Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kayaking and Camping, Seminole State Forest

Camping at the Moccasin Spring campsite in the Seminole State Forest. That’s the spring, above. 20-25 yards to Blackwater Creek. My favorite camping spot. Have not been here since last April, been trying to get it since before Christmas. Must be the favorite for others, too.

I call it modified kayak camping. Meaning, you do not paddle to it, but drive and walk. Saw rabbits on the way in, a common sight in April. 3.5 miles from State Road 46, through the gate over Blackwater Creek, to the parking area. A clearing. A path leads to the campsite. This is why I call this modified kayak camping. Unlike true kayak camping, where your gear is limited by what you can load in, and on your yak, and still have it ride above the water line. at Moccasin Springs you are limited to what you can carry down the 125 yard path. Unlike a drive in campsite where you throw everything in the car and park next to the tent platform and fire ring.

The wheels on my kayak cart have been falling off a lot lately, cotter pin is not quite the correct size, so I had a light load. Tent and paddling gear. Set up the tent and was under way at 9:13

Would have started 20-30 minutes earlier, but when I tested a flashlight Friday, it would not turn off. Connection problem. I could not fix it, so I bought another. Which also did not work. Good thing I tested that one at the check out, so I could get another. Third time the charm.  Nice to have a Publix on the way. Of course, in Florida, Publix is on the way to just about everything.



20 minutes down Blackwater Creek to the bridge and day use launch site. Non-motorized craft only


The Creek is high. Last Saturday’s deluge still having an effect. It has not rained at my house since than, probably not here, either, 25 miles northwest.

Limpkin, first animal photo, an hour 7 minutes into the trip. Wood ducks, king fishers and a turkey refused to pose.



I refer to the bird not the colors of the Wisconsin Badgers

40 41 42 43

Gators. I refer to reptiles, not the team that will lose to the Badgers. I write this on Saturday at 6
:35. I will not see Saturday’s game. Or hear the Wisconsin game as it is on a station that powers down at sunset. The height of idiocy, as my Mom would say.  Sunday update...what, there's no 3rd place game?

Barred owl

 But for alligators, I would not have seen much wildlife.
Hmmm... does one lead to the other?



Entering the Wekiva River, 11:57.

Went left, north, down stream


Unlike Blackwater Creek, there were people on the Wekiva. 5-6 boats. No kayaks.


The herons and hawk were in an area made accessible by high water

St. Johns River, 12:59. Time to turn back. Too many fast boats. Not to mention I had to now paddle against the current.


I began in the Seminole State Forest, but most of this paddle, including the majority of the Blackwater Creek portion, is in the Lower Wekiva State Preserve


First turtle of the day

Usually see them before the alligators


Back to Blackwater, 2:00 PM


 Classic legs akimbo pose

Just alligators and I.

And, an anhinga.

Took a break at the usual spot


I had eaten a sandwich floating down the Wekiva. Apple and cookies, here.
Bears use this spot to. I have a photo of one crossing the Creek here. In the archives, not today
 Back on the water.  Looking for the baby gators that are often nearby

Found some


 This little fella may have a short lifespan.  Unless he learns to jump off the log with his siblings.





Empty day use area.  A car was parked on the bridge, one guy fishing, another in a little rowboat.  Only people I saw on Blackwater Creek


Landed at 5 after 5.

The path from Creek to car.  Made a couple trips.

Began this Tale as I ate.  Just a draft, as no wi fi, or even power in the Forest.  Power is available at a hunter's check station, near the Forest entrance.  I went there to power up the camera batteries.  Saw a deer on the way. Just for an instant. Which is good for the deer, so it won't wind up here

Fire in the sky.
Fire in the pit.



Joanne said...

Blackwater is so pretty this time of year. You saw more wildlife than I did last time, several weeks ago. No snakes? I saw 4 yesterday on Wekiva/RSR.

Dave said...

Not that I saw, Snake Eyes.

Luis said...

This is the one activity that I will have to live via Dave's Yak Tales. No way to convince wifey to go camping. I guess it has to be unique, at night in the forest. Unique and beautiful.