Wednesday, June 24, 2009

58. Visit Judson college

As you saw in the last post, I made it out to Judson College last week. I had initially planned for this to be with Melissa, and I am sure I will make it back there with her sometime soon. Things have changed a lot there. Many things are still the same, but there were a few changes.This is Ben Calhoun and his daughter Eva. He lived a couple doors away from me our freshman year and we became good friends while in school. He set us up for dinner in the cafeteria. It was delicious!It was especially nice to be able to eat fresh fruit and multiple entrees. He is currently an admissions counselor and frontman for his band The Least of These. They are going to do great things!
This is a bad picture of Volkman Hall. This is where Melissa lived when we met. I lived here my last year on campus. Ben tells me it is now the home for the Chicago Bandits (Womens professional softball team) who play at Judson.

The Harm A. Weber Academic Center. I used to play intramural football where this building now sits. The grassland in front of it used to be a parking lot. It looks a whole lot different than when I was there.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any more pictures. While we were there for awhile, we were pretty tired and not up for too much of an elaborate tour. It was nice to be there and I look forward to my next visit.

73. Canoeing the Fox River

We made it! The trip is done. Just under 100 miles. Three nights under the moon, and a bunch of memories. We started out on the Fox River in Waterford, WI and made it all the way down to Aurora, IL. It was a good trip. It was nice to have time to hang out with the guys on the trip. We'll all remember it for one reason or another. Here are some pictures from the trip:

The trip started with a 4:00 am wake-up to be able to make it up to Wisconsin at a decent time in the morning. We were very fortunate to have my Dad drive us up. The trip couldn't have been done without him.

We were only on the highway for 5 minutes and one of the ropes broke. Not a good start! It took a few minutes to get things figured out, but it ended up fine.

The starting group. Rob, Matt, Mike and Me.Matt and Rob crossing the Wisconsin/Illinois state line.

Our master chef Mike at our first camping spot. It was a little trail just off the river. There were some creepy fishermen there, but they went away soon enough and we had no trouble with anyone in this spot.

Here we are going through the McHenry Dam. This was a fun experience. Not too eventful, all we did is wait for the lock operator to let us come in, grab a rope, then wait for the water level to lower so we could pass through. It wasn't a huge lock, we had both canoes in there. I'm glad there weren't any other boats with us inside there. There was plenty of space, but I wouldn't want to compete with another boat in there.Camp spot #2. We talked with one of the park rangers here. They said we couldn't camp there, but we had no other options. We found a spot that looked comfy and out of the way. We had no issues and had a nice area to camp for the evening. Mike made a nice cheezy tuna pasta dinner for us.

Matt and Rob paddling up Tyler Creek at Judson College in Elgin.

Here I am in the cafeteria at Judson with my friend Ben Calhoun. He treated us to dinner. It was nice to catch up with Ben to see what new and exciting were happening at Judson.
Camping spot #3. This spot was nice. It backed up to the creek and was out of the way from everything. It was nice to hear the water rushing and to hear the fish jumping in the creek. A natural sound machine!
Here we are in downtown St. Charles. This was an interesting portage. There was some sort of festival which brought in a lot of people. There were many people interested to see us carry the canoes and hoping that after re-entry to the water that we would tip. I'm happy to say we disappointed them on that one.Ryan, John and me at the Batavia portage. This one was really easy as we just walked it down the rocks.

Ryan and Matt at Red Oak Nature Center in North Aurora. Ryan is doing his best Forest Gump impression.

Overall it was a good trip, many miles, a bunch of portages, no injuries and many memories. Thanks guys for trekking along!