Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Today I paddled Lilly Lake in Lakemoor, IL. You can't miss Lily Lake if you come through Lakemoor on rt120. There is a little lot at the north side of the lake and it is easy to get in and out of. This is a great lake to hit if you just want to get out on the water for a little while.
The real secret about this lake is the South side. There are 2 little channels on the South East side of the lake that will take you from the traffic on 120, to a nature paradise. Cat tails and fallen trees line this area, leaving plenty of areas for muskrats, beavers, and birds to play in.
Today I came across a handful of turtles including this lil guy that allowed me to share his log for a few minutes. I didn't think he would stick around, but he seemed cool with me chillin' by him. Now we are old friends.
There is one channel that takes you back to a nice little cove. This area is one of my favorite spots on all the local lakes. It is so peaceful and quiet back there. There were birds chirping and fish jumping....then there was some rustling in the brush. I put my paddle down and coasted a few yards, listening to the movement in the tall grass and branches. I was expecting to see some kids pop out, but to my surprise, 2 white tail deer were staring at me from the bank. They saw me way before I could make them out in the branches. And to make it even more difficult to see them, they had the sun setting behind them. I think they knew that and used it to their advantage.
Coming back out of that channel, I came across another little character. This little muskrat was squeaking and cleaning himself off on the shore. He would do this, then swim around in a circle and start all over again. He let me get pretty close also. There was a lot of beaver chewed trees back in this area also. I saw a beaver swimming, but he slipped between some logs before I could really check him out more.
Lilly Lake is a little gem in the area. Like I said, if you have some free time and want to hit the water, check this little lake out. Hit it early in the season though. It isn't called Lilly Lake for nothing. It lives up to that name and when those things fill in, you are more likely to be able to walk across the lake than paddle on it.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I am back at it! I know many of you have hit the water already in this warm winter that we had, but I finally got out. It has been a long time coming and as I pushed from the shore, it felt as if it was yesterday that I was in this canoe. It was such a great feeling.
I chose to hit the Fox River before the power boats do. I launched at Lyons Park in Fox River Grove and headed south to the Algonquin Dam. I was not the only one on the water today either. As soon as I hit the current, a speedboat past headed north and then I cam across a kayaker also heading north. We passed again on our return routes. Other than them, I was alone.
The weather was warm enough to ditch my jacket, but I still kept on my wet gear. The water was really chilly still. I also got to see my mascot, the Heron, a couple times out there. It had been a while, so that was very nice to see. Down towards Algonquin, I ducked down a little channel and came across a swimming beaver that swam across the channel then hit from me.
There is also a great little nook about half way to the damn that keeps you out of the river and puts you in your own little world. I hung out in there and had some lunch. It was silent other than the small waves hitting the shore and the birds. It was a great little break.
Down at the dam, the wind was blowing quite a bit more. Luckily, I was paddling into it so it was a little helping hand as I turned around.
This was about a 7 mile trip and it was a great way one to get back on the water with. After being in the boat for a couple hours, I realized that I was a little rusty and that tomorrow is going to be pretty painful.