David Johnson's Travel Blog
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04/12  Most boring trip ever?
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04/14  Say Yes to Drugs
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04/16  Worst campsite ever.
04/21  Island Of Honking Geese
04/22  Hennepin Feeder Canal
04/23  Locks, sand and muck
04/28  Henry
04/30  No Current on Peoria Lake
05/01  Industry and Locks
05/02  Rain and Eagles
05/04  Half-Way on the Illinois
05/05  Medium-Rare Meatloaf
05/06  Always Pepsi-Cola
05/08  Onto the Mississippi
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07/19  As sudden as ever
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Liverworks Productions
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Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
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Chickens and Pheasants 2016
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Kayak Trip 2017

Half-Way on the Illinois

2012-05-04

tl;dr: I'm half-way down the Illinois River. Look, more towboats! And rednecks!

Havana is a nice town, but the Sycamore Motor Lodge isn't all that great. It probably didn't help that I was in the room closest to a busy intersection. I also had two windows to let the streetlights in. But it served its purpose, and I got most of my work done. And the owners were very nice and helpful.

Toni's Family Restaurant, on the other hand, is awesome. The food is great, and by my third visit I figured out that even a small order equates to a big meal.

Though I paid for three nights, I stayed for only two. I decided to hit the water again Friday afternoon. Sleeping in my tent on some lonely stretch of river would be infinitely better than the hard bed of that motel.

Some fairly impressive storms rolled through while I was in the motel. This was evident by the debris in the rising water. There were also a lot of dead carp, and even more live ones, and oodles of turtles. I came across mercifully few honking geese.

I took Bath Chute which makes a run past Bath. These folks like fishing, if the number of empty styrofoam worm containers floating along is any indication. Apparently, there is a fishing tournament here: http:/www.redneckfishingtournament.com

It seems I am enjoying the distraction of photographing barges. Live with it.

I paddled almost five hours straight before stopping for the night right at Mile Marker 100.9. I hit the Illinois River somewhere around Mile Marker 200 way up there by Henry. I'm half way to the Mississippi.

I had hoped to find a little sand to camp in, but alas all is mud. Fortunately with the river on the rise I was able to climb out into relatively dry and stiff mud. I made sure to find as high of ground as I could as the locals were predicting that the river might go up a few more feet.

getting a ride to the boat landing


GRETCHEN T, a local towboat, and MARY ANN


storm debris


JODY McMINN


it is snowing!


redneck beach


no idea


half way there



contact me at le@liverworks.com
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