Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kayaking Wekiva River & Rock Springs Run

I finally got to put my new kayak in the water for the first time this past weekend!  On Saturday morning I packed a cooler with drinks & snacks, loaded my kayak into the back of my truck, and headed to Wekiva Springs State Park to spend the day kayaking with my dad & brother.  After paying the $4 (single occupant) entrance fee, and carrying my kayak down the 1/4 mile trail to the launch site I was ready to see some gators. Off we went...

My new Pelican Apex 100 kayak
It didn't take long before we came across the first gator of the day in the lake by the launch site. It was a baby, maybe 3 feet in length swimming across the lake.  I grabbed my (actually the wife's) waterproof camera, and snapped a picture only to find out that the memory card was NOT in the camera.  I didn't check it before I left the house.  Oops!

(Dad & Tyler) We had the river all to ourselves in the morning
No more pictures for the rest of this trip...  We saw a BIG cottonmouth in the water on the lake before heading down river. I hate snakes, so I didn't stick around to look at it.  After heading down the Wekiva River about  a 1/2 mile we took a left turn, and headed up the shallow Rock Springs Run.  This is an upstream paddle, and makes for a good workout.  We saw a lot of birds, and 2 more gators, a 4 1/2 footer, and a 6 1/2 footer with only one eye.  We paddled up to Otter Camp, our turn around point.  The return trip is downstream, and requires little to no effort.  We saw one more 5 1/2 foot gator on the Wekiva River on our way back to the canoe/kayak launch.  It was 1pm, and the river was getting busy.  It is amazing how many people were paddling within 15 feet of this gator, and didn't even realize it.

In all we saw 4 gators, a cottonmouth, 40 or 50 turtles, and a lot of birds in less than 4 hours on the water... Not a bad day. Next time I will be sure to check the camera before leaving home.

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