Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Canaveral National Seashore

I kayaked the Mosquito Lagoon after work today, Saturday, June 19, 2010. I had considered the Wekiva River from Katie's , but the forecast called for a 60% chance of rain late in the afternoon. On the east coast, just 30%. Typical summer weather, storms move in from the coast, so the coast is the place to be.

Put in about 1:30 at the usual spot, the kayak launch site in the Canaveral National Seashore. Just one car in the small lot. Paddled south, into the breeze, towards, and past Eldora. It was hot, but being on the water and the breeze made it bearable. Went as far as two coves where I've seen manatees. Did not see any. None all afternoon. A short afternoon, about 2.5 hours. I did see dolphins. Unable to get any photos.

Great egret flying over a great blue heron.
Eldora State House

After I turned around, I let the wind push me to the west side of the Lagoon. Not all the way, but west to a line of islands including Orange Island.

Birds seen, but not photoed, include tri colored heron, ibis, osprey and swallow tailed kite. Lots of leaping mullet.

I turned around at Turtle Mound. A much shorter paddle than usual in the Lagoon. I did not want to paddle a long time into the wind, which was now in my face. So, of course I paddled into it past the launch site. To the Eldora dock, hoping to see manatees. I was very surprised to see none. They usually are commonplace in the Lagoon this time of year.
I landed at 4:20. Saw just 2 other paddlers. Not many other boats. Perhaps it was busier in the morning, with cooler temps.

My last visit to the National Seashore, or perhaps the last few times, I noticed a new sign on the north side of State Road 44. "Longleaf Pine Preserve". I decided to check it out. Drove past it, had to go about a mile before there was a break in the median. Eastbound, there is a turn into the Preserve. http://volusia.org/growth/longleaf.htm

12,000 acres, who knew? I, and you do now. The kiosk describes two hiking trails.

Bikes are allowed. So I began to ride. The above sign notes "Low areas of the trails may be several feet underwater after rainy periods. Three of these areas are indicated on the map"

There are two trails, red 6 miles, blue 11. I rode the red, but not far long. I started out wide and firm. A few puddles. Not bad, I thought. But then.

I came to the first low area. I walked the bike along the elevated walkway, just enough room for the bike and I. I stopped, leaned the bike against a tree and walked to the end of the walkway. With two more low areas to get by, I decided to save this trail for the dry season.
A closer look at the map at the trail head shows that of the three low lying areas, one is on the red trail, two on the blue. So, maybe I will try it again this summer.

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