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The Peace River – Fl

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Peace River, Fla

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‘Peaceful Splash’

Water Clarity – 7

Natural Quality – 9+ (in its own way)

Perception – Weekday

The thought that one must encounter when paddling this river has to be the one that whomever, or however the name ‘Peace’ was ever attached – it was indeed the correct choice.

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The Oupost; (VGPS – @2992 County Road 661, Arcadia, FL)

Peace river is a 106-mile watershed of sorts which runs from Bartow, Fl to Charlotte harbor on the Gulf – a good portion is a designated paddle trail.  The waters of the river hold significant ecological value to shellfish life within the brackish harbors below.

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I’ll start by saying that it is not my intent to insult the river by calling it a ‘ditch,’ but – as a native to this area my approach was to begin my paddle trip on the Peace with this fundamental mindset.  In retrospect, this section of the Peace river was indeed as fundamental as all waters flow, yet the natural corridor of the river area strongly conveys certain ‘wild’ characteristics in which other Florida rivers have lost with civilization. Even with the cattle, my perspective of the ‘Natural Quality’ was a 9+. There are few homes along this section of river.

Still, the ability to find happiness in a ditch or canal is a sound starting point – a child-like approach to ‘life is good.’

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– thus was my state of mind easing onto the water from Pioneer Park in Zolfo Springs, towards Arcadia – @33 miles (as the crow flies).  With no idea of time or actual river distance – I put-in 930am – told the outfitters in Arcadia that I’d be out two nights – they’d come look for me after the third.

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I wanted to put in at Bartow, but a lack of rain had the section questionable – this paddle of Zolfo to Arcadia would provide an abbreviated idea of what to expect for that spring Bartow to Arcadia paddle (when the gators are ‘frisky’).

Contact the Canoe Outpost (Beth, Allison, Trent) for water conditions.  At 11″ above normal the current is a mellow one, not a ‘free-ride‘ by any means – but a very casual opportunity to enjoy the geology and ecology surrounding this river.

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The lack of noise pollution was surprising, the entire setting continued to surround with a strong sense of Peace and quiet (even with the gators).  This is where I was lead to believe that the river’s name was so fitting – along with the perception that the river’s shoreline reflected many of the wilder characteristics (like the Georgia section of the Suwannee river) the feel is primitive….  There are some areas that are ‘as wild as it gets.’

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Plenty of time to ponder the amount of time that it takes to erode shore line enough to drop a hundred and fifty year old oaks into the Current.  But that wasn’t anything – within the terrain you can see the erosion patterns (much like the Mississippi’s river lakes) of the waters actions eons ago as waters receded and worked a niche through this land.  Food for thought, basic muses.

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Then a contrasting beauty of shores carved from ancient limestone – similar values within the Holden Creek area of the Suwannee river – same basic geology, millions of years of wear. There rock formations within the land create slower ‘pool’ (paddle) sections of the river.

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Those ‘pool-like’ areas of slow water are areas that alligators thrive on turtles/birds and weak or wounded animals.  Throughout the two day paddle there was an abundance of small gators (3 to 5 ft range) along with fewer larger ones.  I noticed  the largest softshell turtle (@20″ across) ever, sunning – along with deer, turkey, Osprey, a larger species of Blue heron, and more – all leading me to presume they are living in a pretty satisfying environment.

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River left

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If you need mile-markers or landmarks, there are few (just follow the current) on this river.  This river flows through a mass of privately owned land – older Florida land.  ‘Low-impact’ (“live, eat, and breathe the woods – and then move on”… tgh) camping is only allowed along the right bank, you’ll sleep with the critters for sure.  I was prepared for this type of primitive camp, yet with a very relaxed paddle rate made the half-way point of Gardner easily on the first day.

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It changes through a prairie-like setting where ‘range cattle‘ roam and live among the wild –  first thing you’ might notice is that the cattle have lived with the deer so long they think they are deer – exceptionally skiddish and wary.

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WT Haynie (L) 50’s

‘Crackers’ (Limestone Cowboys ) of the area remind me of those that work ‘range’ cattle every where, my Dad (above) worked rounding up and transporting range cattle in the 40’s and 50’s – he was a regular with the Lee County Sheriff’s posse rodeo’s in Ft. Myers.  – Alva Fruit Company

Side note: the largest cattle ranch in America is not in Texas – it’s in Florida.

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Several flocks of wild turkey

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Simple beauty amidst no noise, only the occasional plastic water bottle to bring me back to reality – doggone people…….

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On water’s everywhere, a rope swing

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The Gardner ramp 330 pm, surprisingly relaxed paddle and early arrival at the halfway point. What I had seen throughout the day really didn’t lead me to desire hunting a campsite in the dark – With an established camp available by the Outfitters several hundred yards downstream (plus lingering weariness from the long super-bowl night before this paddle) – well…

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The Outpost’s campsite was neat with cold-water showers and a bathroom available – easy call, the tent came out early.  I’ve paddled a few distances and am lead to believe that ‘a good paddler goes down, – and rises with the sun’ (doesn’t always work – but I try).  The Outpost folks also have an additional campsite available to it’s customers further downriver – for day-paddlers and youth groups, its their way of doing all they can to expose this river’s quality to others (nice camps CO).

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The next morning tracks around my kayak near the shore indicated that a range cow had wandered through sometime during the night – all’s I heard was the owls.  Even at a slow pace I was back on the water at 830a once again, feeling blessed while drifting and contemplating the setting with a standard cup of river-jolt. .

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Cypress stumps, actually exposed roots – new foundations, natural seawalls.

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Easing along the placid waters and just around one bend there was something swimming across in the water ahead (gator-bait), only seeing its head I thought it to be a wild pig.  Quietly easing closer a coyote climbed the far bank (above) and stood a moment – then with a single glance towards me he was a distant memory!

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Some sand banks along the way

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While on the river I paddled alone, stealth-like, and with the current – in the distance I noticed a fisherman with lines out, the only one I had seen thus far. When paddling like this it is possible to slip up on wildlife – and at times, folks.  This guy was really into his fishing and as I reached this point I said hello and snapped the picture – startled, he was all teeth – nice guy.  Drifting past we made short conversation – the incident reminded me of paddling up on some fishermen at Lake Powell once, even entered into their conversation before they even noticed this stranger, funny.

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With all the ancient history of the terrain, fossils (like along the Suwannee) are there if you seek.  This is Sam and Perry (she is Sam, not short for Samantha).  From Indiana they were eager to discuss and show me their booty of ancient finds – an assortment of animal (mostly shark) teeth and some fossilized bone. It was a good stop and conversation with some interesting folks.  More Peace river fossil hunting information.

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aged Cypress trees

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a long life passing naturally

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The railroad trestle indicates the end of a short paddle ahead

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The Outpost.  Folks were great, I know that its their business – but to this point the folks Canoe Outpost seem more than eager to help.  I liked the trash and recycle containers available, a good direction for all.

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Canoe Outpost – Arcadia Fla – they’re way of saying – “bacshortly”

Notes; Zolfo to Gardner ez 6.5 hours (direct line 20 mi). Gardner to Outpost Arcadia ez 5 hours (direct line 15 mi). $50 buck shuttle to Zolfo (worth it),  Airboats heard down river from Arcadia – my trip was during the week and I encountered neither airboats nor other paddlers – but it is possible (just part of it).

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Paddle not to ‘make-time’ but as to ‘take-time.’

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Fisheating Creek – Fl

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Up the Fisheating Creek, with a paddle

(hasty post)

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Fisheating Creek

Fisheating creek runs about 50 miles draining into lake Okeechobee.

Water Clarity – 8+

Natural Quality – 10 (if you’re not ‘bangin on your canoe)

Elevation – 82′

Perspective – Weekday

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Fisheating Creek Outpost

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The campground is in Palmdale, Fl along Highway 27 – mid Florida and pretty much no-where land – always has been.  I’ve been wanting to return here since first coming here as a Boy Scout in the 60’s, near my hometown of Fort Myers – another of life’s little circles.  My last visit was forty years ago, then instead of paddlin it was more about motorcycles; friends (Hobbs/Locke/Millican), and partying.  In 1974 we camped just across Highway 27 and literally rode our bikes throughout the night under a moonlight sky – those years of course another story/chapter of Life at 60.

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Over the years I have driven pass the campground numerous times, today and now – its about stopping and paddlin.

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The folks at Fisheating Creek Outpost have quite a place – seems they have been in business since 1980 and have it all figured out. Nice website, nice campground, Darcy hooked me up with the perfect site (I thought) P3.  They also offer several paddle shuttle options – after my paddle I would suggest one of those – 4 or 8 hour ‘rides’ (downstream).

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Because this is a creek, you might want to check water levels, anything above 1.7 is great for kayaks a little more for canoes.  I arrived in the rain at 1.3, and overnight it went to 1.8 – for me it was the perfect setting to paddle – shoaled only once in the area shown below.

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With the rain of the previous day the morning shuttle was not offered (there is one at noon too), so I took off on my own. Figured I would ‘lolly-gag’ around and let things fall into place – didn’t bother me that I saved a few buck either.   ‘Free-lancing’ worked well for me, usually does – but in my paddle I would suggest the 8 hour trip early for anyone wanting to enjoy the place – without a large group.

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Yes, there are some large lizards around – but it’s very likely that they will bother you unless you step on one or call their mom a ‘hand-bag!’

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– and back in the woods, one heck of a large bee-hive

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Now the good thing about lots of people is that they keep the brush cleared out and the trail beat-down – much like Juniper Springs and a few other places I have paddled – it is possible to reap some benefits from those ‘doggone people‘…. after they’ve left :-).

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Without a group banging on their canoes or kayaks, it will be possible to amble right up to the wildlife.  Paddling alone I gave this place a 10 in Natural Quality.  Woodpeckers, Otters, Owls, Herons, Egrets, Deer, the ever-present kingfishers and plenty of those big smilin lizards…..

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As I thought about the noon shuttle I paddled the immediate lower section, across 27 and about 1.5 miles downstream.  Along the way I met fishin-folks Carl and Beth as they crossed a common obstacle (the only one I encountered the whole trip). After talking with them a bit I turned upstream, past the outpost and worked my way three hours upstream past Lemon lake – paddlin upstream is simply a state of mind.

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The trails are apparent (water flow) and well marked, the setting is alot like the Suwannee River in Georgia – the gnarley tree roots.  The ‘ride’ back on the lite current was relaxing, and had me thinking on a repeat trip to take the 8 hour shuttle trip early (with fewer folks).

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I also had plenty of time to dwell on the legend of the black Pantherbeast in these parts – do I believe it?  Well……….

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loved the train by the campsite…..

needed this paddle… was actually tired at the end of the day…

Notes; 50-buck shuttle will get you 4 or 8 hours upstream for return (go early, take the 8); amble around the immediate area then take the shuttle next day – or vice/versa. The place gets busy on weekends, reserve ahead if you can. 5o-buck shuttle at Peace river gets you 2-days on the river (fyi)

Trussum Pond – De

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Trussum Pond

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On a perfect fall day there was Trussum Pond,in Delaware.

(Yeah I know, whats the world coming to – paddlin a pond??!!)

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Water Clarity – 8+

Natural Quality – 9

@59 acres

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Trussum is the small lake (above) to the left of the map.

Trussum Landing

Trussum Landing

Delawares got a few ‘ponds’ that’s for sure, seems the state’s been around a while (the ‘First State) and many of the ponds were created in the 1700’s for powering the old grist mills.

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The thought that these little reserves have been here so long is something to appreciate, nature adjusts and creates new habitat (now well established) for her creatures.

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While in Delaware visiting family – Gordy dropped by and told me about Trussum.  Why not?  Nothing seems far away in Delaware – Trussum is located close to Trap Pond – a little larger and more suited for paddlin body of water….  but of course this all depends on WHY? a person paddles.

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I’m still finding my own reasons, and sometimes it just takes an unexpected paddle to remind me, Trussum was one of those.

With no expectations of the little pond and just a moment in time where ‘anytime’ on some water was needed therapy.  I’ve not paddled as much as I’ve wanted lately (unexpected home projects) but those are thoughts and stories to move away from.  Paddlin this pond just fit-in and after a few minutes on Trussum I was sure that I could have found pleasure in a flooded drainage ditch too.

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From the single landing we began a soft paddle on the placid water keeping the bank to our left – kinda like searching a room full of smoke as a fireman. There are always ‘factors’ when choosing a paddle route (sun, shade, wind, etc) and finding the  ‘headwaters’ is in the ‘factor’ mix too.  The little pond was full of Bald cypress and very (extremely) peaceful.  There were a few fishermen in yaks too quietly plying the waters and doing well – watching them made me think even I could catch a fish here….

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The waters were clear, just a little tainted (tannic, like the Suwannee) from the leaves – but an ecological wonderland.  The ever-present kingfishers, blue heron and turtles were active.  The bass seemed abundant, and Gordy mentioned that he had seen an eagle too. For me, the ‘Natural Quality’ of Trussum continued to improve throughout the paddle.

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Which I felt was going to be a short paddle.  After a casual paddle through the cypress and some marsh area, left to right, the landing came quicker than expected.  I figured heck, might as well make as much of this paddle as possible and do it in reverse.  I think Gordy had already made it to the landing, if he wanted to locate me it shouldn’t be any trouble on this little ‘pond,’ so I ventured back counter-clockwise searching for any sign of current’ further up and into the cypress.

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Yes, ‘thimble-sized’ (not mundane)was a description that came to mind for this ‘pond,’ but….. funny how things can change if you drop any expectations, find peace, and simply accept the beauty of where you are.

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The pond became more than a ‘mundane pond,’ and I was glad.. In the opposite direction and in the darkness of the cypress I found current…. Gordy had paddled up about this time and we headed up the small stream.  There were a few survey markers along the way where someone had marked the channel – difficult because it passes through so broadly among the terrain. But we were able to navigate a mile or so up – almost to Ellis pond before heading back.

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In making the most of this paddle I continued to explore on the way out – a wetland area which dead-ended into a muddy bog. A great place for wildlife – but in turning around – I had lost my trail!  it took several efforts to relocate the small current and back-track out.  A surprise from the ‘small (but not simple) pond.’

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– out of the woods and back to a more familiar setting, the fishermen.

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serenity

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Trussum pond, a good reminder from nature of making the most from those ‘little things’ that surround us.

Each day, is what we make of it.

The Current River – Akers Ferry to Doniphan, Mo

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Ozarks National Scenic Riverways

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(hasty post)

Pulltite Cabin

Cabin at Pulltite Spring

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A while back I took a ride to California and along the way soloed a 36 mile section of the Current river from Pulltite to Two Rivers.  The impression that the river left with me was one of simple awe, I like ‘good‘ water – and the water of the Current was Great!  I wanted more time on the Current.  To give you an example of the river’s reputation, later on that same ride I was able to paddle with a Colorado group on the Gunnison river – several of the paddlers had also experienced the Current and conveyed the highest regard for the river. The Buffalo river was also on their list.

That visit to the Ozark riverway was as the season of ‘weekend rafters’ was ending, September – truthfully the timing (and fewer doggone people) always seems to work better with my spirits (like at the Ichetucknee).  ‘Off-season’ paddles ‘naturally’ increase the overall quality of a stretch or body of water, plus it’s more about why I paddle.

At that time the ‘water clarity’ and ‘natural quality’ of the Current was a strong 9+ on my ‘recter scale; also why I was eager to return.  It was another one of those little circles to close….

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The Soggy Bottom Crew

Earlier in the year while paddling the length of the Suwannee with three friends (Carl, Gordy, and Richard), plans were thrown out to paddle the Current – and with a little time, the August date was formalized.

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In paddlin, one of the greater hurtles ( I think) of exploring ‘yon waters’ has to be with a shuttle; also one of the reasons that I lean towards ‘distance’ paddlin too – I like to minimize frustrations.  Yes I’m probably a little bit misfit/flower-child, love/peace/and all that stuff – so paddlin is mainly about absorbing the surroundings with the least amount of ‘baggage.’

We figured to start at Akers Ferry and pull out around Doniphan, Mo a week later – 110-miles or so of river – simple/distance.  I know too that making plans is kinda like ‘picking a line’ before you see the rapids so with plenty of time ahead I threw some ‘feelers’ out for a shuttle on a related facebook page.   After a couple of weeks that hurtle was lifted when a native of the area agreed to move our vehicle – thank you very much Deb! (from Doniphan/Springfield).

When paddling the Current several river maps are available; each with differing mile indicators; for reference, I will be using the one provided by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (not that I agree) which mile-markers begin downriver at Gooseneck (0mm) and sets Montauk Springs (the beginning) at 105mm (yes, I think it should run ‘with’ the river’s current such as the map available through missouricanoe.org).

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Akers Ferry

Day 1; Akers Ferry (92mm) to near Sinking Creek (74mm)

at Currentrivercanoe.com – hwy kk, Salem, MO

Ok, to make a long-story short……  The Current’s water is clearer and swifter than the Suwannee a beautiful change.  Along the way the scenery of the Ozarks is a vivid reminder of just where the word ‘natural’ comes from.  It’s a primitive camp paddle with cell connections to the outside world limited, by limited I mean ‘nil’ – you are cut-off from gas prices, political events, and text messages (awesome place 2b).  This of course leaves more time to laugh and enjoy the more important things in life like those lil ‘pila-biters’ (grandchildren) or the ‘bottum-rubbers’ (shoals) in the river.

We put-in at Akers Ferry, a week after flooding and the waters remained a bit cloudy, that clarity improved each day.  On this trip I gave the river a 8+ on water clarity, and an 8 on natural quality – still high marks which I know improve as the summer season fades.

With the recent flooding I wondered Why? (and how?) could they ‘close’ this river during those periods (‘closed’ to rafters) – I realized more the further down the river I traveled.  It’s a rapid fluctuation, plus with the ‘strainers’ along the way…. well, you just have to figure it all in.

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‘Strainers’ are trees or objects in the water that present particular hazard when encountered in a broad manner. Flooding erodes the banks and trees topple settling into and along the water’s channel as other events occur.  The force of water can be deceiving, once your boat/canoe gets sideways – it’s difficult to pull from an entanglement and it could become deadly (with a strong current and panic).  I’m not sure that tubes can be steered and I’m thinking with pilot error (protecting the cooler tube) they could drift right into a strainer.  Swift-water classes will heighten a persons awareness on river entanglements.

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On the first day – the ‘purple-dog’ (the only name that really fits Richards kayak) played up against a strainer (above) after the second bend, but it was a ‘save!’ Richard pulled it out without rolling under – it was an appropriate reminder of the potential obstacles ahead.

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with some fine paddlin, or should I say – a ‘free-ride’ ahead

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Cave Spring along the way

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and then Gordy’s 180 reminder; Richard explaining how wonderful it all was….

later we stopped rambled around the Pulltite cabin (picture at beginning of post) and spring-head before riding further down the ‘free-ride’ of the current.

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After our last paddle trips of ten-days or so being on the Current was a fitting reward.  There was no difficulty at all in finding an awesome spot up the bank in the trees for a camp site. In heaving it up the shore, Gordy’s boat was doggone heavy (still full of water).  Surprisingly there were few if any mosquitoes even though they did show up later in the trip below Van Beverage (Van Buren) – but the upper Current river – even in the shade, was a fine place and time of year to stop, and watch for others riding the river.

We left only footprints.

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Day 2 Sinking Creek (near 74mm) to Martin Bluff (51mm)

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Highlights of Day 2; Morning fog, horseflies, a confluence, and bluffs

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The mornings were kinda neat, each day – very unintentionally, we found ourselves back on the river around 8am – cup of coffee in hand.  The fog lingered and along many of the overhanging trees spider-webs dangled heavy with the moisture.

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It’s easy to understand the popularity of this river, the drift is lazy and comfortable – on top of that there is plenty to admire – plenty of time to realize that this world has evolved…. and we “are but a mist droplet in the ocean of time.”

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I believe this is Big Creek, the waters were distinctly warmer – we walked up abit,  it’s a loose gravel base with crystal clear water (10).

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Plenty of time too, to stop and converse along the way with others, these two had camped at Big Creek and were just a mile or so down river – this was afternoon! talk about ‘feet-up.’  I remembered this spot from a previous paddle, my favorite camping spot on the river – I understand completely why they stopped..

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Motley Crew

Motley Crew

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A warm beverage stop at the confluence of Two Rivers and a few miles further we located a shoal near Martins Bluff, ‘feet-up’ in the breeze.  One thing about primitive camping along the Current, prepare to camp on coarse gravel.  Fortunately I had an extra rain tarp which provided an extra layer below my tent.  The Current also welcomed us with perfect weather, the only reason we needed to use a ‘fly’ was the moisture and vapor from the river in the mornings.

For the day we had seen Osprey, Bald eagles (2), kingfishers, wood-ducks, small egrets and plenty of Blue heron.

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Day 3 Martin Bluff (51mm) to just above Waymeyer (32mm)

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I’ve been asked how we manage our gear in a kayak, it’s really pretty easy; just carry what you ‘need!’ (and practice).

The Current is one of those rivers that is ideal for a canoe though – you can carry alot of stuff, and the water will carry you both….

Strainer

Strainer

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Marine Biologists

Marine Biologists

Somewhere in here we missed Blue Springs, we commented several times about how well the Suwannee River folks have provided signage for paddlers.  We did see biologists making fish counts along the Current, twice; once upper, once lower.

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What else but to admire and appreciate…

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Without cellphones too, hey – these guys did good – this was the third day and I think all became good.  There was plenty of time to stop/ponder/swim/then paddle dry – no particular order.  My surface water temp reading (yeah, I got lots to do) was around 58 degrees on the upper Current (64 on the lower).

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Richard could tell you about the water, he actually had the hardest yak there to maneuver – a long skinny coastal boat.  One day he’ll get us to the coast and have his laugh…… but today it was ours.

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a glacial strainer

a 'divit'

a ‘divit’

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I like to call the areas where water sometimes takes its own shortcut a ‘divit.’  These ‘divit’s are where you will find wildlife residing in more of their natural setting – away from people.  For paddlers ‘divits’ can also be an area of overgrowth or strainers, so there’s a risk when making that decision – you might be blessed with a wonderful natural insight, and/or you might have to backtrack out.

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A few miles above Weymeyer a gravel shoal beckoned us for the night – across from a cliff.  The shoal stood in a narrow corridor with the occasional fishing boat blasting through; a great spot to swim, camp – we knew the boats were around.  It was a more entertaining perspective than from the water, and the ships hold got a little lower that night…..

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Day 4 – Just above Waymeyer (32mm) to near Catarack Landing (8mm)

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Another start to a river day, we began on Monday and it was already Thursday! – I was thinking maybe next paddle  (always got to close ‘those circles‘) start on a Wednesday – giving a sample of weekend floaters vs weekday peace…..  At this time we were talking about taking it further than Doniphan.  Our last three paddles had been of 225 miles each, this trip was definitely feeling shorter than normal, but definately higher in quality.

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The river was now beginning to feel familiar, a wider, flatter sense.  There were more trees moved around from the flooding and a greater sense of the magnitude of water recently passed.  Funny how when the trees find a place to settle they can create a whole new channel.  The tree/strainer acts much like a wing-dam on the Mississippi, the hydraulic power of the water moves the loose gravel shoals – the deepest ‘line’ for paddling is near the tree, which can also be the most challenging line.

We saw more marine biologists in this area too.  We also stopped at Van Beverage (Van Buren) for some well deserved land-food, ate ‘colossal burgers’ at the Mercantile restaurant – 1/2 lb of mmmmmmeat!!…… yummmm.

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With 90+ degree days, a dip was always a thought away.  Being of freckled complexion I have found the lighter fishing shirts most useful, stop – jump in, and the wet shirt acts like an a/c as you paddle on…. its dry before you know it….

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Old hand-poured bridge/trestle pilings below Van Buren

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And homes were sporadically showing up too – somewhere in here we crossed the confluence of Big Springs to the right – the water change/temperature was dramatic.  I paddled a short way up the clearer/cooler waters before turning back to join the others, I regret not exploring further.  Another little circle left open.

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There were picknic tables and fire-rings along the shoreline, but after the recent flooding – we left them to the skeeters mud and sediment left behind.  A shoal in the breeze was our target for the evening and eventually we located another for one last camp.  I think I have learned that generally paddlers go down with the sun and rise with the morning light.  No one had any problem sleeping on this river.

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Day 5 – Cataract landing to Doniphan (@ 20 miles)

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The water had cleared considerably in the last 4 days, the river itself was now about longer bays of slow water before finding a rapid to ride across.  The ‘divits’ were larger too, strainers were more abundant and pronounced.

For a paddler rapids are about ‘decision-making’ – good experience for choosing ‘lines’ on other more treacherous rivers.

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Herons, kingfishers, and wood-ducks remained plentiful – once again another bald eagle lingered just ahead of us. I was surprised to have only heard a single owl in the night along the distance.

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This family was fishing in what they called ‘Bay Nothing,’ another slow-moving area of the lower river.

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always followed by one of those ‘free-rides’ over some rapids

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on the lower Current the shore line was more of a clay/sediment base (maybe where all the stuff between the gravel went from the upper Current eons ago) – the bank was certainly of different character than that from the more hilly Pulltite area.  This shore line bore the scars of recent and long passed flood erosion. I did draw parallels to the red clay of Georgia, made me wonder about the grand-scale of things….. (calibrated).

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We did choose one of the divits in this area to challenge ourselves with, it was a shady running by-pass to the main channel which provided an awesome ride on a playful current.  There were several two-foot drops which was a good change to the slower ‘bays’ more common of this lower section.

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Friday, and there were ‘tubers.’ good to see folks relaxed (with ice-chest in tow) and moving slowly down the river for miles at a time.  We chatted just a few minutes before moving on and I didn’t mention the herd of black cows standing in the river just above them, they weren’t moo-ving at all.

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fishing on the Current

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Homes along the way

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and the Doniphan bridge

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A wonderful river to paddle and experience.  The folks that live near this river are so lucky to have this beautiful resource.  As the main industry for the area (recreation) the only improvement we noticed was with a little better signage along the way, this would help many stop to enjoy the historical value of the landmarks while providing some clearer emergency ‘benchmarks’ if needed (like you could actually call someone).

Absolutely no complaints and only praise for what the folks do to support this riverway – 110 miles was not enough, we’ll be back.

The Current River

Water Clarity – 8+

Natural Quality – 8+

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