Four of us went down the river on June 26 from Sangamon River Forest Preserve to my place on the Sangamon River near CR2400N. We started out at 8 and were on the river by 9. The weather was beautiful and Jeff spotted a fox and what we assume was a Cooper’s Hawk, a deer, and several blue herons. We also spotted a refrigerator and a nice Toyota tire and rim,
but we won’t discuss this part much further. This route takes us past a significant blue heron rookery where there was lots of heron chatter going on. It also goes past one of the more significant log jams on the river, but since the river was high, we were able to get through that without a portage. We also cross under the Hazen Bridge on this trip and it is looking very good out there after our Memorial Day weekend cleanup effort.
There were no river blockages requiring a portage on the whole 6 ¾ mile trip. However, while navigating through an open log jam, Jenny’s kayak got sideways and swamped. We handled the situation with grace and everyone kept a cool head and it didn’t create a problem. We didn’t lose any supplies, including Jeff’s sunglasses and we even recovered Jenny’s Gatorade bottle a few hundred yards downstream.
However, this is a warning for everyone to be very careful out there. Sometimes situations that seem benign can swamp a kayak or canoe easily, and this was a situation that required turning perpendicular to the current against a log jam to get through. These are the most dangerous situations the Sangamon River presents and paddlers should be extremely cautious. Even the canoe that Stu and I were in took on water, as did Jeff’s kayak.
In any case, we safely completed the trip in just over 2 and a half hours, and all things considered had a wonderful trip with beautiful scenery and some great conversation. We welcome you to join us on the river as soon as you can!