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Friday, September 30, 2016

Silver Springs, then Juniper Springs - A Fun Challenge

Avg Speed 2.1 mph, Max Speed 5.3 mph     Silver Springs                              5 miles        960.3
Avg Speed 2.4 mph, Max Speed 5.7 mph      Juniper Springs                             7 miles      967.3

Silver Springs - So just when we were about to take down camp the skies opened and rain came pouring down. We waited for a while maybe 45 minutes and then took down the tent and headed over to Ray Wayside Park as the skies turned bright blue during our drive.we paddled about 2 1/2 miles upstream and then we turned around and came back to started.  The water was clear you could see to the bottom. We passed lots of fish and lots and lots of birds.

We drove over to Juniper Springs. We took the kayaks to the recreation area to put it where there's a long boardwalk where you can wheel  your kayaks down to Juniper Springs.  At the rec area is a fenced off pool area and a mill.   There is a ranger at the station at the springs to make sure no one brings food wrappers. She and I talked for a while while Scotty went to drop off the truck. For the 1st mile of this paddle the water was only 1 to 2 foot deep and never more than 4 foot wide.  There was a sandy bottom and it took a lot of maneuvering to get down that 1st mile. We dragged along the bottom a few times. For the rest of the 6 miles it was all twists and turns with lots of logs across the water.  There were also low hanging trees where we had to duck and in fact at one point Scotty lost his hat on a branch, but I saved it.   We think we saw one alligator back in a small inlet and if it wasn't an alligator it was a huge huge log. We also passed a small red deer who stopped at us as we passed her on the bank. There were not as many birds and fish in this river. But we saw tons of turtles and they just sat on their long as we paddled by. This was definitely the most challenging of the rivers we've done this week and I think that if we had a longer boat it would've been impossible to do this river. At the end we talked to two of the workers here and they said that on some days they put in two hundred boats and it's wall-to-wall people with lots of yelling and they call it divorce alley.

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