As I arrived at Trout Creek Park, I was listening to the Saturday morning bluegrass show on WMNF, community radio. Dueling Banjos. If that won't get you ready for a day on the water, nothing will. And the DJ said he is a paddler.
The first pic of the day was a barred owl.
A good start, bird wise. The black crowned night heron, immediately above, was one of several flying about. This one had the courtesy to land so I could get a so-so photo.
It was good to hear the eeire call, and see, limpkins. I haven't been seeing them lately on Rock Springs Run. I saw no one on the River until I was past Morris Bridge. Nothing like an early start.
Paddlers did start coming down the River, but only 10-12. Perhaps folks don't want to be outdoors when the forecast is high in the mid 90's with a 50% chance of afternoon thunderstorms. The Florida forecast from June through September.
The only gator pic, and a poor one, above. Taken near Sargeant Park, which is at the confluence of the Hillsborogh and Flint Rivers. Upstream of this point, the Hillsborough is not kept clear of downed trees. I should say of big trees, cut marks are evident, but as mentioned at the start of the Tale, I stopped at a tree that has blocked me for as long as I've been paddling the Hillsborough River.
Two more views of the barred owl "barred" refers to the markings, and my turn back log.
As mentioned earlier, I stopped at Sargeant Park for lunch. A few people were on the newly renovated boardwalk/fishing pier. I sat at a picnic shelter. No one in the picnic area. Kept an eye out for the Canoe Escape bus, bringing paddlers. None arrived. I was on my way at 12:20 pm.
The forecast T-storms came. Fortuntely for me, the thunder was far off. It did rain, steady, but not hard most of the way from Morris Bridge to Trout Creek. At least it kept the heat down.
I've paddled up Trout Creek before, but never as far as I did today. Despite seeing only a single songbird, it beautiful. I have seen large alligators on the Creek. Not today. Found a bridge, not the one I was looking for.
Trout Creek seems to be a local, Tampa area secret. I recall reading a description of it 6 years ago, when I first began my extensive kayak adventures. The writer reported it was impassable, water level to low. Today, I saw evidence of work to keep it clear, freshly sawed branches. I don't think this is done by the Canoe Escape folks, I bet its just local paddlers. If you happen to read this, thanks.
I was beat when I landed, 10 hours after I began. I almost went home. But, I bought the trail bike for places like this. Trout Creek, part of Wilderness Park, has an extensive trail system. I went for a short ride. 4 miles. The bridge over Trout Creek is 1.5 miles from the parking lot. View of Trout Creek from the trail bridge.