Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rainbow River

Greetings from the Blue Gator in Dunnellon Florida.  No WIFI at the Angler's Resort.  So, I'm on a deck, overlooking the Withlacochee River.  The place is packed.
 Turtle at the launch at Blue Run Park of Dunellon.
First time I have been here to kayak since the new ramp was built. Did stop by once on the way home from Cedar Key
 Underway at 7:33
Fog, plus steam rising from the Rainbow, means fewer pictures on the way up stream.




I was the only one on the River. As far as I could see, which was not very.







I do not recall paddling this far in pea soupy conditions, ever.

Finally saw kayakers, launching at K.P. Hole Park

Green eyed lady

And, gentleman

Steam still rising as I entered the headwaters of the Rainbow River


Vacant swim area

Landed at 10

The landing is a set of wide steps. There is also a launch ramp. As the river level made the first step too low, and the second too high, I took the safe route, landing on the ramp. Than carrying the kayak up and around a walkway to the steps.


One of the best views in Florida

Azaleas and roses in bloom


Along side the man made waterfalls


Why I often mispronounce my niece’s, Camila, name.

Unsure if this was live, or part of the bath

Nature trail

Phosphate mine pit

Turned back
A butterfly garden is between the waterfall, azalea area, and the nature trail

Old zoo

Living history

Turpentine production was a big thing in Florida forests in the early 20th century.

 The water falls are a mid 20th century artifact.

Playing on the Park system's tagline, I call the water falls, "The Fake Florida"
 Springs, that's the Real Florida

 Detail from a poster from the roadside attraction days
Flower detail

Not a bad spot for a wedding


Visitor Center detail.  I asked the worker if my memory was fading as I recalled a display of the Rainbow River.  My memory is fine, it, and half the building were damaged in a fire a couple years ago.

Having reminded people for years that steps are not bleachers, I love this sign
 Into the swim area.  Just a few small vents.  The bigger springs, in the Park area, are off limits.

Down river, you can swim in many springs.  If you can find them




I think the rock piles are in the swim area just to make it more interesting.
 Out of the water
On the shore
 On the Rainbow, 12:25


Still in the State Park waters, hanging the camera over the side


Coming out of a cove outside the Park boundary, that's a No Trespassing sign.
 One of the bluest spots in the Rainbow
 Divers ahead of a pontoon boat from the Anglers Resort.  Where I had a room for the evening

As you can see, the fog lifted.  The windbreaker I wore on the up River paddle was in the hold.  But, I decided not to do what I often do on the Rainbow, snorkel down River, pulling the kayak behind be.   Might be kind of cool when I complete the journey, wet.   After 25 years, I'm a wimpy Floridian.




Padded up Rainbow Swamp Run. The gate installed by the time share mogul was open, but a downed log blocked access.

From my last visit:
new owner calls it "Gissy Springs"  I googled it.  Found some photos.  Commented on the illegal gate.  Got a reply.  The guy claims " The original land surveys have the high water mark where the current gate is, so the landowner legally owns the springheads and the entire waterway out to the gate."     Hmmm, wonder if those old surveys are available online. I'd like to see someone sue to re-establish public access.
Hmm... did my comments have an effect?
It is a shame the State did not purchase this land.






Soft shell turtle

Otter in the vicinity
 And a blue heron
The hard shelled turtles that caught my eye in the first place.

I saw a bald eagle, earlier.  Flying low as I came around a bend.



I have wondered about the Tomahawk Lodge
 Maybe I should go to Mass.
Yellow romper warbler.  Guessing, but I do see a yellow butt.

 This reminds me.  I saw a female wood duck, looking into the hole of another box, earlier.  First time I saw one used other than for a perch.

 I like a City Seal that has the confluence of the Withlacoochhe and Rainbow Rivers, a rainbow, and a bass.


Around this area I may have seen the first swallow tailed kites of the season.  Thought I saw forked tails high above the pines.


Hidden wood duck


Roost II

 I decided to paddle past the 484 Bridge and Blue Run Park and continue to the Withlacoochee

 Not sure what the above pic is. But, it looks nice.



 Spring fed Rainbow meets swamp fed Withlacoochee

 I really paddled to the With so I could get some shots of the Angler's Resort from the River
 On the other side of US 41 from the boat ramp at Dunnellon City Hall

Back up the Withlacoochee

 Saw the second bald eagle of the day. High, high, higher, riding the thermals



 Landed at 4:40
 Room 2, of 9 at the Angler's Resort
Kind of a dump, front door fraying on the bottom, mismatched knobs on the shower, curtains frayed, but a full kitchen.
 Shampoo, which lots of hotels don't have. Bed was fine.  Plenty of utensils
64 bucks including tax, works for me.
 No wi fi, but the adjacent restaurant/bar, the Blue Gator, does have wi fi
So I went over for a drink.
 Huge deck.  If the tables are all taken, and they were,  plenty of stools along the River
I asked the couple next to me what appetizers were good.  "Fried green beans and fried corn"  I did not see any apps on the menu.  I did see Tony's, as in Cedar Key, chowder.  Never saw that before outside of the place in CK.  I just had my rum and coke and back to the room for the traditional steak and potatoes.  Went back to the Blue Gator a couple times to add more pics to his Tale and a


Brenda M said...

Wow, you got some absolutely gorgeous photos in this batch!! Both above and below water, too. Luis-worthy photos!

Dave said...

"Luis-worthy" No higher praise can be given.