Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend doesn't sound like a perfect time to get out on the water, but with a high of 45 and barely any wind, it was a great day to be out. I took the canoe down to Voyager Landing in Elgin, Illinois. The ramp is almost right under the I-90 overpass. I like to head north from there.

This section of the river is still deep enough for motor boating traffic so, in the summer, it can get pretty rough. This time of year though is perfect. I was reminded that there was a lot of duck blinds in this section too. I thought I was pretty late in the season...but about 15 minutes into my paddle I heard the gunshots start up. It was a little unnerving hearing them so close. Luckily, they were coming from a wooded area on the other side of the river. It was still spooky to hear them so often, and so close. None of the blinds that I paddled past were occupied.

The wind in this section can change during the day. I was out for about 2 hours and the water was very calm as I headed north. There was a breeze coming from the South, but once I got around the first corner, the water turned to glass.

About a mile north of Voyager Landing is South End Park. Before you get to this little park, there is a nice size island that splits the river. If you hug the left side of this island, the river dips to about 1.5 feet to 3 feet deep. There is a section that gets down to about 6 inches deep. I like to take this route north, then shoot down the other side of the island on the way back. The current through the east side of the river is very strong.

The river continues past South End Park and heads into downtown West Dundee. The river has a nice current to it in that section. It is tough, but it is worth the paddling. South End Park is where I like to turn around and catch the current back down the East side of the island and head back down river.

On this trip, when I got back to the wider section of the river, the wind had picked up. It was tough to keep the bow of my 16 foot canoe into the wind AND fight the waves that were coming at me. It was a tough paddle, but it was worth getting out there this late in the season.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever canoed from the Chicago are to Starved Rock? Is it possible to Canoe to and from or do you need to arrange a ride back? Just curious.