Kayaking the Santa Fe River

 

riverview

After a few mornings of quite unseasonably cool weather, Sunday got warm. Husband and I decided to “celebrate” by renting a kayak and paddling (sometimes, at least) downstream on the Santa Fe River. This is a fairly long, broad river meandering through northwest Florida, in the Suwanee River watershed.

water+cypress

The amazing thing about this river, though, isn’t the beauty of the river’s banks and the wildlife (although it is picturesque). The truly breathtaking part is the number of freshwater springs that rise up and feed millions and millions of gallons of water into the river. Water bubbles up from underground caverns, in a stream strong enough to make riverview2paddling against it a wee bit of an effort. But you can be rewarded, even without snorkel or dive gear, by peeking into the crystal-clear, aquamarine waters and seeing deep into underwater canyons, mysterious and beautiful (all the more spectacular since the rest of IMG_1872the river is tea-brown from the tannins leaching from leaves and needles). Since I didn’t get good pics of this, check out these here, and here, and more info here. We stopped in at Poe, Lilly, Rum, and Blue Springs on our trip.

eagle

Unlike the last time (which, granted, was morning and thus far less human-populated on the river), we saw no baby alligators (boohoo!). But…we did see all the turtles you could hope for, lots of very large mullet leaping high out of the water time and again, a stunning bullfrog, and even a bald eagle. Another glorious day on the river. If only my knees hadn’t gotten sunburned 😦

How will all this make it into my writing? I have no idea–not yet. But I’m sure it will, somehow, in ways as mysterious and strange as the springs themselves.

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About M.E. Garber

I'm an itinerant Ohio-born speculative fiction writer now living in north central Florida.
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