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Avons on the Illinois River, Oregon

The first Illinois rafting trip since June launched November 15th. Flows were projected to be around 3500 CFS. Alas, the rain did not come and we ran the Illinois at an epically low flow of around 500 CFS. With little daylight and water, the going was slow. The pools between the rapids became ponds. Nevertheless, the Illinois NEVER disappoints. Besides, it’s hard to complain when you come off the Illinios with a sunburned nose.

We camped out South Bend (approximately a 17-mile day) and got up real early on Sunday to reach take-out. Immediately we hit Prelude Rapid (which at this low flow had a rock sticking up in the airplane turn) and then Green Wall. The top drop at Green Wall was particularly interesting at this flow. Slot “b” was not even an option!

After running through Green Wall we continued for the next three miles with some great read-and-run water. We then hit Submarine Hole, which honestly just looked like rocks. Where’d the water go? Oh, yes, mostly into the undercut wall on the right. Thankfully, the slot on the left was just wide-enough for an Avon Adventurer (although somewhat deflated :)

Overall, another stellar Illinois trip. Participants on this trip included four guides for Idaho River Journeys, a few Portlander types, and the SOU Whitewater Club.

Here are two videos Alan Douglass was able to capture. The first is of Skip Volpert of IRJ running the 10′ Avon dubbed “Rosie” through Green Wall. The second is of all three Avon rafts running / pushing through Submarine Hole. Enjoy!

Skip at Green Wall:

Avon Rafts through Submarine Hole:

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