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River Log: Illinois River


(At the flow we had, that big midriver rock was completely underwater.)

Notes on The Illy: This run has been on my bucket list since someone I knew died there in the 1980's. Reputation is of extreme danger because people get in trouble with rising water here. Tributary of the Rogue, below the wilderness section. Putin relatively near Grant's Pass, last Verizon signal at the gazebos by the river before the boyscout camp. Watch flows, know forecasts, do not launch if flows could increase. Very wild and remote terrain, entire drainage below 4,000 feet. Snow on north faces just 1,000 ft above us on this 4/7-8/12 trip. Hiking trail on right bank. I think the rock is schist, reminds me of the Chattooga or Visnu in the canyon. Gold mining hotspots all over drainage starting in 1850's, largest "nugget" here 17lbs. Water this time was milky green, and we were assured that there was absolutely no rain in the forecast. Gage is above put-in and flows at takeout may be triple the put-in flow. We launched at 2800cfs, took out the next day at 2500 on the put-in gauge. This was higher than the TL wanted, but he has seen it higher than that. Twas big, Gauleyish. Day 1: 9 miles to Pine Flats, with a few IV's for size/holes. Day 2: 22 miles to Miami Gulch, Green wall comes early and reminds me somewhat of Lava. It is the entrance to a 4 mile long gorge section. Green Wall's last raft eddy is river left after the entrance (we scouted the entrance too). Rafters can miss this eddy. There is a hole/sneak move left at the top and a wall hazard at the bottom. I got up close and personal with the wall hazard. I rolled once after getting surfed over to it, in the pocket above the pillow, then got snarfed by the water and smeared across and under the black rock and rolled up in the wave train below. My sprayskirt was off but I was able to paddle to shore. Less than a mile downstream is Little Greenwall: a long golf course. Otherwise the gorge section is no harder than the IV on day 1. Lots of lovely waves and holes at this flow, and we only had one playboater (Willie). Tapers to class II then I for the last many miles. I was in my embudo about 1/2 self supported and caught some waves on purpose, some caught me. Group: 5 cats, 1x 14' round boat, 6 kayaks, 12 people, no flips, no swims. Shuttle $175/vehicle Sharon 541-479-ten fortytwo. Long road out is winding and plagued with mudslides, can be closed, check at store to know if it is open. 1-2 hours more driving out to coast and back in if road closed. Comes through some of the Coquille drainage, below mudslide areas see humongous woodpiles in river. /notes

INFO
http://www.oregonrafting.org/illinois_wilderness.html

FLOWS
http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/river/station/flowplot/flowplot.cgi?KRBO3
http://www.dreamflows.com/graphs/day.144.php

WEATHER
check extended forecasts at Grant's Pass, OR

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