Fox River - Batavia to Aurora - Oct 27, 2007

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Fox River - Batavia to Aurora - Oct 27, 2007

Postby rich on Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:59 pm

This paddle was the season ender of the Illinois Paddling Council. Despite it being cold and cloudy just before the paddle, it ended up being an absolutely beautiful Fall day. The combination of clouds with sun breaking through and the changing colors of the leaves made this a really nice trip. Members of many of the local clubs attended and I got a chance to meet a lot of great people.

Various whitewater boaters attended this event to show their support for a whitewater park in place of the twin dams for improved boater safety. At the end of this trip I took some photos of them playing in the canoe chutes on the west side of the twin Aurora dams. This event was also being held in support of the Fox River Watertrail and the hope of one day being able to travel down the Fox unimpeded by dams.

After the paddle we ate lunch at Walter Payton's Roundhouse where I met and talked with a great group of paddlers; Tom Lindblade who I finally met earlier in the morning, Gary Mechanic and Paul Klonowski. After lunch we were invited to a presentation by Scott Shipley who presented the proposed whitewater park (a.k.a. dam removal/boater safety project). It appears that action is needed to make sure that funding is made available for capital improvements to ensure that we don't end up with fines and signs at these and other dams instead of real safety improvements including whitewater parks in place of the dangerous dams (http://www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=5&RecNum=6197).

From the presentation by an Aurora representative as well as the Mayor, it appears that Aurora is heading in the right direction and is greatly improving their riverfront. A whitewater park in place of the dams would be a much safer and awesome complement to their current river greening and cleanup efforts! Write to state representative Tom Cross (email: tom@tomcross.com) to make sure we don't end up with just signs and buoys marking dams and fines for getting too close to a dam. Signs and buoys are better than nothing but they won't help the new paddler who just doesn't understand the danger and ends up making a foolish and likely fatal mistake.

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Boaters getting ready at the start of the trip.


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Great looking sea kayak.


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Warming up going upstream before the official start.


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Fine wooden boat and paddle built by Jack of Praire State Canoeists. He also had another great home built wooden boat which is not pictured here.


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On the water!


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East Drowning Machine


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Jim playing in the chutes.


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Putting in just before the chutes.


See you on the water,
Rich
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