Monday, January 26, 2009
Kayaking Lower Suwannee NWR
McCormick Creek boat ramp, Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Sunday at mid-day, I stole away for a few hours of kayak time in the vast Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. I didn't have much time, because I was supposed to be back at my bright orange kitchen for a lasagna, salad, garlic bread, and Texas sheet cake early supper with all my babies and a few of their friends.
Knowing my time was limited, I chose the nearby refuge's McCormick Creek for some water time. The "ramp" at McCormick Creek is just barely that ... a little bit of limerock gravel and a sandy track out to it. Once you unload your vessel, you park your vehicle on the slope of the road shoulder ... misjudge and you are in the marsh.
Can you say "redneck"?
I was trying to get a shot of my kayak beyond the "bow with feet" shots that I use to show where we are heading in these kayak posts.
You'd never know that hat cost me only $2.00.
What do you mean I spent too much?
It's not my favorite hat either, but as much as I like chatting with my perky dermatologist, I don't want her cutting on me anymore so there's always a hat and SPF 5000 sunscreen in the JEEP.
I went upstream first. Downstream, the creek widens and an afternoon breeze was blowing in off the Gulf of Florida, so the shelter of the high grassy banks was inviting.
Plus, for me, the purpose of the kayak is to get me into skinny water where other boats can't go and upstream was definitely skinny.
There was a choice in sharp grasses along this creek. On one bank, sawgrass dominated while on the other, sharp pointy needle rush ruled. So, you could alternate between getting slashed or punctured depending on which bank you bumped against.
There were lots of gator laydowns along the way. In the winter, they like to bask up on the bank and it causes areas of flattened rushes ... the "laydowns". There's usually a bit of slick bank from their hauling out and sliding in activity too.
This was a warm day after a week of freezing temps so most of the gators were out grocery shopping, not lying about.
I paddled upstream with an incoming tide, hoping for critters but getting mostly scenery. The creek got tighter and tighter and then I came to this treefall.
Did I turn around and explore elsewhere or did I go forward?
That is the question...
... for tomorrow.