Sunday, April 29, 2007

April 29, 2007 - a "maiden" voyage

As mentioned in a previous entry, Kent seems to be living a charmed life. There was no news of any more new toys, yet today's float gave him the first ever kayaking trifecta......yes, 3 days in a row on the river. When this fact was pointed out Kent couldn't remember how long ago he had done anything fun 3 days in a row (your honeymoon was how long ago?).

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.
This was a day we saw numerous other kayaks and canoes, either in transport to the river or just finishing or beginning. We did not actually pass or get passed while we were on the river (maybe due to the fact we were 3 abreast...easy boys!). It may be the "magic" of the Duper that takes a hold of people and allows the mindless chatter to spill out since the fairer sex had no problem easing into participating. This was a fun day that we will need to repeat in the near future.

April 27, 2007 - a quickee

The recent rains had the river flowing with the gauge at 7.5. With Pat and Dan in the tandem and Kent in his solo we put in at Hidden Lake with the destination of Community park. The river starts out fast here and we knew this trip would be quick. The blooming plants (not onions) made the trip through the Arboretum a visual and aromatic adventure. The weather was 50'ish and cloudy but we had to get Pat his April float.

You may wonder why I have a picture of Kent from January with his wool hat and helmet but this is what he actually was wearing at the end of April (double quick on the picture for better detail). He may have misunderstood the weatherman and heard "it is 15 degrees" instead of "it is 50 degrees". All in all, a short trip with fast moving water and the usual mindless chatter.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April 22, 2007

Kent's new toys just keep flowing in like the Duper after a 2" rainfall...this time a new car with a 2 kayak, car-top carrier. A nice upgrade from the "cram one kayak in the back of the car" technique we have used many times before.

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

April 1, 2007 - the streak hits 17, no foolin'

The recent rain increased the river to just under 6.0 feet on the Naperville gauge and although it was windy and rainy the river conditions were right to stretch the consecutive kayak-month streak to 17. Oh, yeah, it was also ideal for Kent to try out his new kayak on the river after only using it in the pool practicing Eskimo rolls. I do believe Kent realizes the Duper is only about 1.5 ft deep in most areas and I am pretty sure he will get a face full of river bottom if he attempts this new skill around here!

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.