Sunday, April 29, 2012
Deer Can Swim?
Today I was joined by my co-paddler and we headed further south on the Fox River. We dropped in at Fox River Shores Forest Preserve in Kane County. This is a nice, lesser known, put in. It is just up river from the dam on the northside of West Dundee.
The weather was 'ok' for a nice long trip. There was some wind when we started, and the sun never really came out, but all in all, it wasn't too cold or too windy. This is my second time paddling this section and both times, the current was pretty strong.
The water was low this trip and the current was not as strong as the last time I was out. We slowed down pretty good in some of the bends, but we followed the deeper water and we made some good headway. There were a few fishing boats out, but the water is too low for any major boating activity so that keeps the traffic really low in this area.
We paddled about 3 miles upstream and got further than the last time I hit this section. Once you start getting to Buffalo Park, the water gets pretty low (hug the east shore and find some deep water). The current also picks up quite a bit. This is where we turned around, because we were not gaining any distance.
As always, there was something unique to this trip. We were coming up to Buffalo Park and on the east side we spotted a deer running through some backyards. We saw her cross an opening and then duck back into the bushes. She reappeared in the water! We watched her swim across the river and disappear into the forest on the other side. I honestly didn't realize that deer could swim! The swimming deer is in the picture below right in the center below the shore line.
On our way back downstream we came across a HUGE softshell turtle. His shell was about the size of a large serving platter. He check us out as much as we were checking him out and we decided to leave before we upset him at all. He was a MONSTER!
This section is also home to some less natural things. There are two abandoned cars on the east side of the river just before the river bends west towards Buffalo Park. I dropped off my scout to investigate them a little more. They are some old relics and pretty cool to see from the water.
This is a great section to paddle if you are ok with a strong current. It isn't a hard paddle, but you do have to work at it. The current can take over pretty quick once you stop paddling.