Sunday, June 10, 2007

Withlacoochee River from Suwannee River State Park

Dear Husband and I got an exceedingly late start to do some paddling, and so we decided to go to one of our first Florida canoeing spots, the nearby Suwannee River State Park, where the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee River. My plan to switch us to two kayaks from the canoe is going swimmingly (so to speak) well.

Last time we loaded two kayaks in the truck, we discovered that we needed a new transportation method--the boats were just too long for the truck bed. And then, with the most incredible timing, my friend Terry mentioned in an email that he had found a truck bed extender that would carry their two kayaks, and it was only $25. The next day I scurried over to the store and got one of the only two they had left. This turned out to be precisely what we were looking for. DH doesn't have a lot of time off to go paddling so we didn't want to sink (so to speak again) a lot of money into a new transportation method. This solution was absolutely perfect (thanks, Terry!). Here we are getting loaded up late in the afternoon.

DH was again in the Prijon Motion. My Mystic is still in the shop (and thanks to all of you who extended sympathy to me) and so I decided to use the Riot Stealth, which is a fun little boat and ideal for the rivers we were going to.

We decided to paddle up the Withlacoochee since the water is a clear green color rather than the tea color of the Suwannee. Both rivers were crystal clear and we saw only one power boat (and no other paddlers) during the short time we were out.

I have never seen even one shorebird on this section of the Withlacoochee (or the Suwannee), only the occasional turtle. However, the scenery is utterly fantastic, the shorelines nearly devoid of any human structures, and I noticed that there are far more songbirds than on my usual rivers. The edges are lined with high banks, woods, and lots of limestone rock in very interesting shapes.

The Prijon stood out nicely against the banks.

I particularly liked watching the bow cut through the water.

The water is still a little lower than usual and we did finally reach an area of shoals that we could not cross. Had it not been so late in the day we might have portaged across and gone on, but as it was we just got out for a stretch and I took some photos.

We drifted slowly back downstream as the sun got lower in the sky, just enjoying the peace and quiet and the interesting shoreline (so very different from the Wacissa!).

It was a good day and we plan to go back again soon. I think because of the rocky bottom at some take-out spots, I will continue to paddle the Stealth on these rivers and not risk scratching the Mystic fiberglass hull.

I hope to get out again soon. Stand by.


OldHorsetailSnake said...

Pretty little river. And I could stand some pix of songbirds, you know.

Peggy said...

Boy, me too! If only they didn't have that pesky habit of hanging out in trees in the woods when I'm in the water! I shall keep my eyes peeled, though--maybe I'll get lucky!

SophieMae said...

Oh, my! I'd forgotten how incredibly beautiful that shoreline is! Thanks ever so - once again - for sharing your adventures! 8-]