Friday, August 7, 2015

2006 Kayaking Florida's Greatest Rivers and Springs with Sierra Club

This Sierra Club Outing was based in the new cabins at Suwannee River State Park. After a swim at Madison Blue Spring, we paddled 12 miles down the beautiful North Withlacoochee River to its confluence with the Suwannee River. Several large sturgeon jumped out of the water just in front of our kayaks, almost as if they were competing with the numerous mullet doing the same thing. An alligator, mouth agape with a freshly caught fish in its jaws, also startled me just 20 feet in front of my kayak.

Swimming in many of the numerous springs we passed was one of the joys of the trip. Here our leader, Greg, dives into the spring and swims under a submerged rock formation to emerge ten feet away. As the next photo shows, not all the springs appeared to be as inviting.

Despite the "green slime" I seem to be emerging from, Orange Grove Sink Spring (not far from Peacock Springs, where we also snorkeled) was an enjoyable snorkel locale as the water below the algae was clear and allowed vantage of the rock formations and vegetation. After our paddle down Ichetucknee Spring Run, six of us walked back upstream and swam the final two miles with PFDs and snorkels, enjoying the view from both water level and below the water.

Each river we paddled was magnificent and we enjoyed views like this every day.

Our entire group is pictured on the stairway to one of the four cabins we were housed in for the week at Suwannee River State Park. top to bottom: Alison and Leila, Joyce and Bob, Nancy L. and Nancy H., Mary, John and Judy, Chuck, John and Jan, Greg, and George

Our two leaders, Greg and Patrick, offer numerous trips through their adventure travel company, Adventures in Florida, and they were ably assisted by local guide and expert, Graham.

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