Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Dixie Mainline Trail

When I left the house to do my shakedown cruise of the new kayak, I really did not have a solid destination in mind.
One of the joys (and dilemmas) of the nature coast region of Florida is the abundance of water, both fresh and salt.
Springs, streams, national scenic rivers, lakes, estuarine creeks, the open Gulf of Florida ... it's quite the smorgasbord of aquatic opportunity.

As it turned out, I headed towards the town of Suwannee without a clear launch point in mind, just the assumption that I would find something along the way.

That is how I stumbled upon the Dixie Mainline Trail/Road. You can google it or Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge for all the particulars. This post is just a snapshot of my sojourn along this beautiful swampy, marshy road.

Dr. Seuss tree? ... mistletoe.

The Dixie Mainline is a narrow 9 mile limerock road/trail that used to be a logging railbed. You can walk it, bike it, drive it. I imagine if you try this trail in the warmer months you will be drained of most of your blood by mosquitoes.

The scenery along the way is a combo of mixed freshwater swamp forest and saltmarsh. I saw one other person the day I was there.
Don't expect to use your cell phone in this area.
Teenagers should probably avoid this area of Florida completely as they might go into cellular shock.

The tide was off somewhere gallivanting and the Mainline creeks were just barely wet when I was there, so I did not kayak either of the larger creeks I crossed ... they weren't large now, just larger than the tiny culverted creeks that sneak under the mainline.

I am really interested in this creek. Tidal creeks are usually dark and murky with detritus and silt, but this one is wonderfully clear with a good flow.

Is there a spring upstream?

This was my first time on the Dixie Mainline Trail so the answer may be common knowledge to everyone but me.
I guess I'll just have to go back and find out for myself...
... love doing that.
I hope you had a good New Years Eve.
Ours was waaaaaaaay quieter than the usual ... no pyrofirecrackernistics or house full of cousins and friends.
We did not win last night's basketball game, but Friday we play Mayo so hope springs eternal.
Looks like BBQ ribs for our New Years Day meal ... whachu cookin'?


Pablo said...

I feel selfish about your new toy. It means more and even more interesting posts for me to read.

Does your boat have a keel?

Alan Davidson said...

Yeah, you will get eaten alive by yellow and black flies. Take from it experience.

threecollie said...

Happy New Year from the frozen north! It is going to be so much fun to read about your adventures with the new kayak and see your photos....I can't wait!

cinbad122 said...

Kayaking instead of canoeing...I told you it was easier!

robin andrea said...

Looks like a cool new place to explore. We had a quiet new year's eve too, but that's usual for us. Roger isn't feeling well, so tonight I'm making a big pot of chicken soup. Happy New Year to you!

David said...

Several years ago on a paddle trip with my brother and several coworkers we had a packed drybag bounce out of the back of a pickup along the Dixie Mainline. Contained within that drybag was my brother's wallet! We didn't notice that the bag was missing until - after - the several hour paddle trip. After much searching we decided to try heading back down the Mainline to see if, by chance, it were somewhere along the road. Much to our amazement, just a few miles down the dirt road we found the bag - still laying in the road - complete with his wallet!! Looking forward to more posts about that area. Beautiful coast and even better with a kayak or small jon.

S N B said...

Actually, we had barbecue ribs last night! Along with B's awesome dutch oven taters, salad made from home-grown spinach, beans, biscuits, beer and good friends, we had us a fine evening.

I am enjoying the number of parallels in your life and ours.

swamp4me said...

Pork roast, collards, black-eyed peas, and cornbread.

Always leave a float plan -- this message brought to you by your friendly park ranger ;)

Oh, and great post, as always!!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Black-eyed peas,greens,cornbread here in this part of Florida.
Gonna have to visit there.

amarkonmywall said...

I was still visiting and re-visiting the toy post and now you have this one up. You are so prolific. Aren't you just having a ball? Aren't they worried about losing you to the inland waterways back there at PF?
Lovely posts and thank you for the link to your kayak info. Around here it's black beans and rice and pulled pork. Happy New Year, FC!

(Laughing. My word verification is "bussed")

Lady Jane said...

Sardines on toast topped by a tomato/arugula salad constituted my first meal of the New Year. Tonight, chicken (some way) - nothing fancy. No superstitious feasting on Black eyed peas or collards for me though (not that I have anything against them). I like your recipes too, btw. HNY. J.

Aunty Belle said...

Happy New Year, FC! What a perfect toy for a fella like you. Santa knows his stuff.
But, "cellular shock"?? Hee hee!

Yep...predictable: Ham, collards,
BEyed Peas, cornbread...the works.

Cathy S. said...

Black eyes peas, sweet potatoes and apples, pork tenderloin, corn spoonbread, squash casserole and mashed potatoes.

Floridacracker said...

As it turned out, everyone around here must have had BBQ spare ribs on their menu, because there weren't any at the store. No problem, we had a nice beef brisket, salad, baked potatoes, and my girls and I baked a poppyseed cake together ... should be out of the oven in a few minutes.

I love the traditional NYEve foods running through your menus.

Not really ... not so's you'd notice anyway.

LOL! Well experience is the best teacher they say.

I can't wait either. Today was grey and a bit windy, so I worked around here instead of playing.
Soon tho.

Single seater tho ... we may have to canoe unless you are packing a kayak too!

Tell the lad I hope he feels better. I am such a believer in the power of chicken soup.

Great story. This is one of the most isolated areas of Florida. Your story just reinforces that.
I hope to be kayaking relentlessly in 09 so stay tuned.

That sounds like a fine, fine evening.
I notice the parallels too.

I know I'm bad, but I fully intended to call, just no cell service.
Still bad for going anyway, I know, I know ... :)

Chris and Jon,
Where's the meat?
That's what the cashier asked me when I bought greens, but did not buy any smoked pork.
Love your cool creations by the way.

Yes, they worry a bit, but I think they've gotten used to me now. My junior can eat his weight in pulled pork.
Happy New Years to you too.

Lady Jane,
Well, you can't go wrong with chicken.
You do get the award for the most original New Years Eve meal!
Glad you like the recipes. I feel another food post coming on.

But don't you love the continuity of that predictable meal?
And yes, you gotta love Santa. He da man!
Seriously, if you watch the average teen to twenty-something, they are constantly on those phones. That dead zone I was in would be a living hell for them ... heehee.

Cathy S,
Sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...

FC- Thanks for the reminder....I need to pay my Dixie county taxes when I get back home next week! I knew you were good for something! LOL! But I gotta tell ya, it feels good to have to pay those taxes because it's a reminder that we are landowners, YEA!
Lightnin and Thunder

rick said...

Happy New Year nice kayak I want one too, like to do moultrie creek all the way to the west and other places.Since I am less than a mile from two intercoastal ramps it would make possible for quick trips. Prime rib loaded baked potato with a nice salad was my dinner choice.

Floridacracker said...

About time!
Have a safe trip home!

You are in a good spot for one. Lots of marsh to explore.

Ericka said...

we always have pork and saurkraut - in the slow cooker and then served with mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, and veggies and dip left over from the new year's eve party. we have a derby pie for dessert too. (a derby pie is a pecan pie but with chocolate chips and walnuts instead of pecans. yum! i'm making myself hungry... happy new year!