Thursday, December 27, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Although we had no significant wildlife sightings (outside the usual herons, ducks, carp etc.) or any fantastic tale to tell, it was the 1st trip involving 3 solo 'yaks and it involved a couple new paddlers. We are still a week or two away from some quality tree color but as I have said many times before......time spent on the river with good friends and family is a pretty good way to kill a few hours. October is here and I will surely be out again soon to extend my streak to 23 consecutive kayaking months. LET THERE BE RAIN!!!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Kent and Dan took the 2 solo 'yaks down to Hammel woods to give Dan a taste of the Illinois' rapids. The Watertrails map (see link to the right) says in times of high water this section provides nice rapid action. Although the river was clearly about 4 ft lower than last week this was the best action Dan has experienced in the Pungo classic. Definitely worth the 45 minute drive. The 5.44 mile river trip took a little over 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete. We saw 2 deer on the bank, a hawk and some blue heron. Even with breakfast, the total time of this little adventure was about 4 hours. Not bad considering even our smallest trips seem to take 3 hours once you do the car drop off, etc.
This September 1 trip brought the consecutive month streak to 22.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The recent rain engorged the river to an all time high of 9.05 on the Naperville guage. Pat and Dan were in the tandem and Kent did the solo thing. We put in at Centennial beach with a takeout of Knoch Knolls. The GPS indicated our high speed was 9.1 mph with an average speed of about 6 miles an hour. We finished the 5.73 mile trek in 56 minutes. This trip normally takes about 1.5 hours.
With the river so high and fast the ability to take quality rivers shots was diminished. As you can see from the pictures, the river was over much of the walking path downtown and flooding the parking lot at Knoch Knolls. At this depth (and this fast) there was one bridge in Naperville that we had a precarious moment passing under. We managed to get through without impaling our heads on the low hanging metal brackets hanging under the bridge.
Sunday 8/27/07 - Saturday was so good I decided to take out Duper virgin Andy on the same route. Just one day later the river was noticeably lower (8.2) and passing under the bridge mentioned above was a non-issue. The speed of the river seemed about the same but Andy's desire to show off his manly paddling prowess propelled us to an even quicker time than the day before. I tried to explain that the appeal of the Duper is the float not the paddle!!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
We put in at Hidden Lake with the destination of Community Park. We figured a well known route was our best option with the limited visibility. As you can see in the picture, we had our headlamps on and were ready to start another chapter of life on the Duper. When there was no tree cover the lights were not all that necessary even though we had no moon light. However, when we were in the Arboretum, the light was necessary. Remember how moths and bugs congregate around porch lights at home and around lanterns while camping? Guess what? They like headlamps on the river also!!!
A few swallowed bugs were washed down with a couple Fat Tire brews while we held each other and watched the fireworks being ignited at the Bandit game. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Friday evening.
Monday, August 6, 2007
The recent rain on Saturday night boosted the river to a canoe-able 5.3 so Pat and Dan took out the Mad River Canoe for the obligatory August float. With the streak extended to 21 months our next mission was to make sure we did not get stuck in downtown Naperville. The feel and float is definatley different from the kayak to the canoe and there was a time or two that we felt as if we might get swamped (stuck on a rock perpendicluar to the water flow for instance). Despite the oppressive heat and the near mishap, the crowd in Naperville got to its feet to observe the skilled oarsmen manuever through the obstacles as if their boat was a hot knife cutting through butter. Thanks for the encouragement, girls!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Again, I plea for rain!!!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The streak hit 20 consecutive months as we hit the river on July 1st despite the record low reading of 4.82 on the Naperville gauge. Although Pat's leg needed a little pulling (he thought with the river depth that we would be dragging the kayaks down the river, not paddling), Dan has been thinking of this "new" trip for many months and was going to do it with someone or not. What is this new trip you ask?
We put in at DuPage River Parkway (East branch) with a takeout at Knoch Knolls (West branch). We had previously (about month 5 of the streak) floated down the WBDR and passed by the convergence of the EBDR so we knew it was not too far south of Knoch Knolls. With the low water level we anticipated more dragging than floating but that was not the case. The 2.66 miles of the east branch were a non issue and we did not get stuck once. We did see a beaver, a deer (in the water), a meercat (maybe), a jumping carp and multiple herons. Both Pat and Dan thought this was one of the best stretches of either river.
The first picture is Pat indicating that we had come to the place where the two rivers met. You can also see in the pictures that there was a noticeable difference in color between the two branches: murky light green east branch verse, dark clear west branch. Once we headed up stream on the West branch the low water level was a factor and we did need to walk a couple time during a 100 yard stretch. Overall this was a keeper trip that will be repeated.
Once we left the harbor we set out to reach the next point on the horizon. Being in such a big body of water with a recreational kayak we kept close to shore, knowing if we ventured too far out a sea kayak would be the preferred vessel. Battling the winds and the rough water, it did not take long to validate that we were not on the Duper and we would actually have to paddle instead of float. On the trip back we were going with the wind and the waves so it made for a much easier paddle.
June ended as our 19th consecutive kayak month yet we did not get on the river at all. We need some RAIN!!!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
As Kent and I traveled in our singles we enjoyed a few Red Stripes and some homemade, fresh- off-the-smoker beef jerky. A fairly uneventful trip but any trip on the river is better than no trip on the river.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
As the title of this entry states, this was a maiden voyage. We all took our lovely brides for a float on this perfect day with the temperatures in the upper 70's and the river over 6 ft. Pat and Mary rode in "Big red" the Mad River canoe, Dan and Lisa took the blue bomber kayak and Kent and Tracy were in the orange peel kayak. We put in at Pioneer Park with the destination of Knoch Knolls. Although this section does not give you the "thousand miles from nowhere" feeling that some sections do, it does provide quite a scenic view of some million dollar plus homes. The "ladies" all drooled over which was their favorite and secretly wondered why they hadn't met the guy that could afford a house like these. Just kidding girls, we all did a little drooling.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Kent and Dan put the 2 solo kayaks in at Royce Road with the destination of the DuPage River park way. The Naperville gauge was at 5.5 feet and we had no issues with low spots. The weather was in the 60's with a strong south wind, although it did not affect us much at all. The major blockage a short distance past the trout farm still exists and is bigger than ever. Our exit from the river was a little interesting and difficult as we had to climb a tree out of the river. The portage was not that far and we were back on the river in no time.
With the warm spring weather it was obvious love was in the air as we saw 2 large turtles (shells like dinner plates) mating or playing piggy back (turtle back?), we are not sure. From Kent's description, I believe he thought it was the former, not the latter. I never would have thought that turtles that large would be in the Duper, but I am always being pleasantly surprised at the wild life we get to witness. It is shame more people to do not realize what a little gem we have in our own DuPage county backyard.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Inspired by the Saturday night showing of "Deliverance", we put in at Community Park in hopes of finding some adventure. As we ventured through the golf course we observed some crazy golfers out in the wind and the rain. They probably thought the same about us but we were already surrounded by water, what did we care if it was raining? Our first golf ball of the year splashed 40 yards in front of us and Kent experienced his first true riffles in his new kayak. We took out at Hidden Lake Trout farm without being blocked by the downed trees that had impaired our last trip down this stretch.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Sunday, March 4, 2007
It was not long before talk of rubbing, looking for the "V" and the topic of how good a kisser Kent was indicated that Mike fit right in. The normal Einstein-type conversation that we so enjoy was not going to be scarified today! Hey, Mike, why is one side of the geese formation longer than the other? The mom can tell what by tasting what?
We had many enthusiastic fans along the river walk and the river had some nice action in a few spots, although we could see that it had been 2 feet higher just a few days ago (gauge was over 8 ft on Friday). Wildlife sightings were limited to ducks and geese but we did see some nice ice formations from branches down to the river.
As always boys, the time spent on the river with you guys is always enjoyable and entertaining.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
nd to last weekend in the month and my fear is our consecutive month kayaking streak will come to an end. Both Kent and Pat talked to me today about kayaking so I am not alone in the quest to keep the streak alive. The west branch appears to have many areas of frozen river, however, as you can see from the pictures taken today, the east branch seems to be flowing ice-free.
The forecast next week is for upper 30's and rain so we should be good to go. Although it will be pushing the steak to the end towards the end of a month, it won't be as bad as the miserable conditions Pat and I endured on the last Sunday in April 2006.
Hopefully I will have an entry next week summarizing how we kept the streak alive!!
Friday, January 26, 2007
Dan and Pat in tandem kayak. Put in at Centennial beach
and takeout at Knoch Knolls.
Dan and Pat in tandem kayak. Temperature in low teens,
guage at 6.76. Put in at Community Park takeout at
Royce rd. No ice in river but ice forned on boat during trip.
This was day after first winter storm of the year, trees
were snow covered and beautiful. Nature highlights
include a large owl sitting abount 15 ft upin a tree right on
river bank, he did not fl away. Two beavers dove into the
water as we passed, they were about 10 ft away, Pat
screamed like a school girl. Full size doe was in the water,
about 10 ft away, just watched as we passed. The section
in Seven Bridges that has rapids normally had the most
water action we have experienced on the Dupe. It was
excellent. The guage at 6.76 is about as high as it can be
to get under the pedestrian/ bike path bridge near 87th
in Green Valley. We had to do the limbo the get under
Dan and Kent in tandem kayak. Temp about 42, guage
at 5.76. Put in at Centennial Beach and takeout at 95th
street. Both of us wore red Santa hats, got good reaction
from multiple people. One woman shouted "Ho, Ho, Ho"
…Kent responded: "It's Row, Row, Row"…very quick and
funny. Saw 2 deer laying right on river bank, limited bird
Dan and Pat in tandem kayak. River at 7.92 put in at
Centennial beach, takeout at Knoch Knolls. Completed
total trip in 54 minutes, only took 19 minutes to get to
Pioneer park and 45 minutes to get to Ring/95th.
River was high and fast, rolling, boiling in sections.
Excellent. Pat wore a Santa hat and Dan had white
beard, red hat and red Santa top. Numerous postive
comments and joyous reactions.
East BDR. Kent and Dan in tandem, put in at Royce, paddled
through the trout farm in Bolingbrook and takeout at DuPage
River park. There was a major blockage which resulted in a
portage. At one point we thought the river ended but it actually
continued through a very narrow section going back in what
appeared to be in the opposite direction. It eventually wound back
and connected to the main river again.
West BDR. Dan and Pat in tandem, Kent in single. Put in at
Jefferson St., takeout at Knoch Knolls. Gauge at 5.8, distance
approx 6 miles. On Monday 10/2/06 the gauge was over 9 ft, the
highest we have seen. Although the river was high, it was not the
highest we have been on. This was 6.4 in February. A "highlight"
of the trip was when Kent had to drop a deuce and we stopped off
at a gas station in Naperville. From the car I saw the attendant
hold up 1 finger and Kent responded by holding up 2. Kent was
denied the privilege of using the facilities. We had quite the
West BDR. Dan and Lisa put in at new launch at Pioneer Park,
takeout at Knoch Knolls, completed trip in less than 1 hour.
This was Lisa's 1st river trip. At Knoch Knolls talked
to a woman who was picking up dad and 3 kids in a canoe. At
Pioneer Park talked to a couple taking out their kayak. This
was a beautfiul sunny and 70 day, the most boats we have seen.
East BDR. Kent and Cole, Dan and Steven in tandem kayaks.
Put in at Hidden Lake takeout at Community Pk, gauge at 5.25.
Had to portage at just under 1 mile mark, 1st use of the saw
to help clear path. Total distance 3.14 miles in a little over an
East BDR. Dan and Kent in tandem, Mark in solo. Put in at
Community Park takeout at Royce Rd. Gauge at 5.9,water level
noticably high. Temp in the 50's, used skirt on solo but not
tandem. With high water did not have any issues like previous
time when we got stuck 3 times. Altough trees were colorful in the
area, on the river most trees were bare. Highlight of the trip was
deer entering on river left and exiting on river right.
river at 4.88. Put in north of North ave, projected
takeout at Mack rd. River was very low, sometimes
both of us had to get out to move the boat. Over-
grown weeds in river. We were averaging less than
3 mph. At Gary Mills road they were dredging the
river and we had to get out. As Kent processed a
few of the consumed beers, I went ahead to see how
far our portage would be. I told Kent….."there is no
river". The river was dry as far as we could see.
We walked 1.7 miles to where our car was at
Mack rd. The trip from North ave to Gary Mills road
was approx 7.3 miles in 2.5 hours.
9/16/2006 East BDR. Mark T. and Kent in tandem
kayak, Dan in single. Put in at Community park
takeout at Royce rd. Collected approx. 10 balls (hard,
soft, basket, soccer,golf, wiffle,play). Had serious tree
downage in 3 areas all after about 90% of trip was
complete. Were able to grunt our way through,
no portage. River at 5.15