Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ichetucknee River, and Santa Fe River

On the Ichetucknee at 8 AM

River a bit high, but no where near it was last time  I paddled, in the springtime. Then, not only was the landing at the last takeout underwater, the railings were, too.

Mist rising off the warm River. It was 50 degrees in Gainesville.  I had the heat on in the car on the drive up.

But, wore t shirt and swim trunks as I knew I would warm up.


Saw a buck on the limestone cliffs







Devils Eye Springs. Saw another deer to the right.  Saw two otters, earlier.  One at a time in different spots on the River.  And, I think, a bobcat.  Glimpsed a head and ears peering around a tree. First thought, deer.  When I got to where it was, it was gone.  I think I would have seen a deer bounding away.  Not a lower to the ground bobcat.
 Never noticed this before.  Spring behind the spring to the right of the main spring.
Did not see the beavers
 Underwater views





 Saw two deer on this bank
Now, you do too.

Saw as many deer as people coming down stream

 Arrived at 10.  Just after hitting my head on a log.  It left a mark. Right forehead.  Vertigo kicks in mostly when I lay down with my head to the left, so it all evens out
Ichetucknee Spring

 From the edge
My vertigo had me hesitate getting in the water.
 But not for long
I was cautious, snorkeling on the surface.


Eventually, I did dive. Not deep and not for long.



Out of one spring, headed to another
 New boardwalk on the way to Blue Hole Spring

Half mile from spring to spring

 As at Ichetucknee Spring, I had Blue Hole to myself.


 I did not dive at Blue Hole.  It is deeper, stronger flow. Not a good place to get disoriented.  Swam on the surface.  Except when I had to go under a small branch in Cedar Head Spring run.

 Can't get to far up the run before kicking up the bottom

I have yet to see Cedar Head Spring. The run is full of big bass.
 Above is a catfish, I think, back near Blue Hole
Aptly named.
 Vies from the deck

 River from the trail. So far, I saw one person in the Park.  A volunteer on the trail.  I thanked her.



Back on the water at 11:45. Waited as a canoeing couple, and then two kayakers, landed. I felt better about the bump on my head as they talked about have problems with the low bridge, too. One of the kayakers steadied the front end of my yak as I got in.

 Made it under unscathed this time.




Dam. I did not see any of the toothy builders






The first people I saw as I headed downstream were more volunteers. Removing water lettuce. An invasive plant.


Signs at both ends of the Park said a turtle survey would take place, Saturday.  I think the researchers would have no problem finding specimens.




After Labor Day, tubers can only enter the River here, and at another landing a short paddle downstream.


 Coffee Spring. Rare snail habitat
Two groups of tubers.  One noisy, the other, quiet.


Landed at 1:20
 Stopped at the Santa Fe River to kill some time and check the water level for later
 Turned out I did not have to kill time.  Check in at the High Springs Country Inn is 1:00 PM
 First time here.  The other two times I have stayed in High Springs I stayed at the Cadillac Motel.  The Country in is number 1 on Trip Advisor. Out of 3 motels.  I would have been more impressed if the WI FI worked and the roof wasn't being replaced.  Somehow, I managed to take a nap.
The Boat ramp in Highway 27 is 2.4 miles away. On the Santa Fe at 5:57.

 Paddled up River

Tree on the Rock
 The "A" in SantA Fe


Alligator Swallet  Where part of the Santa Fe goes under ground.  A good spot to turn around




 Alligator Rise  Where the water that went underground reappears.

Boat ramp.  I went past it.

To see ancient monoliths
 Old railroad bridge supports
Landed just before 7.  Bad news in the parking lot.  A guy asked me if I saw anyone in the lot.  His car had been keyed on both sides.  I told him all I saw was his car and some guys in a green van, fishing from the bank.
Back to the motel. The roofers were done for the day, and the WI FI was working.  I had a TV dinner. in the microwave. 
More to come

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