Three Rivers FL April 10-13
I made this trip to 3 Rivers SP to do some kayaking for a couple days. This SP has always been just a launching/returning location for all the camper trips going west. With the CG right next to the water, I have always wanted to explore the area. So, here I am finally. I remembered from past trips that the gas prices can vary greatly. So, I stopped in Crystal River for $2.55, then prices were $2.75 all the rest of the way until I10 exit 192 at $2.49. I needed 22 gals so was glad for the reduced price. It rained during the entire drive until getting to I10. Here at the CG, the sun was shinning. Goody! I could not reserve site 15 right next to the water, but site 17 is right across from 15. I will not have any serious distance to wheel the kayak to the water. I needed to put 2-blocks 2-high under the back driver wheels to level the camper. The temperature was a cool 66 degrees for the afternoon. With that temperature, no need to plug in the electric for AC. I still have a huge bruise on my right butt from my fall last week camping at Silver Springs SP, however, the rest of me is doing ok. I am very optimistic that I will kayak tomorrow. I am enjoying a Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Thank you Karen for the Christmas present. I don't drink very much beer anymore, but sure do like this treat when I do. I am in Central Time zone. I will not turn back my clocks, however the clock over the camper door was never changed from standard time. At least I know that now. Last week, it was not until the second day I finally realized it was different. This SP handles registration sign-in differently here. You go to your site, park, then walk to the center of the CG loop to where the office is located at 4pm to sign in. I went at 3:30pm, and the ranger was early, so I checked in. I headed off to follow the trail that runs along the CG loop by the water. At the end of the loop, was the beginning of the Lakeview Trail. It was 1 mile long trail until it met up with the park launching ramp. On the way back, I cut off on the Ridge Trail back to the CG. Along the way, saw 4 DEER and a ground TURTLE. It was a most enjoyable hike I have had in a while. Sure makes a difference when you don't hurt so much!! I decided to cook dinner of fish, feta cheese, Greek sauce, and couscous. I only had a couple hatches open because it was still 66 degrees, but closed them at bedtime except the bathroom hatch.
At 55 degrees this morning, no wonder I had an extra blanket on during the night. Walked around the CG loop to wake up the body and mind. I was feeling so good I indulged in a large breakfast of hot herbal tea, pancakes, bacon, and peaches. Now I have to paddle off those calories. It was still fresh in my mind from last week how to remove the kayak from the camper with where blankets should be placed to protect the kayak and camper. I should really write it down. The kayak just about slid out and down the blankets onto the plastic tarp on the ground with me only gliding it along. The body of water by the SP is Seminole Lake that is created by Chattahoochee River, Spring Creek, and Flint River stopped by Woodruff Dam. On the other side of the dam is called Apalachicola River. I was on the water by 10am Central Time. My direction to paddle was west by following the shoreline. After going under FL271 bridge, I continued to stay on the left shoreline. It was an interesting paddle mostly because it was all new to me. I just love the excitement of finding out what is around the next bend. As the path became narrower, I clearly could determine a current flow. This was great, because I was on a lead that was spring fed water. After an hour of paddling, I finally could not go any farther because of overgrown aquatic water plants were blocking the way. On the return trip, I explored some of the other channels, and lake areas that all connect and ended up back at FL271 bridge which I went under and returned to the CG. I paddled for over 3 hours total time, and probably did 5-6 miles. Saw lots of TURTLES, 3 ALLIGATORS, CORMORANT, TURKEY VULTURE, LIMPKIN, MOORHEN, COOT, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. Pretty sure I saw female BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE. What these birds were doing was to stand on lily pads, and then lift the next paddy. They would look for something to eat under each, and then move to the next lily pad, and repeat. Weather was super with very light wind and temperature no higher than 72 in the afternoon. A nice hot shower was enjoyed after returning from kayaking. No cooking dinner tonight - already cooked chicken on a bed of salad greens with tomatoes, and green onions.
It was another great night sleeping, and temperature was 56 this morning. I enjoy cooking breakfast when camping so, I made eggs, sausage, and blintz. I did not eat any lunch, just had some fruit. I called Greg to say hello, left a voice message, and he returned the call later when I was on the water kayaking. The kayak was still outside on a plastic tarp for the night with the cockpit covered tightly with a cover. It was real easy to get it ready for today's paddle. This paddle today was following the shoreline that was on the east side of FL271. I did not find any interesting spring fed creek, but I still covered lots of passageways around islands working about 2 miles north. On the way back, I paddled more easterly to return by some of the islands that were more out in Seminole Lake. I paid very close attention to where I was and where I thought I was going. All these islands look the same. Sure don't want to get lost. I had two fighter jets fly over me. After an hour of paddling back, I finally confirmed that I saw the SP launching ramp in the distance. Sure enough, it was the ramp that I walked to yesterday along the Lakeview Trail to get to. I stopped, stretched, walked a bit; then ate my fruit. Paddle today was same as yesterday, 3 hours, and 5-6 miles. I brought the kayak back to the campsite, and wiped it down to remove any dirt or sand. When it was dry, it was put back up in the camper since I will be returning home tomorrow. I will admit, it was a lot harder than removing it. My back is not happy, but I spent the next hour or so sitting outside reading and relaxing, so I feel better. This afternoon it was 73 degrees. Saw 2 ALLIGATORS, OSPREY, ANHINGA, CARDINAL, GREAT BLUE HERON, CAROLINA WREN. Dinner tonight was meatballs, sauce, and noodles.
I was up at 6:45am (eastern time). I have a long drive ahead of me. With 58 degrees this morning, hot oatmeal hit the spot. Departure steps: switch battery to truck & start truck, switch to both batteries, change fridge from gas to battery, door locked, stairs up, move truck off blocks (keep truck running), blocks into storage locker, and leave campsite. Stop at dump station. No problem. I stopped at the same gas stations on the trip home as I did on the trip up to the SP. It was a lot easier drive home than in the rain on Tuesday. So I checked off one of my mini bucket lists for kayak spots. It was so much fun to kayak in a different location and see new sites. I enjoyed it, but will not do it again. You know the saying, "Been there, done that" mentality.