Please take a moment to consider a donation to support LbNA.

Lock & Load  LbNA # 12832 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateDec 29 2004
LocationFulton, IL
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

We are all familiar with locks on cars, houses, and . . . well, lockers. Locks on rivers work differently--they let big boats travel up and down rocky rivers that they wouldn't otherwise be able to navigate. This website provides a great explanation of how a lock works: Locks have helped make the Missisippi River one of the longest navigable rivers in the world. This letterbox is near one of those locks.

Travel to the intersection of Illinois Highways 136 and 84 by Fulton, Illinois. Drive north on Highway 84 for approximately three miles. Turn left at Schafer's Fisheries, following the roadsign for Lock and Dam Number 13.

Drive approximately two miles to the lock and dam. You will drive along a lengthy causeway, and you may see several people fishing. I saw several ice-fishers when I planted this box.

Park in the "Visitor Overlook" parking lot. If a boat is passing through the lock, you can watch the lock fill with water (or drain water) and then see the boat released from the lock.

Walk toward the turnaround for cars that is at the south end of the parking lot. This is downriver from your car. Enter the woods at the south end of the parking lot.

When you enter the woods, you will see a creek. Follow it toward the Mississippi. A big log acts as a bridge across the creek. If you are acrobatic, walk across the log (be careful!). If you are clumsy like me, find a narrow part of the creek to step across.

Stand right at the other side of the log bridge. The log should be at your back, pointing directly away from you. Facing away from the stream, look to your right at approximately a 45 degree angle. You will see three trees bunched together, gracefully leaning toward the creek.

From where you are standing, look between the trunks of those three trees. You should be able to see a hole in another tree that has fallen and is lying on the ground. The letterbox is in that hole. The hole is approximately thirty paces from the log bridge.

Please replace the leaves in the hole after you stamp your book, and enjoy the beauty of the Mississippi River!