Day Two of my birthday weekend, Saturday, November 13, 2010, after breakfast of leftover steak and potaotes, I drove 30 miles south of Crystal River to Weeki Wachee. Just one car in the Rogers Park lot. There is now a pay machine $5. I launched a 9 am. A few minutes later, I arrived at Hospital Hole.
I arrived at the "No Vessels Beyond This Point" sign, which is a short paddle up River from the Park launch, just past the tour boat dock, at 12:20. Like Homosassa Spring, the only way to view Weeki Wachee Spring is from inside the Park.
Two landing spots on the River were closed a few years ago due to assholes. Excuse the language, but that is what they are.
I stopped on the bank to have a sandwich, just outside the Park property where no landing is allowed. The guy who had paddled upstream, came by. I asked if anyone was at the launch. Four people. I timed my day almost perfectly. As I went further down the River, I began to pass people I had encountered on the way up. They certainly were in no hurry. Only one of the blue rental motor boats on the water.
Back to Hospital Hole, I got into the water.
I got back in the kayak, and returned to Rogers Park. No paddling to the Gulf and or Mud River this trip. I was a bit tired after two paddles on Friday, and I had to save something for Sunday. Plus, I wanted to check out the Weeki Wachee Preserve. Here's a link. My plan to stop at the Burnt Road entrance. I missed it. But, I had a very interesting, and scenic drive on Hernando County Road 595 through Hernando Beach and the hamlet of Aripeka. Winding, bridges over coastal marshes, occasional Gulf views, a few tree lined areas. This is east of 597, Shoal Line Blvd. Reminded me of the Ormond Loop in Volusia County. It is marked as a bike route. Eventually, I found the Osowaw Blvd. entrance to the Preserve.
. The Preserve is an old quarry. The lakes that dot it were dug out for limestone deposits, the spill forms mini Florida buttes.