Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hontoon Loop

Took  a Friday off  and launched  from the French Avenue ramp on the St. Johns River at 8:08 AM. It is part of Blue Springs State Park.  Unlike the main part of the Park, the entrance is not gated so you can enter before 8 AM.

I paddled up the St. Johns to Blue Springs Run


Blue Spring.  Volusia Blue Spring to be precise, as there are several "Blue Springs" in Florida
 Gar in the spring run



St. Johns  River
Passing the French Ave ramp.  I do not park on the ramp when launching my kayak. 






I had not paddled up the St. Johns to the north end of Hontoon Island for a while. Doing the shorter "Snake Creek Loop" instead.

The Bartram Trail sign is in the parking area where a free, electric powered pontoon boat will take you across the St. Johns to Hontoon Island State Park.

 As I wrote above, it had been awhile since I have made the trip down the St. Johns.  Even longer since I've landed here. The docks seemed high.  How did I land here before?

The low step is on the back side, so you do not see it until you paddle past all the slips.  Which were almost deserted.
After I got out and pulled the kayak on the dock, and carried it to shore to keep it out of the way, a ranger said some people land at the area above.
 I think this is what the kids call a "selfie"  Mirror on the curve so the cart carrying campers can see whats ahead.


 New directional signs.

 When I first paddled around Hontoon Island, you could land here.  Made the walk to the shell mound at the end of the trail much shorter.
Closed to protect vegetation

 Massive live oak on top of the shell mound

 Some fat old fart blocking the view of the tree

 U.S. Geological Survey marker



There are 6, I think, primitive cabins. Lightbulb and fan.  Cook outside. Walk to restroom


You can see why this hawk is named, "red shouldered"

 "Other two?" I only see three totems
 The third is inside a little museum. Where I took a break from the noon time heat
Outside for lunch
Back in the yak at 1 PM
All you need
 To the Hontoon Dead River


 The old landing area.  Before I got here,   I encountered a family in a canoe, the were paddling back.  I saw them set out as I ate lunch.  They said they were told they could land here, and were wondering where this was.  Wonder who said that.



 Entering Snake Creek


When I was at Hontoon State Park, a ranger asked me to report how the conditions were.  I was going to ask you, I replied.
 Looking back at an area I paddled through.  As I am writing over a month later, conditions may have changed.


 Over and thorough the duck weed




 Back on the St. Johns



Swallow tail kite


 Landed at 4:15
 "New" hiking biking trail off French Ave. New in quotes as it has been about a year since I was last here.

Someone thought a car was a bike.

In main part of Blue Springs State Park.  Boardwalk along the spring run
In the water.
 Under the water



Miller Time. Ormond Beach.  I was headed to my ocean front room at the Sun Deck Motel
 This is not it.   I had made the reservation when I was at the Sun Deck about a month ago.
 The lady at the desk blamed another worker for giving it to someone else
This room is not the one I was first given.  That one did not have a full kitchen. I went back to the office and said I was planning on cooking and needed a kitchen.  I got it.  And was told the people who lucked into an ocean front room would be asked if they could switch.  They did not.  Jerks.  But, worked out for me as I was charged one night at the non-kitchen rate for two nights for a room with a kitchen.  And will get $10 a night off my next stay.





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