Santa Fe Trip For Four Paddlers
High Springs, FL--The Fellow Travelers scheduled a nice day trip on the Santa Fe for July 3, 2010, but it was almost like the party to which no one came. The weather forecast called for rain but it did not materialize and there was some reprieve from the hot weather.
Patricia Tolar let the weather scare her away from the trip but Paul arrived alone at the Stines house at about 6:20 AM. Charlie and Paul unloaded the tandem Escape and replaced it with the solo Prism. Paul, Diane, Charlie, and the Yorkie headed south shortly thereafter. The group stopped at McDonald’s in Lake park for breakfast and then ventured on toward the put-in near High Springs.
Roy Moye was waiting on the side of US 441 when the rest of the group made it there. The expected launch at the boat ramp on the north bank of the river was gone so the canoeists used the facilities of the Canoe Outpost to launch the boats. Roy and Paul took the
Expedition and trailer to the takeout and then returned to begin the trip down the river. The boats were afloat shortly after ten. Roy and Paul soloed, and Diane and Charlie took Ami in the Canadienne.
The river was clear and very pretty. The Santa Fe has lots of aquatic plants and a few rocks but there is nothing difficult about the paddle. Within minutes turtles, anhingas, egrets, little blue herons, great blue herons, and songbirds entertained the four paddlers. Charlie spotted a small deer on top of the river bank.
Klutz Charlie dropped his digital camera into the river where it still remains, so there are no pictures to document the adventures.
Shorlty after eleven the canoes reached the US 27 landing and took a snack break there. The Poe Spring park was on the left about thirty minutes beyond the landing but the paddlers elected not to pay the five dollar entrance fee. The group arrived at Lilly Springs just before one. The spring is the home of the legendary hermit Ed. It was a good place for lunch so everyone took a long brreak. Charlie brought a watermelon from his garden and shared it with a group of Michigan transplants. Ed had provided a picnic table and a toilet and the amenities were appreciated.
Rum Island Park was very crowded so the paddlers just paddled by and headed down river toward Ginnie Springs. There were hundreds of people camping, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, swimming, and playing loud music. Roy was shocked by the apparent underage drinkning but thrilled by some of the swimwear worn by the young ladies.
There was a minor shoal just beyond Ginnie Springs but it was just enough to add a little fun to the trip.
The travelers reached the take-out a little after three. The boats were loaded onto the trailer and Roy was taken back to the Canoe Outpost to pick up his Pilot. Everyone then headed home. Paul, Diane, and Charlie stopped in Live Oak for dinner at Big Daddy’s Barbecue and then traveled home.