Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bushnell, FL - Paddling

We celebrated Halloween by paddling the Withlacoochee River. We put in at a little city park in Nobleton and paddled upriver for about 1 1/2 hours before turning around. This picture is from our lunch break at our turnaround point. The water level was extremely low. Although we didn't have to portage in any spots, there was no floating back. It was a paddle both ways. And if you weren't paying attention, it was easy to bump into submerged tree trunks, branches or rocks (adding some excitement). And being such a pretty river, it was easy to get distracted. There were a variety of birds and lots of basking turtles. The surrounding forest itself was entrancing. Once we paddled past that first mile, and past Duval's RV Park, there weren't many other houses along the river. The one thing we found interesting, though, was the lack of alligators. We're so used to seeing them, we were surprised by their absence. Only once did we hear a huge splash, but never got a visual to confirm it was a gator.

We'd like to do this river again some day when the water is at normal levels. Water lines on the trees showed it was about six feet below normal.


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