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Monday, March 9, 2015

Holmes Creek - 14' of Trouble - Florida - March 9

 Holmes Creek, Florida - March 9, 2015                                       11 miles        511.8 total
10:00 to 3:30, half an hour lunch break, 2 other stops, about 70 degrees, slightly overcast
Put in at Cotton Landing, Take out at Hightower Springs
Me, Scotty, Rachel, Sydnie, Jerry & Patsy Halvorson

We met up and did the shuttling business, then got into the river.  We met the Halvorsons who are spending their winter in Florida traveling around in their RV - I am very jealous!  This was Sydnie's first time kayaking so we spent a little bit of time at the beginning showing her what to do.  It didn't take long, and by the end of the day, she was a pro - making turns, paddling under trees and around logs.  We didn't see a lot of wildlife which surprised me.  We saw a few turtles, one osprey flying overhead, a crane hiding behind the cypress trees.
This creek had lots of twists and turns.  Any other paddle, I might enjoy that.  But, today I was paddling our 'new' used 14 foot kayak.  You wouldn't think an extra 2 feet would make a difference, but let me tell you - on a twisty creek, it makes a difference!  I got stuck several times and had to be helped through some narrow spots.  Rachel enjoyed this immensely as she had the camera on one of my trickier spots.  She got a lovely photo of me grimacing.
Towards the end of our day, there were many islands.  We had to make decisions several times on whether to go left or right.  At one fork in the river, Rachel started to go right, and yelled 'alligator'.  She had just seen an alligator's head sink under the water.  I was directly behind her, but only saw the trail of bubbles.  Excitement on Holmes Creek!
It was a wonderful day and after the last few miles of islands, twists and turns, we were happy to finally see the take out!

This is Cypress Springs which flows at 89 million gallons per day.  

Rachel decided to go for a swim!

Then Scotty joined her!

Some of us decided to stay in our boats or on the dock :)

We saw many trees that buckled like this.  Anybody know why?  We don't!

Dogwoods in Florida?

Look at these beautiful girls that joined us on this paddle!

We saw this interesting cabin along the creek.

I learned a lesson today - a 14 foot kayak is not good for a creek with lots of trees down!

We don't see banks like this in Tennessee!

Another spring at the end of our paddle.

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