Southern Illinois - Lusk Creek

-- Last Updated: Jan-15-08 10:01 AM EST --

From Gremmi:
May I suggest this: When Lusk Creek is running, you guys (Jay, Jarvis, Rick) drop us creek bums a line and lead a trip down there.

I second that suggestion!! NM
Posted by: silverwave on Jan-15-08 9:33 AM (EST)

Your plan is a fine one, but it has holes in it:-(
I drove over Lusk last week during a heavy rain it was SWEET! The problem is, you need to be standing at the put-in as the last hard raindrops are falling. Lusk is almost impossible to catch.

There is another unknown creek down here in Union County about 5 miles from my house called Hutchins Creek. It runs through the Pine Hills area of the Shawnee National Forest. It has about 60 feet of drop in the first couple of miles and then about 15 feet per mile the next 4 miles. Jarvis and I have been trying to catch it for two years and have yet to do so, since we are all caught up in being silly responsible adults, we keep missing it because of WORK :-(

The other problem is that when these are running the odds are good the Saint is up and I am sure these local runs are interesting, but if I were you and I was going to travel from central IL to So. IL, I would hang a right and add an hour (if that) and show up at MILLSTREAM. That is probably where you will find Jarvis and I.


Good Point
Our local Creeks (Stoney and Sandy) are simliar - and certainly fun when you catch them!

Will put Millstream down for a short-notice trip south this spring.

Thanks for the Reply Jay …
but, “one of the prettiest canoeing streams in Illinois” (Paddling Illinois) is still very doable in the winter/spring. Just gotta be flexible. Should be a few good 2-3 day windows when we are getting some extended rain events.

A wise monkey told me, “do not spend all your time in one mango tree.” Still plenty of time for the Saint.

Silverwave, I recommend you sign up for the MWA whitewater clinic on the Saint this spring:

This would give you a good, safe intro before venturing into Millstream. And practice your rolls this winter.

I got my car stuck in a ford on Hutchins
Creek a few years ago when we were exiting Pine Hills on the east side. No cell phone coverage in that area either. Had to walk over a mile to a farm house and beg to use their phone to call AAA to get a tow out of there.

The tow truck driver said he’s pulled a lot of vehicles out of that ford. He said that the secret is to get going fast enough before you hit the water and your momentum will carry you through to the other side. I had approached slowly so as to not flood the car and my tires sunk into the gravel bottom. I won’t try that again.

Of course, my wife said that she would have made it through.

That is certainly a beautiful area to explore.

Let me know…

– Last Updated: Jan-15-08 11:51 PM EST –

Let me know when that trip goes down; I'd like to be there for that.

Haven't sold my whitewater boat yet.......
I think I might be able to more run.

You'll lead won't you Jay?


Same spot last week.
Early last week I went through the same spot in my Frontier. I hit it pretty hard and actually floated for a second and then had just enough momentum to make it.

When I got to the other side I had a little water in my floor board (door leak)

I have always wanted to run Hutchins, but I never seem to time it, and I won’t even think about it in the late spring or summer. Way too many rattlesnakes.

I’ll check it out.

Is that the clinic you took?

I took the open boat clinic. Four excellent instructors with eight students. I gained a lot from it. Might go again since it is geared for beginner/intermediate paddlers. Always something to learn and build on. The Saint is a great learning river with a lot of features and changing w/ different levels.

Most attendees were kayaking. I’d estimate at least 50 who were broken up into smaller groups.

It is a very good value compared with the cost of instruction at the private places. Everybody has a great time. Camp at Silver Mine. You and the dancin’ Illini should do it!

Jay – What are the chances
of encountering a rattlesnake there compared with a cottonmouth on the Saint?

Is one a better option then the other?

Back in September, Jarvis and I had a great day on the Saint and I was hyper vigiliant to watch for Cottonmouths. I was happy to report that I never saw anything, and the level was at about 4 1/4ft, so we were out in the willows a lot.

Well, when i got home that night, I went on the MWA board and there was tons of chatter about all of the COTTONMOUTHS that were spotted??? These were people that were in my group??? Helen and I even walked Cat’s Paw and that place is riddled with them:-(

I would probably take my chances with the rattlers.

Don’t you
carry a can of that snake pepper spray with you? I hear them cottonmouths are attracted to red boats.

Yeah, right, Jay.
Everyone knows you’re scared of every snake on the planet. I am sure you’d take a chance on a rattlesnake.

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Guess the cynic in me is coming out!)

Silverwave’s a dancin’ Illinini?

Well, look who Lurked out from under her rock:-)

Howdy Kate