With my gear and kayak loaded onto my Tracker, I began my 84-mile trip to Oregon Illinois to hook up with Jan and Tim of TJ's Bait and Canoe
Their warmth, hospitality, and experience will keep me coming back again and again! Using TJs shuttle service you can opt for a four-mile paddle to Castle Rock State Park or the 12 mile to Grand Detour. I chose the 12-mile with an overnight at C.R.S.P. canoe camping area. I left my car in the Grand Detour lot and headed back to the launch with Tim. Along the way he told me about what to expect on the river, points of interest to look for, and assured me that if I ran into trouble to give them a call.
I launched about 11:00am into a head wind that put a good chop on the water but a swift current behind me to move me along.( I think a sea kayak would have sliced through it better than my my rec boat ) Either lack of rain and or time of year made for a very low water levels. I bottomed out twice and dug into the river bottom on occasion which hampered my stroke but not my spirits. I made it to the campsite in no time, set up, then took the kayak out for some site seeing. I have never seen so many eagles in one day! It was as described a wonderful, relaxing time . The 6-mile trip from camp to Grand Detour was a short one and, I was back at my car before I knew it.
This can easily be done as a day trip, but there was nothing so beautiful as to see an eagle circling overhead as the sun was coming up over the river.
Canoe rental is available from TJs and was told that Jan and Tim hope to get some kayaks in the water next year as well.