Not having the odometer, which also is my watch, I made sure I took a picture as soon as I was on the River to record the time. 10:59.
On reason I chose to paddle the Econ today was another windy day was in store. 15 mph from the north. I figured the high banks of the Econ would block some of the breeze. Other then sections where the River flows due north on its north east track, the plan worked. I also had the wind at my back for the first third of the 5 mile plus bike ride from Snow Hill to 419.
The banks are higher than usual, or rather the water lower. Another week without rain and the this section of the Econ may be impassable. I scrapped the sandy bottom several times. Thank goodness for two piece paddles. Good for pushing. At one point I had to get out and walk.
Look at the top photo. See the turtle ? Now you have perspective on the height of the banks. This section is the highest on the Econ.
Here is a more typical section.
Lots of downed trees, but other than the portage previously mentioned, I always found a path through areas like this.
I paddled 30 minutes before I saw my first bird, this great blue heron.
I know. I failed to get all of the head. I did get all of the head in my next picture.
I missed capturing the first eagle I saw. Just after the great blue blue heron. Looking in a tree, thinking "that's a big bird." Then the not yet mature bald eagle took off, white feathers starting to come in on the head and tail. A few minute later, this one flew overhead, before perching. Note the blue sky. This shot, like the first was taken at 11:50. Clouds. I told you it was windy.
I saw bald eagles, likely the same ones, several more times during the afternoon. No more pictures. Bald eagle pictures, that is.
Turtles and other, larger, reptiles.
I had good views of 3 alligators, all big. Two more splashing into the water as I approached. All in the same type of environment. Bends in the Econ with deep water and banks or logs to sun.
In addition to the great blue heron and bald eagle already shown, birds seen were vultures, great egret, red shouldered hawks, blur herons and limpkins. Final two seen here.
Just three other paddlers during the first two hours. Further downstream, a few more, including two groups, one with three kayaks, the other with three and a canoe, at the Flagler Trail Bridge.
I took a break, then was on my way, landing at 2:29.
A pleasant 3 and a half hours on the Econlockhatchee River. To top off the day, I found the bike odometer.