It was a long trip, but strong currents and good weather kept it from being too overwhelming. My cousin held his weight when it came to paddling. While he's not especially strong comparatively, him paddling in unison with me pushed us at a solid 3-4 mph rate. He also had good balance, and we didn't tip a single time.
Once we got past the dam, the decent current pushed us along. We looped around by silver springs state park, then shifted south towards Millington. The current was riffly at times during this particular stretch.
We would wind up camping on the edge of the river. There is a mowed field with some stairs that is perfect. In lower water, its a bit tough to pull the boat up onto, but that's well worth the nice clearing. It's far from civilization, and presumably farmer's land. There's no buildings for miles though. It was an incident free night.
Towards the end of day two, we approached the dells area. This is easily the best part of the River, and the most scenic place on all of Illinois's northern riverways. The current flows well here too, so you can just sit back and take it all in. The dells area starts a few miles before whedron, and ends in the downtown whedron area (right by ayer's landing).
After the Dells, we had to paddle a bit harder to beat potential rain to our campsite. We planned to stay at the Dayton Dam sites. There's really not much else in the area besides fields and woods. No obviously camping clearings.
We did have an incident with the dam supervisor at Dayton. Read about that here.
The portage at Dayton Dam is longer, but not too hard. The second half of it is all downhill, which I find a bit easier. It takes a while, especially if you have overnight gear. Once we finished off the portage, we jumped back into the water and were cruising.We encountered a few fishing boats, but that was it.
Overall: solid trip. Between the good weather and current, it was pretty fun. The dam troll put a damper on things toward the end, and it was still a bit tough to find campsites without advance scouting and planning.
I recommend trips like these, provided you've got a good gameplan.