Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Myakka River SP Day 2

Black bellied whistling ducks.  They do. Make a whistling sound.  In flight.

I heard scratching sounds during the night. Mice, I thought. Turned on the light, did not see any. Went back to sleep. Woke up, looked out the windows to see what was there. Nothing. But outside the door.

Maybe it was pigs I heard. 6:42 AM, might as well start the day with a walk. Who knows what else is out there.

Cabin Road

Deer on the Park Road

At the Park bridge

My turnaround point
Likely one of the same two deer. Same area. On a .03mile walk, its all the same area.

I extended the distance on the way back by going to the far end of Cabin Road. Probably added another 2/10 of a mile.
Path from parking spot to Cabin 4

Outer views


Step inside



The cabins will close for renovation in August. They will be raised even higher to limit flood damage.
Freshly cooked, not the usual left over cheap steak for breakfast
Still the inexpensive kind. Round steak, I think.
I went to the ranger station to get my Wilderness Permit. In a light drizzle. To the Park Bridge to launch. A gentleman with a kayak on his car drove past, than came back. His first time at Myakka. He also had a Wilderness Permit. I answered his questions honestly. Told him I never have had problems with alligators on the Myakka River. But there was the time on the Silver River..... I also mentioned the channel can sometime be confusing, but as it would be light until 8:45 PM he would have plenty of time to back track. Not the most reassuring answers. He asked if he could join me. I told him I prefer to kayak alone. He said that was okay, maybe he would see me down River.
 Under way at 9:17 Immediately feeling like a chump. I should have said, sure, join me.

Black crowned night heron


Maturing blue heron

 Chimney swifts. I think.

Entering the Wilderness
I had been looking back for the guy at the launch. Did not see him. Maybe he went up stream. Or somewhere without alligators. I would feel bad if I had kept him off the Myakka.

I think it was last summer when these pink blossoms were everywhere south of the State Road 72 Bridge. I forget what they are called. Can’t cheat and look it up as no web access in the Cabin.
I saw very few alligators. Heard, but did not see. Water level is fairly high, so there are no banks. It is also hot, so they are in the River. No reason to be in the sun when the water temp is probably over 80. Of course, as soon as I thought I am not seeing any gators, one came out of the reeds right in front of me.

Just before the guy from the launch caught up to me.
Entering Lower Myakka Lake

Tri color heron

Great egret.

Dave is the guy’s name. Easy enough to remember. From Akron. He let me paddle with him across Lower Myakka Lake to Deep Hole. Where, when the River is low, alligators congregate as is, as the name implies, deep. Lots of water.
No gators on the banks as limited banks. Several on the surface.

I asked Dave how a guy from Ohio learns about Deep Hole. Internet. I had to ask if he ever heard of Dave’s Yak Tales. Yes, saw the site today. I tapped my PFD and said, that’s me. He was looking for permit information. Dave’s Yak Tales was the third thing that came up.

Only third?  I turned around, he kept going.
A windy paddle back across Lower Myakka. Fortunately, it was at my back.

Back on the River portion.
Strong current. The ranger suggested turning around once I got past State Road 72, take a few strokes to make sure I could make in back. I told her I would. I did not turn, but made a few backwards strokes. I’ve paddled stronger currents. Not saying it was not a challenge. My arms would slap me. If I could lift them to my face.

Akron Dave rejoined me shortly before we landed. I had thought he may just be doing a one way paddle. Having someone from the place he rented it picking him up.

Landed at 1:16. 4 hour paddle. 30 pictures which has to be an all time low on the Myakka River.
The launch/landing site, which had big, hard to get your footing rocks, my last visit, is now covered with small stones. Much better footing.

Lunch under the Myakka Outpost. The new building is raised for flooding. Picnic tables underneath. In the shade.
Fine spot for a sandwich and internet access. I was there 75 minutes when it was time to make a decision. The food service operation closes at 4 on weekends. I decided to have seafood gumbo and a local brew.

 And since I was now a paying customer, sat on the balcony. Not that it would have mattered, at it was almost empty on a hot July weekday afternoon.

Went back to the cabin, which does have AC, and composed Yak Tales. Then, as long as I had a Wilderness Permit, I decided to go for a walk in the Preserve.

Did not plan to go far, the wet trail made it shorter.

A little gator was in the water above. I kept going. Turned back at the next trail pond.


For Florida Dry Prairie, it sure was wet.

Hog trap.  Never seen a hog inside one.  I think. 20 minute walk. Back to the civilized part of the Park. Turned in my Wilderness Permit and asked the rangers how the condition of the trails in the Park were. Not sure, but thought they were okay. I planned to bike a short loop. Beginning at Ranch House Road.


To All Weather Road. With that name, I am guessing it is raised above the flood plain.

Nice buck

To Powerline Road.
Or as I like to call it, Osprey Alley
More deer

Saw two more, running.
And osprey

On the Park Road back to Ranch House Road

Back to the Outpost

 Thought about putting the kayak in. I had a lot of kayaking ahead of me in the next 5 days, so I did not. Good decision as it rained.

Last pic from the balcony

Walked to the dam as the sun was setting. A group coming back said there was huge alligator nearby.

Pretty big.

Plus two more

15 yards, and a short stone wall between us

The reason I did not have a Pabst with the seafood gumbo

Knew I'd have one with steak and potatoes to end the day.












Dave from Ohio said...

I really enjoyed my time on the Myakka. It was nice meeting you and thank you for all your advice when kayaking the rivers in Florida. I hope to come back soon.

Dave from Akron

Dave said...

Glad you enjoyed it.