Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Fourth of July Paddle

Mack Lake Landing (or Mack Landing, depending on your map) is about a 40 minute drive from the house. There were only two trucks/boat trailers in the parking lot and no one staying in the campground. The river was pretty low, which gave me pause since my plan was to go up the narrow creek, but it seemed possible. Because it was so low, it was running slow, so I worried more about having to turn back than fighting the current. Here's the start.

The going was fairly easy, with only two portages, and those not bad because they simply involved getting out of the boat and pulling it a short distance -- nothing tricky. The only bright flowers blooming in this heat were some honeysuckle up in the trees.

Here are a few of the thousands of tadpoles swarming in the shallow sandy places. It will be a noisy night when these guys finally grow legs.

I took pictures of, and logged on my gps, a number of likely camping spots, thinking these might be places that I could get to after work on a Friday for an overnight. This one is on the narrow creek (it is called Moriah Creek on the GPS, but I couldn't find a name for it anywhere else).

The ones below are both after I exited the creek and turned back south on the Ochlockonee. You can see that it's much wider, but it's still very isolated. I was expecting motor boats and jet skis!

The most surprising part of the day is that I only saw one other boat, with two fishermen, and they didn't even have their engine turned on! It was not a long paddle, but very peaceful and quiet, and close to home. It is remarkable to me that it's still possible to enjoy wild Florida in relative solitude -- especially on the Fourth of July.

This is not to say that it wasn't blazing hot nor that the yellow flies weren't ferocious, but that's what makes it fun, isn't it? A parting shot of a majestic cypress:


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