Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | March 3, 2011

River Rats

Today I am taking a break from posts on “Off The Grid”, to comment on what we’ve been up to the past few days…canoeing and kayaking on two of Florida’s scenic rivers.

The weather this week had been gorgeous – in the upper 70’s and mid 80’s, and the trees and plants are beginning to make it look like spring is really on its way.

With the Suwannee River just about on our doorstep, we could not resist hopping into a canoe on Monday afternoon, to explore the famed river upstream from the campground.

We spent several hours on the tea-colored waters, weaving our way amidst the huge cypress trees hugging the banks…keeping watch for alligators, and hoping we would find some as they spent their afternoon sunning on the sand.

Although we didn’t see any full specimens, we did catch a number of “slithers into the water” on the edges of our field of vision, causing big ripples to flow out from their entry points.

Perhaps we’ll have better luck next time, but a lack of gator sightings certainly did not take away from the fun of floating on the Suwannee.

Good new is that we must be in better shape than we thought, because when we woke up yesterday morning, we weren’t one bit sore from our canoeing adventure!

Of course, the lack of pain spurred us on to take the managers of Suwannee Valley Campground, Mike and Maggie, up on their offer to kayak the Ichetucknee River.

Mike and Maggie live on the river when they aren’t at the campground, and since today was their day off, Keith and I decided to pay them a visit.

Mike and Maggie

We arrived around one in the afternoon and spent some time simply sitting on their deck staring into the crystal clear water, watching gar, bass and minnows swim through the eel grass while we visited.

After a lovely chat, we headed for the kayaks, and once seated, we pushed off for an Ichetucknee adventure.

This river was gorgeous! We began our trip by paddling upstream, until we reached a huge tree that had fallen across the entire width of the river. At that point, we pulled up to the shore and gazed at the scenery while enjoying a well-deserved snack, and then enjoyed the experience of floating down the river slowly… it was heaven!

Ichetucknee River

Water irises were in bloom, and the maple tree showered their red-pink blossoms on us as we floated past the private docks of homeowners along the river, watching turtles sun themselves on half-submerged logs.

Turtle on the Ichetucknee

One interesting thing we learned on our river travels is that if you had to drink water from either the Suwannee or Ichetucknee, you’d be better off downing the dark-colored water from the Suwannee, as the clear Ichetucknee waters are home to a bacteria that can’t grow in the darker waters!

Here are a couple of pics of us serious River Rats, taken this afternoon…..wish you were here!

BE on the Ichetucknee

Keith on the Ichetucknee

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