13News Today takes a canoeing adventure down the Rock River - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

13News Today takes a canoeing adventure down the Rock River


13News Today hit the water! To see if we could paddle our way through the Rock River.

"This is about the most gorgeous stretch of the rock river there is," says Adam Whitney, TJ's canoe & Kayak Rentals manager. It's scenic. There's not a whole lot of houses or industry around. Uhh lots of rock bluffs, not a whole lot of speed boats, so mostly it's just gonna be pontoons and people relaxing, so it's a very beautiful stretch to go canoeing on."

TJ's Canoe and Kayak Rental in Oregon sends out close to 100 people every Saturday, so we figured we could jump in and be a part of the action. The five mile route would navigate us, or we could trust Aaron's "boy scout background"... I don't think so.

We suited up. Before we pushed off, we were given some instructions to survive the journey.

"Stay centered in the boat," Adam Whitney told us. "So if something goes floating by, don't try and reach over for it. If you lose your hat or something, let it float on down by, because if you try and reach for it, you're gonna tip probably. Although on a day like today, it'd probably feel really good to get in the water, there's a current, so."

Then we were off. I mean how hard could it be? The trip started out a bit rough. After the guys got the technique down.

It was smooth sailing. The gorgeous scenery and amazing weather gave us a wonderful view of the Rock River, until Aaron started searching for trouble.

"We're on the hunt to find the rare Northern Illinois alligator," Aaron said. "It's pretty rare, pretty rare. But I have a feeling we can spot one today. We've already seen some water mokisins, egret. Soon as Hannah Welker sits still. Look at her. Look at her. We haven't seen anything. So basically, this is my diary if we are not recovered, and this camera floats down the river. Hannah Welker tipped our boat. Hannah Welker tipped our boat."

I sat back down and we continued on the journey. We saw homes and even other boaters on the water. But we were in the final stages of our trip. It was go time! While we were on the river for fun, some men were there to work, looking to bring dinner home.

In the end, I wouldn't call us skilled men and women of the water, but we had an awesome time, got some sun, and met some wonderful people, and of course, enjoyed the beauty of the Rock River.

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