable is growing!!!
So Many Rivers,
So Little Time....

JimmY
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby JimmY » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:14 am

That photo is perfect. I saw it first, and then read your text, and had the same thought.

I look forward to reading about many more adventures of you cruising.

Enjoy!
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

Brad Tucker
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby Brad Tucker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:59 pm

Thanks for sharing!

VinceP
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby VinceP » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:08 pm

Looks like a great time Curt!

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chugalug
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby chugalug » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:51 am

:D Adventure stories are AWESOME.Love reading and seeing pics of adventure in other places.Hope I can start doing mine soon too. :D
Working on regular-sized Bo-Jest


"If it's not crooked,It's not mine

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gap998
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby gap998 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:45 pm

Love cruising stories - keep 'em coming Curt.

I've mentioned them before, but members may find the "Narrowdog" series of books from fellow Welshman Terry Darlington entertaining; especially "Narrowdog to Indian River" where he chronincles cruising the Intracoastal Waterway in a 60' x 6'10" English Narrowboat.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Narrow-Dog-Car ... 0553816691
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Narrow-Indian- ... 0553818163
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Narrow-Wigan-P ... 0857500635

UK links, but they're available on US site too.
Gary

Planning a whole fleet, but starting with a Zip...I think.

"Just when you think you've made something idiot-proof, someone builds a better idiot!"

TheVK12
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design- Illinois River

Postby TheVK12 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:05 pm

I spotted "Curt's Dream" while driving on the highway in Tennessee two days ago. She's a real beauty, even outside her normal environment!
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