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  1. #1
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    Blarneys Island soon the drags again!

    My old stomping grounds! 70's 80's the best times! A bit of history 2 pix..(and a link

    http://blarneyisland.com/history.html

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  2. Likes Michael J Giesler, drag120 liked this post
  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robby321 View Post
    My old stomping grounds! 70's 80's the best times! A bit of history 2 pix..(and a link

    http://blarneyisland.com/history.html

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    Thanks for posting all the pictures both here and in the other thread. Also, thank you for your service.

    That being said, the first I seen of the chain was in 1990 or so. Mostly just drinking and fishing on Channel Lake. I was only 15 then, and lived in Chicago still. That's what friends were for though and we had lots of parties at parents places both there and Lake Koshkonog out by Janesville.

    Once I had a drivers license I was going everywhere, except for the chain. The Chain was really busy on the weekends, like no way would I ski out there on the weekends so I went elsewhere because I was water skiing a lot back then, so were friends.

    Bought my first boat in winter 93-94 from a friend. Knew the boat well. Summers 94-95 I had a slip at Lake Mary Resort, Twin Lakes, WI. That was right next to the Pink House. Would spend a day or two out there on the weekend, Mad Dan's for dinner, and then drive RT 12 to 53 back into Chicago. Wonder how that would go now? RT 12 was getting kind of busy back then.

    Summer 96-97 I worked too much and did not have a slip but left boat at a buddies in Winthrop Harbor. We would go to Silver Lake form there when time allowed. Beach was getting a little busy back then, but I had a boat, so......

    Winter 97-98 I bought my first house. It was about as far south as you could go on the Fox River, and I was on the river. For the most part, I stayed on the river, only going up into the chain a few times. The locks you had to go through were only about 100' feet long, double wide. It could take 2-3 hours to get through there on weekends, no way I wanted any part of that.

    Lots of trips to the Broken Oar and a few to Blarneys to watch the drag races. If the locks were not busy, it did not take long at all to get up there. But never know how long it will take to get back through, and those guys at the locks were coast guard or some kind of LEO.

    I wonder how busy the chain is now. I know they had a speed limit at night out there, way back when. Forget if it were 25 or what exactly. I know it was not fast at all, but there were a lot of wrecks at night out there, even after the speed limit were in place.

    I lived in the area until 03 and have not been back much since. In the 5+ years I lived there it went from mostly a weekend residence type area to full blown sub-divisions everywhere. And it extended miles to the west too. Crazy, rapid expansion in that area.

    All I got for now, except for a map for those unfamiliar with the area. I was south of Pistakee Lake about 15 miles on the Fox River. It was a neat ride though. I miss the experience, but imagine the place is nothing like what I remember it being.


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  4. #3
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    Went a few times through the locks, but time involved not worth it as still same river. Snowmobiled down that way a lot to, as up river all the way to Wilmot. Like said, last time me there was 06. And stopped late 80's going there when my buddy sold the house, and it was getting too crowded (lakes and roads there and back W/E's) and sold the boat and back into MC road trips. Last time there. seems everything changed, all the good bars gone and now condo's. Just aint the same as it was in the hey days..
    Commerce maps (need blowing up or mag glass to read) from 70's.

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  5. #4
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    The big difference when you were north of the locks were the boats sitting on the lifts. The price and or performance of the boats was upped like 10 fold. That is where most of the S+F type boats were at back then. I only had a 17' deep v with a 79 TOP that went 40 on a good day.

    It was fun to sit on the front porch on weekends and watch some boats really move out. One of the few things I miss about that area.

  6. #5
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    If on the river ya had to have a lift, or boat beat to hell with the constant traffic. I was there 06 as went to see Bobby Switzer on the river McHenry. Weekday, so it was kinda dead. Spent a lot of time though before the bars McHenry, 120 bridge...

  7. #6
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    Yeah, I had a lift. Bought it right after I bought the house.
    The pier came with the house and it was tilted about 15* upriver because somebody hit it with a jet-ski right before the house was listed.
    2 years after I owned the house, somebody hit it from the other direction and almost straightened it out. It was still about 5* upriver when all said and done. The passenger on the second strike tried to sue me for medical bills. Home owners took care of it.

  8. Likes Robby321 liked this post
  9. #7
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    And thinking now down river at the 120 in McHenry bars (no wake there) Remember one late night, damn near closing down one the bars, me, gf, buddy and gf rear seats left and go back up river Pistakee. Damn fog bank (not too bad) was like 10 feet off the water then clear above. So past the no wake now, nail it, and starting to really hook up propped. Hell want to remind you how fog magnifies sight. So were cooking and along and seems like the TITANIC (big ass cruiser plowing) was slowly chugging middle river, as saw way up there a bow light! I caught the taillight the barge, and KNEW a "oh ****" moment coming! Saw the plowing wake, and the rest didn't! I couldn't lay off the foot in time and wham, "to the moon" when hit the roller! I mean TOO THE Moon! We were straight up out the water, and I was looking at the MOON! I looked back and stern light was NOT showing any roostertail, but a over revving motor! Luckily came down the high side next roller, slammed down normal. Stopped, say "everybody OK?" Goofy "Silly Billy" in back said........COOL do that again! Trust me, I got damn good Angels, keep me around as "WTF is he gonna do next...might as well keep'em for the entertainment"..........(got a zillion stories the Chain!)

    Damn I loved that boat! (wish I had more pix, but were having a damn good time!)Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #8
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    One more..

    When I went back 2006,. and saw all the at one time great bars are gone,"Happy Ours" by us, and "Eagle point resort" Joes puppet bar. I saw condo's and houses,. but all I saw was a "Back to the future" mems. The crazy, loud, wasted idiots that made the Chain so damn special...................

  11. #9
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    Yes, there were lots of condos there when I left, 2003. So many right by the water too.

    When I moved to that area in 97 everybody was surprised that I was moving so far out of Chicago. It was about 35 miles to the old neighborhood, and as long as you were where you needed to be by 7am, you were fine traffic wise. In the 5 years i lived in that area I watched the Chicago Metro area expand far past me. New subdivisions of all kinds, hell I built countless homes and additions in that area professionally. What a time to be there, but again, it was a double edged sword so to speak.

    The area I am in now is becoming heavily populated too. Lots of diversity happening here. Interesting to see the changes in society, how people deal with one another. When I lived in the Fox River Chain area I knew all my neighbors, and most of the people in the neighborhood too. People were friendly like that. Now i know my neighbors by name, a couple of them. Most of them I do not want to know though, just judging by how they keep up their house/yard.

    Need to find another place like that to retire to. Somewhere a little warmer then northern IL though. Not a big fan of winter anymore.

  12. #10
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    Talk about expansion, I remember as a kid (lived Riverside) and had a uncle that lived Downers Grove. Just off a main street, and after him it was a dirt road west! Later my older brother (10 years), moved into a new subversion called Farmstead estates in Naperville, off Plainfield road. Total 7 houses!
    Long story to short, road trip back 06, stayed a friends in DG. Expansion now ALL THE WAY TO MORRIS then! Zillions of houses as far as the eye could see. Took 3 hours (friday evening traffic), to go 20 miles. I lived there when I-355 was going in, and then being built again as was going way south, so a LOT of traffic. I'll never go back again.
    Like it where I'm at. 15 miles out of town, only a couple stop signs, and on the 101 freeway and town before ever SEE a stoplight! 10 miles from 101, rural 2 lane (lots of farms) to get out to small private HOA me. Its like the "Littlest Big City in the world" (opposite of Reno). 550 houses, everybody knows everybody, we own everything, parks, 104 slip marina, or own waste water treatment plant, our own water wells, water tower etc. Some overhead pix........

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