The view from my lodgings at Park Place in Cedar Key. Same unit I had Labor Day Weekend, 2010. I you want to see the interior, see my Tale from September. Today, I woke up at 10 to 4. Actually, I woke up about 3, and never got back to sleep, so I said "might as well start the weekend. I was on the Waccasassa River in Levy County at 7. The place was packed. But everyone except yours truly was headed west, towards the Gulf. I paddled upstream.
I really like this "other" Wekiva. Some day, I need to explore what is beyond this log.
It's been there all three times I have. Three times where, I was on my way to Cedar Key for more kayaking. Perhaps some day I'll do a day trip and just paddle the Wekiva and Waccasassa. 8:15 when I turned around.
|Limestone karst. Florida's underlying geology.|
Twenty minutes. Enough time on the Waccasassa. Remember, I was saving myself for more kayaking at Cedar Key. And Sunday. And Monday.
If I wasn't raised right, I'd spell out, "Look at that f@# *ing tree!" By the way, she who raised me is in Boston, to see the fifth college graduation of one of her grandchildren. Who, even better, has a job. Congrats, Becky.
The Waccasassa widens near the boat ramp. I chose not to go past it, not wanting to share. I had the up River portion all to myself. Landed at 10:40 in an overflowing parking lot. Trucks and trailers parked down 326. I did not see any car top carriers.
Got the yak on my cartop carrier, and headed to Cedar Key.
As noted in prior Tales, the Cedar Keys are a scaled down version of the Florida Keys. Instead of driving 90 miles on US 1/Overseas Highway from the Turnpike, its 24 miles on State Highway 24 from US 19. Only 4 bridges, none 7 miles, or even half a mile, long. I arrived at Park Place, asked if it was possible to check in. Not yet, the unit had been occupied Friday night, and was still being cleaned. But I could park, and walk across the street to the kayak launch site. I did, a shorter walk than Wekiwa Springs State Park. The last two times I stayed overnight in Cedar Key, I took the car to the launch.
I made the short, half mile crossing from Way Key, the key in the Cedar Keys that the town of Cedar Key is on, to Atsena Otie Key, the key that housed the original settlement.
On past Cedar Keys paddles, I had stopped on Atsena Otie, but never ventured far from the beach. I knew their was a trail leading into the interior, but never found it. Until today.
Guessed right. The blades.
Good morning. I'm having my traditional left over steak and potatoes breakfast. With onion and cheese. I'm a bit disappointed as the marine forecast has deteriorated. From light chop to moderate chop.The eye test shows branches swaying and the occasional whitecap I may have to alter my float plan. I hoped to paddle to some of the outlying Keys. Snake and Seahorse. But, I may have to stay in the bayous as I did on April. Speaking of April, one nice feature about the condo I stayed in then was the balcony had a nice high table and chair where I could sit, eat, drink and compose the Yak Tale. This one has plastic, backyard chairs and a short side table. So, I'm inside. For now. Back to Saturday.
The trail on Atsena Otie Key leads to a cemetery.
And ends with a view of a bayou.
I wondered about the disheveled condition of the site, and thought, too bad I dont' have any flowers. Last night, while searching for information on the dock, I came across this article from the Orlando Sentinel
I had not known about this, or rather had not until I saw this timeline.
I'd bet keeping the Key undeveloped as brought in more revenue from tourists than property taxes from a few rich people who would have found ways to evade them.
In April I saw lots of spoonbills in this area. None today. Paddled up the channel to Nature's Landing, just enough water to do so. Tried to enter the side channel that has a black crowned night heron rookery, to shallow. I did see something very neat in the channel. Something surfaced Odd angle for a fish. It surfaced again, I saw more of the turtle. About 2 feet in size, greenish. That was on the way in. I saw it, or another, on the way out of the channel. I thought it might be a Kemp's Ridley turtle. A quick google search shows it was. http://www.cedarkey.org/docs/releasing_kemps_ridley_turtles-17th.pdf I had forgotten about the released turtles.
Approaching Dock Street, right. The Atsena Otie dock is in the left background.
Last pics of the day, taken about 8:25.