Chicago to St. Louis
Posted by: Dsimps on Jul-19-13 6:08 PM (EST)
Hey all, first post here, an internet search led me to a similar topic on this board so I thought I would try again. I'm planning a trip from the northern Chicago suburbs to St. Louis, following the Fox to the Illinois in a 2-man canoe. Does anyone have any information about the trip? I've figured about 15 days to make it, and about 330 miles to cover. I'm wondering about the camping situation along the way, am I allowed to just pull up on the riverside and make camp? What about fires? any input would be appreciated, thanks!
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What sort of canoe camping have you |
Posted by: ezwater on Jul-22-13 4:23 PM (EST)
done already? What is your standard of quality?
What's good for the goose,|
Posted by: FL-KeysPaddler on Aug-08-13 1:00 PM (EST)
is not always good for the gander.
Posted by: redrocket on Aug-10-13 9:28 AM (EST)
That should be a fun trip! I have Some experience on Illinois industrial rivers. I have never found camping to be a problem for me. With that said though you must not have any illusions that every one is going to be a good campsite. I have been stuck in some pretty sketchy spots. While I have never had any problems, the threat was there. I have been forced to camp on side of hills, and mud holes littered with beer bottles. I always try to camouflage my canoe and use a tent with natural colors. I follow the rule " don't set up till dusk, and gone at first light". I usually don't have a fire, if ever. As far as milage, twenty miles should not be hard at all. I have done as much as high fifties on slugs like the wabash river. If you plan to paddle for ten hours a day then you only have to move at two miles per hour. That is crawling. Barges moving on the water posed very little threat to me. The channels are usually marked and they are slow moving. I found the biggest threat to be the parked barges that are being staged for loading and unloading. You have to paddle out around them, and it forces you into the main channel. The waves rebounding from the walls of shear metal are killers. Tug boats are to be avoided at all costs. They come out of no where and produce wake that will come over your sides. Just stay alert and make very conservative decisions and you should be fine. I found the biggest threat on these rivers is average joe six pack. ninety percent are great people that will give you the shirt off their back, and a cold beer for you aching body! The other ten percent are no fun to deal with. I have been cussed at, buzed by boats, and just over all threatened. If one of these types happens to come across your campsite move it. When someone asks where I am heading I say I am getting picked up at the next take out. As a rule of thumb I also dont go poking my nose around in the places I stop. I stay next to my tent and mind my own business. You could stumble on an irate land owner, pot plants, or even a meth lab. With all that said, you will see things from a perspective that 99% of people will never see. You will have an adventure, and get a thrill from leaving your safety zone.You truly make your own way. I have had great times on rivers such as these and will continue to paddle them. Plus saying that you paddled from chicago to saint louis is pretty bad ass!! Good luck, stay alert stay alive, and take an obscene amount of water.
Have you done the Middle Vermillion?|
Posted by: ezwater on Aug-20-13 4:31 PM (EST)
Have you done the big Vermillion and seen the new version of Wildcat?
Made it about halfway|
Posted by: Dsimps on Aug-16-13 5:59 PM (EST)
Hey guys! Thanks for all the advice and help!
Posted by: redrocket on Aug-18-13 9:13 AM (EST)
Congratulations! Don't feel bad about not making it all the way, that's why such a trip is called an expedition and not a vacation. This spring I tried to finish paddling from champaign IL to the gulf and had to pull out a little above memphis because of the flood. You can always go back and finish. Do you have any pictures? I would love to see them if you do. If you like big rivers you might want to consider doing the wabash river. It is interesting and there is no barge traffic. Thanks for the update.
Posted by: Dsimps on Aug-18-13 4:37 PM (EST)
I've got a couple of pictures, give me a few days to track everything down and get them loaded up, the picture craze kind of died off after the first few days though, its funny how your priorities and lifestyle change once you get in the groove of things. I was making a good attempt to document everything, via picture and journal, but once we got to the point where it was all about miles everything else fell by the wayside. I'll look into the Wabash, I think our next voyage will be to finish up the trip to St.Louis, and hopefully to the gulf for the one after that
Posted by: redrocket on Aug-19-13 9:38 PM (EST)
I do the exact same thing. I plan on taking pictures and a journal, but it usually falls to the wayside. When I go solo I do a lot more of it. Helps break up the time alone i guess. It is easy to get in a rut and get to focused on miles. I have to remind myself that I am supposed to be enjoying myself. What did you take for food?
Posted by: Dsimps on Aug-30-13 8:23 AM (EST)
Here's a link for some of the pictures, I've still got to grab the ones off the other camera....
Posted by: redrocket on Aug-30-13 7:35 PM (EST)
I have to agree with you on that. I usually eat a cliff bar for breakfast. Then I graze on food throughout the day. I eat a little of trail mix, beef jerky, and a power bar. I pretty much always have a hot dinner. I really like powdered potatoes with a pouch of tuna or chicken. The potatoes come in all sorts of different flavors. I also take a series of high endurance vitamins from gnc. On my long trips where I am pounding out miles I also take a testosterone booster. Those things get me humming along pretty well!