Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wekiva River

And, a little Blackwater Creek, above.  This makes 3 out of the last 4 times I have gone to Katie's Landing. And, 4 times in a row on the Wekiva.  Yesterday, 11 miles up River, at Wekiwa Springs. Once again, rain was forecast, so, a close by, scenic location was the place to go.
 Underway at 8:23.  A couple was unloading kayaks from a trailer as I got ready.  "Big family, or business? Business   $59 to $89 bucks. Hmmm.......I have two extra kayaks.
A pair of green herons on the west side of the River

Down the Wekiva

 This great blue heron struck a pose at the cove where I saw manatees, Thursday.  None today.  At least none that I saw.

Moor hen

 This boat was not here on Thursday

 Note to Stephanie.  I went into the opening that I thought was the one you explored a while back.  Unless the channel you paddled through is behind the fallen tree, this is not it.  Dead ended just off the river

There is a gator in the above photo.  One of two at the mouth of Blackwater Creek.

Access to the Creek is blocked.  At the point where you make a hard right turn.  Alternate route is also blocked.
 Hopefully, I will see it there are any more blockages coming the other way, on the 4th.  Just emailed my request for a State Forest Use Permit.  A place that requires a permit is the place to be on a holiday.  I have to work Friday, as if that will be productive, so no holiday road trip.
Back on the Wekiva

 It rained. It stopped.
Red bellied woodpecker
  Landed at 12:20.  The tour trailer was leaving as I landed.
Trail head across the street.

 Had to cut the walk short. Thunder and lightning
It came down as I was on Wekiva Park Road.  Raining cats and dogs. And chickens and cows and elephants.  It was nasty.  For miles to the Interstate, no more rain.  Gotta love scattered storms.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run

I decided to stay close to home and try to beat the rain.  Rain came early.  8 AM, and again at 11:30. Not hard, served as a cool down.
 Rain before today's showers has the Wekiva past the boardwalk to the Springs
I was delayed by a balky battery, changed it, and was on the water at 7:28.

Green heron
 Down the Wekiva River to Rock Springs Run.  Confluence below, RSR on the left.

 Blue heron
Great egret

Great blue heron.  Saw a swallow tail kite, and too my surprise, two kayakers trying to get a picture of it.  They got an earlier start than me.  Later, I found out they work for the Park.  That gave them the early start. And, there were half a dozen swallow tail kites near the bridge over the Wekiva.   Back to my paddle, this is when the first  rain shower hit.

 I encountered another pair of paddlers, coming down the Run.  Did not find out how they got their early start.  Maybe camping, as one alerted me to a "tree that fell down last night"
I was thinking of paddling until, 10:30, than 10:00.  Hearing voices coming own the Run, I turned around at 9:41.
 Just past the tram posts above.  A "tram" is an animal powered railroad line. Or, was.

It is always good to have a guide, or, now that I am a member of The Church of the Double Bladed Paddle, an usher

This may be the newly toppled tree.  At the high bank between Indian Mound and Big Buck. Room, and depth enough to paddle past on the left, heading down Run.

 Should have been in video mode.

 Had to go under this tree.

 Red shouldered hawk
Too bad the killer turtle pic is blurry. I was back on the Wekiva.  Busy now, with the weekend crowd.  And, rain.

Two gators and a turtle at the spot in the lagoon where I have seen little gators very visit but one since Feb., 2012.  Landed at 11:45.  The Park was busy, despite the rain, which continued to fall.  I carted the yak up the hill and secured it to the car in the drizzle.  Then, a slow drive to Sand Lake.  Hoped to see the deer I did not see while paddling. No such luck
 Lunch overlooking Sand Lake.  For those of you thinking, "Can you kayak Sand Lake?"  Yes, but it would not be worth the portage from the parking lot.  "Lake" is very generous for this pond.  Actually, a borrow pit.
Eastern towhee
 Gopher tortoise
White tail deer
 And another. There were two.
The trail was wet, I turned back.
 Mill Creek, below.   Not yakable

 I took the blue spur trail a direction I had not gone before.  A bridge over Mill Creek

 Short walk, could use a longer bridge in the rainy season
Rusty relic from the days the Apopka Sportsman Club owned this land?

Two deer, near the same spot.  Same behavior.  The bigger one looked at me for awhile, the smaller one bounded away.

Mill Creek, again.


 The only person I saw once I left the Sand Lake parking lot.
Back at the lot/trail head.
 Walked around Sand Lake
A new bridge.  In the past, I jumped over the Creek in the rainy season.
 I walked for about 90 minutes.
A deer from the Park road.  I got out for a better look.

Another fine day.  Despite heat, humidity, and rain.  This time of year, I am very jealous of folks Up North, who can enjoy these long days in relative comfort.