Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salt Springs Run

Woke up Sunday to fog. But, my paddling partner told me the forecast called for it to clear by 9.  The forecast was wrong.  More like 9:30. Which was fine.  Time for breakfast, clean, pack and go. Here is the inside of our lodging.

Sand hill cranes were making a racket.  I went to investigate.

We made the short drive to the Salt Springs Marina and were on Salt Springs Run at 10:05.

Truth be told, John H. was on the water at 10:05, taking the two pictures of me.    On Thursday, he wasn't keeping the yak straight.  Sunday, he's in the water, spinning the kayak to take pictures.  I think its the guide.

 Blue wing teal, below.

I was hoping manatees would be near the launch site as they had been last Saturday.  After all, what kind of a guide was I if all John saw over 4 days were alligators, deer, monkeys, dolphins (he missed their brief appearance) and a Space Shuttle Launch. Plus a bald eagle, but not while kayaking, yet.  With the warm weather, the manatees had left the warm waters near Salt Springs.

Above 3 pics courtesy John H.  Back to my view.

A bald eagle rode the thermals, higher and higher, away from us. It would be nice if it landed on that big bare tree, I thought.  It did not, yet.  We passed the overlook at the end of the Salt Springs Trail, paddled a bit further down the Run, then turned back.  The, or maybe a different eagle, returned.

The eagle landed on the tree I anticipated it would.

Besides John and I, just one other paddler on the Run.  Not to many boats, for a Sunday.  Two airboats, the first one well muffled. (For an airboat)

 Manatee at the overlook?   I noticed the swirl when downloading. Probably just a diving fowl.

Above pic, me, my John.
We left the Salt Springs Marina and headed to the Salt Springs Recreation Area.

One of my favorite springs.

Saw an otter, dimly, as my glasses were off, across the spring from the entry steps.  Swam over hoping to catch it underwater. No luck.

I did not see any blue crabs. A few pics of John.

I gave John the camera.
 Every time I look at the above picture I scratch my head.  There is hair up there, I swear.

We left Salt Springs Recreation Area looking for a scenic Forest Road to explore in John's all wheel drive van.

I think when a road is marked with a metal post, it means you need a lot more than all wheel drive, if you want to keep driving.  A short drive in and we were stopped in the sand.  John's driving skill got us out.

Time to find something a bit less rustic.  Roads to campgrounds must be maintained.  As is the road to the Pat's Island Trail head. Just off 19, we took it.

Much better. Graded dirt. I could do this in my car, and I will.  Little wildlife in the middle of the day, but at  dusk, I would expect deer, and maybe, bears.

We drove on the northern edge of the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, past the Pat's Island Trail head, to an intersection, then headed south on the western edge of the Wilderness, to Highway 40.  Exited the Forest at 3:45. Last photo by John H.



Luis said...

OK... Looks like you liked the place. Usually you do not go to the same place so quickly. Looking forward the rest of the tale.

Dave said...

Luis, Salt Springs and Salt Springs Run are half a mile so where we stayed, so it was the perfect place for the last day of a four day kayaking weekend.

Luis said...

Looks like a nice place and a not so complicated paddle. We may give it a try this Friday.