Photos from Marathon Saturday

The Starved Rock Country Marathon ran right past our front gate Saturday, May 13. Several members set up an aid station and served water and snacks to the runners.

This runner won last year and was way out in the lead (of the full marathoners) as he passed us.

Water and ice was in demand as the weather warmed up late in the morning.

Safe Boating Reminders

National Safe Boating Week is May 20-26, and as the boating season revs up, here are some reminders.

Life jackets save lives, and Illinois law requires that life jackets or life vests be available for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft. Anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway, unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property. Everyone must wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft. At SRYC, children under 13 must wear a life jacket on the docks.

Check your three-year boat registration/decal and renew their registration if it expires on June 30, 2017. Renew on the IDNR website at or by phone at 1-866-867-3542. To renew registration, have available the watercraft’s Illinois registration number, the first six characters of the watercraft’s hull ID number, the first three letters of the registered owner’s last name, and a credit card.

Owners of non-motorized watercraft, including canoes, kayaks and paddle boats, are required to purchase an Illinois Water Usage Stamp for $6.00 per year. Find stamps anywhere fishing or hunting licenses are sold.

Illinois law requires anyone born after January 1, 1998 to complete a Safe Boating course (and carry proof of it) in order to operate a boat with an engine larger than 10hp. Free one-day classes are offered at the Lock & Dam Visitor Center on June 24 and July 22. Call the park rangers at 815-667-4054 to register.

And speaking of fishing licenses, even if you don’t have one, Illinois Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 16-19, 2017. For more information on fishing in Illinois visit

Rain, rain, enough already!

The Illinois River at Ottawa will crest at about 466 ft. on Tuesday, May 2, according to National Weather Service estimates. While the NWS forecast a few days ago predicted  record-setting highs, a level of 466 feet would not make it into the top 5 all-time high water marks. Still, area residents and businesses are feeling the effects of closed roads and parking lots, flooded basements, mud and debris. Two power outages at SRYC over the weekend and well as road closures along Dee Bennett added to the inconvenience and uncertainty. If the forecast is accurate, our docks will rise about 6 feet, then fall back to normal over the next few days.

Recent high water marks include two in 2015 — 468.06 ft on 12/30/2015, Continue reading “Rain, rain, enough already!”