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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lower Illinois River

I had the opportunity to get on a 3 day trip down the lower Illinois river a few weeks ago.   It was nothing like the last time i went in rain and higher water traveling down the river in creatures crafts.  the flow was around 1,200 cfs and the weather was nice and sunny.  I had never rafted with Tim and John but knew the were long time river guys who were experienced and always had safety in mind.

The river is full of solid rapids and few other boaters which made it nice.  We came into the Green Wall about 1 1/2 hours into the second day.  It was nothing I could remember as all the rocks were covered last time i came through in almost darkness.  We scouted for a little over an hour hiking through the poison oak.  The lead in  came around a little bend in the river with a hole that was a must miss.  We went first and skirted it left and then made our way to the fence rocks half way through. We took the center channel and backed into the current then skirted left to miss the bottom hole.

John and Hank ended up in the far right channel nosing into the wall, knocking the right oar out of the lock. So with two hands on the left oar and Hank up front in the center paddling they made their way down towards the hole when John lost hold of his left oar.  They went through part of the hole and came out safe.  David in his 12' cat made his way down and hit the center hole above the main rapid and was thrown off and swam to shore safely before the main drops.

The last day was filled with some fairly deep gorge walls as we drifted and paddled to the takeout.  The whole trip was very relaxed, no one was in a rush to do anything.  We got to our camps unloaded found our sleeping spots, ate dinner and talked about different things in life.   I enjoyed every minute with everyone on the trip.

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