"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Last Paddles of the FL Season...sigh

Okay, I know that spring and summer will come even in Ohio but for the winter season this is it.  I am heading north tomorrow and these last paddles will have to hold me over for a few weeks or more likely months.

On Thursday Liz and I drove the cars over to Rainbow Springs and dropped one off at the pick up point to wait for us while we drove farther up river to an easy launch.   We paddled up river for about a mile or so to the head waters of the springs and then turned around and began the float/paddle down to Dunnellon.

Traveling down the river I realized how special Ocala's Silver River was in its lack of development.  Rainbow Springs appears as a wild river on one side of the water but most of the river is lined on at least one side by beautiful homes and large cottages.

In the warmer seasons several "Tubbing" vendors rent tubes for floats.  I can imagine the river filled with multicolored giant tubes and loud children and teens.   

Canoes and kayaks are available even through the winter but not all the vendors offer a shuttle service in the off season.

A couple in their fairly new Sea Eagle Explorer and their little dog, too!   They were busy taking pictures of the two scuba divers cruising down the river

Liz leads the way down a side creek/spring.

Sometimes there is fire and smoke but today the dragon just sings to the sky.

And the big boats just motored right past us.

About the time I was about to say, "Hey, we haven't seen any alligators...." 

There are a few people that might think this banner is important.  Not all Buckeyes are in Ohio.

A once grand river swing rests in peace.

And this afternoon I took the Hornbeck out on Orange Lake by myself to say good bye.

Bye Mr. Eagle....

Till we paddle back this way again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Southern horse-pitality

What do you do when it might be too windy to go kayaking down the river......Find the horses.

They weren't too far away either.   The horseback riding and Canyon Zipline Adventures are both just down the road from McIntosh.

The groups are no larger than ten (we had six in ours) and the small barn was just large enough to house enough horses for tourists, 2 guides and a couple of extras.  The pastures and turn out areas were very nice for hard working school horses.

The pensive cowgirl, Liz.

I told her "butt" shots don't count when you are riding horses, kayaking on lakes and rivers or hiking with dogs. (They only count when you are dumping tanks, or leaning over trying to get into a kayak gracefully.)

Notice the excellent posture. Her hours of mule riding in the Grand Canyon are showing.

As you ride through the quarry trails you catch glimpses of some of the Zipline course.

More platforms up in the trees.

Notice the camera angle facing backwards?   She does this so smoothly.

Mia the guide taking pictures for us to look at and purchase later, maybe......  After we were finished and returned to the front office I told Liz that I really didn't need to hang around to look at the pictures because I was hearing "voices" calling to me from the ice cream display and should probably leave the area immediately.  We made it out safely this time. I don't always.....

Zipline over the quarry anyone?

Back in their standing stalls, the horses got some shade, water and rest before the third tour ride comes in about an hour.

It was this guy's day off.  "Y'all come back!"   ....besides he wanted more neck rubs.....