Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"I" is for I & M Canal

My husband, Jim, and I traveled this great country of ours for SEVEN years in our RV. We saw many wonderful sights, visited famous and not so famous cities, and wandered through many a National Park. I have blogged through all our travels. I've stumbled upon the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013". I decided to jump on board this crazy train and share with all of you places I have seen in my travels.

Day 9 "Blogging from A-Z Challenge"!

"I" is for I & M Canal

"The Illinois and Michigan (I & M) Canal originally ran 96 miles from the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago to LaSalle-Peru, Illinois on the Illinois River. It allowed boat transportation from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The canal enabled transportation across the Chicago Portage and helped establish Chicago as the transportation hub of the United States. The canal ceased operations in 1956." Wikipedia

Portions of the canal have been filled in, and now it is only 61 miles in length. There is a nice bike path that runs along the canal.

In La Salle, IL you can take a boat ride that is pulled by a mule - just like in the old days.

Here is the boat, named "The Volunteer".

Our motor, a.k.a., the mule. 

Inside of boat

Once we got started, we could move up on top of the boat. The man in the straw hat was our tour guide/story teller. 

And we're off!

We're really moving now! (kidding!)

A view from the boat......up ahead train tracks on bridge.

Actually, the mule doesn't do all the work. He pulls for a little while, then the motor kicks in with the help from the Captain.

Work is done for the mule - at least for this boat trip!

If you are interest in reading about the history of the I & M canal, please click here.


Brian Miller said...

ha. we have been on a boat like that...somewhere down the this way...pretty cool...and def a strong mule

Valerie said...

Gosh, I'd love to go on that boat. It's quite spectacular.

Adam said...

I wonder how much that mule struggles

Banker Chick said...

I think this would make a interesting day trip. Mules can be hard workers.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Anonymous said...

Beautiful mule!

Lynn said...

How interesting that you posted this just after my trip to Chicago. I did not get to the canal, but my cousin told me about it. He said the canals were the reason Chicago grew into such a big city, just as you said. I've also read a book set on the Erie Canal in the days of mules pulling. It was interesting to read about how they managed the locks in the days before all was motorized.

WhisperingWriter said...

How fun!

Eva Gallant said...

That was something really different! Thanks for sharing!

Lil's Garden said...

Been there many, many times! Though I haven't gone for the boat ride yet, I did talk to the mules. ;) I love having the I&M and the state parks in my "back yard"
Thanks for sharing!

Danica Bridges-Martin said...

Looks like a beautiful place! :) Danica