Illinois River Trip 4/9-4/12

     Hello fellow river lovers. It is Erik Sol here and I just wanted to share my stoke from the last Momentum River Expeditions trip down the amazing Illinois River.  First, I would like to thank Merle,Paul,Pete, and Jason for another beautiful adventure.  If going down river for four days and three nights in the solitude of a Wild and Scenic preserved area with unparalled scenery and great whitewater sounds like what you need then this is the place to be. I can not thank Pete enough for all his hard work in making this happen.  This is one of the few places I have been to in the USA where I feel like I’m in a wilderness setting and it is ours to enjoy without any interuptions for days in a row, we saw one other person in four days on the river.   Oh, and the food was awesome. Of course we had my favorite BACON, which is a requirement, but some old favorites and some new twists make this years menu the best yet. Can you say “Carnitas”? I can’t wait for the next trip just to eat the food.   But, enough about that let’s talk river. The run was amazingly clear with just the perfect jade color being reflected from the forest to help leave all the worries behind.  The water level was on the lower end, but plenty of fun waves and manuevering required to knock the dust off and my crew was on it.   Day two gave us the opportunity to hike and explore the Pine Flat Homestead,do some mental time travel, check out the wild flower bloom which was going off, and have time to soak up some rays for the Oregon and Alaska boys after a long winter. The third day of our trip was a whitewater fest. No matter how many runs you have done anywhere the famous Greenwall Rapid will get your blood pumpin’, but by day three I knew my crew was ready.   There was about 15,000 cfs of water missing from the picture in my head from the last time I was there, so I took a good hard look during the scout.  All of us made it through in some pretty tight quarters and just when we were about to put a stamp on it we came to Submarine Rapid and things got exciting for a few minutes, well let’s just say someone owes beer.  The camps were perfect with each offering something different a confluence, an old homestead, and waterfalls. Even the ride back to Ashland was world class with views of the ocean and a leg stretcher in the Redwoods. Ahh, life is good. See you on the river.