It’s a sunny spring day, almost summerlike, as we ready the gear and kayaks for a trip down the Wakulla River. By the time we reach the landing at the upper bridge on Shadeville Rd., the roadside parking is beginning to fill up, and early kayakers who launched at the 98 landing are resting from their paddle upstream. Quite a crowd scatters as we back the trailer into the water; one fellow even trys to keep his toes away from the blue crab scurrying across the sandy bottom. The maiden launch from Kerry’s carefully crafted trailer proves to be a perfect fit for the two kayaks. The lower units of the electric Minkota motors clear the trailer easily as the water lifts the kayaks off with ease.
Typically the current from Wakulla Springs makes the trip downstrream more of a float than a paddle but, the higher water from recent heavy rains and high tide slow the current just a bit. The warm sun glistens across the water reminding us how much we have missed paddling. Our trip in November to the Ichetucknee had been the last before we set the kayaks aside for the winter months. Although the cold season was never really cold, we are fair-weather friends with the springs.
Boats, kayaks & canoes abound on this first day of spring break giving Kerry opportunity to exchange conversation with everyone that will ablidge. Inquiries of manatee sightings are always part of the dialogue, but this trip leaves us without a single glimpse of the gentle giant. Today I understand why the turtles climb up on a limb, salute with their heads toward the sun and basque in the warmth. It feels so good; it feels so good.
Click for Video WAKULLA 2012 KAYAKING WITH FRIENDS
I’ve always prided myself as not being high maintenance, to which some may disagree. But when it comes to food, a granola bar and a bottle of water are not my idea of a picnic. So knowing that I wanted to raise the bar with this picnic on the water, I’ve been preparing for some time now. New 9 x 12 individual soft side coolers in aquatic colors of blue and green are embroidered with the blog address, sunbrella fabric with those shades of blues & greens make the perfect table cloth and solid color cotton napkins complete the linens. On this particular Saturday morning, I rise early to bake snicker doodles. While they cool I chop and mix the fresh ingredients for our Chicken, Avocado & Black Bean filling (recipe) as the wholesome goodness for the whole grain tortilla wraps. Each individually latched container includes a wrap, a large dill pickle wedge, a serving of baked chips, snicker doodle, chocolate mousse, spoon, fork and cloth napkin. Emergency food (just in case) included a 6pk of whole grain crackers with peanut butter, an extra frozen bottle of water and a 6 oz. V-8 juice can. There are no “just in case” moments, thank goodness, so we’ll store our emergency supplies for another trip.
Just south of the 98 bridge, we realize that heavy debris floating on the river is a little too much for our tiny motors so we turn and head upstream in search of a suitable dock on which to spead our gourmet meal. An unoccupied, yet stable dock without postings, lies ahead. We tie off the kayaks and climb up this first dock northwest of the bridge. We spread the tablecloth, wash our hands with gel and eagerly unpack the feast. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and the food is delicious at Notre Restaurant quai Springside (Our springside dock Restaurant). We stretch our legs down the long walkway into the woods and back, then pack it up and motor upstream.
Fellow kayakers, who are so tired from paddling, just marvel as our little Ocean Torques with motors carry us back upstream with ease. We enjoy the coveted peacefulness of the day and the spring songs of the birds as the lovely 3 1/2 hour adventure ends back at the upper bridge. We hope to learn more about birds and add photographs of them and maybe some manatee or a sunning gator. Until next time~
…Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, you morning stars;
Praise him, high heaven,
praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God—
he spoke the word, and there they were!… Psalm 148 3-6