Way down upon the suwannee river

Simon is off on an adventure I’ve always wanted to do – kayaking the Suwannee River – that’s Suwannee as in “Way down upon the Suwannee River”. I drove him up Wednesday to a put in spot north of Gainesville, Stephen Foster State Park, and Tina will pick him up on Sunday down stream at Troy Springs, a paddle on the order of 60 miles. There are strategically placed primitive camp grounds or full fledged state parks along the river so he’ll be semi roughing it. I’d love to go but that long in a kayak would kill me. I can do about 2 hours before my back cramps up. Tom and I talked and we’re not as experienced (or tough) as he is with respect to really roughing it – sleeping on the ground or hanging in a hammock or whipping up a meal from dried beans. Our camping has always been closer to a motel in terms of creature comforts. Last minute update – he called this evening and made it to the first river camp just fine. It was about a 10 mile run and he said he just drifted much of it and checked out the wildlife. He got underway about 10:45AM and was in the cabin by 6PM. The cabin is a single room, screened, roofed, platform that would sleep about 5 people. He’s the only customer tonight and used hooks in the wall to hang his hammock. There’s electricity and running water at each cabin (I think he said there were 5 cabins) and a community hot shower. He made pasta for din din. I’m done worrying – he has it totally under control.

Getting underway
Getting underway
ready for the river
ready for the river
launched
launched
downstream
downstream

I took a walk on the wild side. Some guys ride motorcycles, some guys sky dive, some guys swim with great whites. I planted lettuce in the garden in the summer. I must be an adrenaline junkie. Actually I’ve been lucky so far with light rain for the first couple of days which kept the temp below 90. All of the tomato seeds I planted have germinated and I’m starting to transplant them into flats for my “customers”. Ditto the broccoli. I’ve been worried about the corn drifting away but so far, it seems to be thriving in the wet soil.

Sure ready for this rain to stop. We seem to be averaging an inch each day, mostly light, but mostly constant. The lake has reached a peak such that adding rain temporarily raises the lake but within a few hours it recedes to the peak-so the lake must be draining at the north end. There’s another lake a few hundred yards to the north which in turn drains into a large lake, Disston, to the north and west. These drain areas are normally high and dry but must be all connected into one large water system now.

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