June 12, 2010–Fisherman’s Corner Camp, Lock 14

Heavy drizzle to start the day, which persisted well into the afternoon, leaving me drenched, but not cold.  The bargain I offered–for a day of rain, but free of wind–must have been agreeable to the powers that be, and I was happy to have calm waters.

Crossed a lake, about 2 miles by 6 miles, in which was a small island containing vast flocks of gulls, pelicans, and loons.  The stench of their guano could be smelled at a great distance.

At Lock 13, I had but a 20 minute wait, a welcome change from recent lockage.  The 70-year-old Georgian gentleman heading south in his dark hunting boat had been waiting for 2 hours, and informed me that the lock had been disabled for 2 days.  It was a fortuitous time for me to have taken a day of rest!

Past the lock was the town of Clinton.  A massive wooden railroad bridge led into town, and a large segment of it was pivoted 90 degrees and made flush with the riverbank to allow passage of the barges.  Instead of the main channel, I opted to shortcut along Beaver Slough, where I hoped to see some of the town.  Alas, this byway only revealed a string of power plants and other monstrous industrial sites, towering smoke stacks billowing.

Stopped for lunch at the only sheltered spot I could find—some form of municipal pier in Camanche, Illinois.  I sat on the concrete base of the supports, out of the rain, and ate a simple cold lunch of my customary peanut butter/jelly/tortilla.  Once again, my pedal drive has been damaged and is at half power.  The forces exerted on the metal rod which holds the flipper in place have proven too much for it, and it sheared off.  Thus, I am once more faced with enacting some form of repair, though now I must have parts shipped to me somewhere along the way.  The inconvenience of making the repair seems at this time secondary to that of locating the part and devising a timeline of when and where to receive it!

Day 29:  44 miles, 1 lock


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