North American River Journeys – Rock River

From Harold Murphy:

I started on the Rock River in the end of July 2010.  The start was delayed by a few days due to heavy rain in Chicago, about 10 inches in a few days.  So, the river was high.  In fact, in flood conditions.  I was on the river alone.

Being in flood conditions, the river was running fast (but not dangerously fast) at 2-4 mph, and at times, perhaps 5 mph.  I was alone on the river; I didn’t see another boater in 5 days.

I started below the Beloit Dam, and had 8 more dams after that.  The dams at Rockton, Oregon, and Dixon were very dangerous.  Water was flowing over the tops of all, and very fast. In normal conditions I would still consider these dams too dangerous to get close to.

For safe portage around the Rockford dam I called Action Taxi.  They picked me up with my gear and my inflatable Innova Safari.  For a night or two in Beloit, I would highly recommend the Roadway Inn and the Road Dawg Restaurant (and bar).

Thanks Harold!  We’ll post a chronological photo-essay of his journey when Harold returns from Turkey to confirm that I’ve got the photos in the correct order.  In the meantime, here are a few photos.

Rock River in Wisconsin in an Innova Safari

From Harold Murphy who continues to travel North American Rivers this summer.

I am back in Denver, Colorado with my pictures ready to be developed (I hope) and will send you a “trip report” as well as a copy of each photograph. I started my trip on the Rock River at Beloit, Wisconsin, and it was a super section for a day or two. But, the water kept getting higher & higher until the river was legally closed to all boaters, so there was not a single boat on the river my entire 155 miles. And, even though several police officers drove past me and said nothing, toward the end of the river, there were “police line, do not cross.” 

The river became a little dangerous, but big problem, no high & dry camp sites. My last night was spend under a bridge near Eire, Illinois (hope that picture turns out well).  Actually, it was a VERY safe & compportable campsite; well hidden, nobody around, unless I needed them, then simply stand on the road if the river got dangerously high. I have pictures of several dams (VERY dangerous due to high water flows), all my camp sites (most were beatuiful), pictures of the river & scenery. In retrospect, it was an interesting trip, but at normal water flows, I am sure it would be beatiful with the 100’s of islands & campsites I passed (all under water). I may need to go back to Rockford, Illinois and repeat that section.