On the journey to the Illinois River I couldn’t help to be anything but excited, for it was my first float trip to the Illinois River. Upon arrival to the War Eagle Resort; i exited the vehicle to the refreshing country air and the sounds of children playing, the sound of different kinds of music, and the trickle of the Illinois River; however, I was also hit by the sweltering, hot July air.As my friends and I set camp up I had become excited for the nights festivities, for a big barbeque was planned, we had the beer on ice, the charcoal grill set up, potato chips with various dips, the steaks were seasoned, the chicken was marinated; it was a feast fit for a king. After a long night of drinking and eating, we rose early the next morning to stand in line and wait for our short bus ride up the mountain to the starting point of the day’s twelve mile voyage down the Illinois River. Finally, after a forty-five minute wait we had finally made it on the river.As we paddled downstream I took in the cool morning breeze, the chilly river water, the sound of birds chirping. I had noticed the ancient trees that towered over the river banks, and thought to myself that this is quite possibly the most relaxing environment I had ever been in; however, as the day progressed and the temperature rose steadily I came to appreciate the chilly river water more and more.

After a few hours, we found ourselves an empty, rocky beach to stop and take a break, eat lunch which consisted of leftovers from the night before, cool down in the water, and watch the other patrons float by.We hung out on that rough beach for about an hour or so before we got back on the river and finished our trip. Six hours and eight miles later we finally arrived back at camp exhausted, and sunburnt from the day’s long, grueling trip. The ones of us that this trip was our first time at the river we felt it was the time of our lives, and we were already excited for our next trip even though we knew that it wouldn’t be till the next summer that we could return.

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