The remarkable river camps along this section made excellent overnight stops. Equipped with showers, sleeping platforms and electricity, these were a welcome treat after 10 miles of daily upstream paddling. The sunsets this time of year are fabulous.
A heavy 2″ rain storm rolled in last week so I spent an extra day at the Adams Tract River Camp while the rain drummed down. I had enough food and water so it was just my job to keep the mind active and the coffee steaming.
After the rain, I found the meadow beneath the oaks dotted with wild turkey and deer feeding on acorns and mushrooms.
These Innocence Flowers bloom between Dec-Mar and dot the river banks and low hardwood forests. Additionally oak buds are appearing and spring feels like it is just around the corner!
While preparing to go to bed and with my headlamp on, I noticed what I thought was broken glass wedged between the floorboards of the sleeping porch. Upon further investigation and using a wooden pry tool to extract it, I was surprised to have found a diamond! This is the second diamond I’ve found “in the wild” since my travels began, the other a silver diamond ring in the forests of east Texas.
In this common tree full of buzzards, I spotted a light colored or albino with white markings. Quite unique.
The historic Drew Railroad Bridge last operated in the 1920’s and has since been left in the “open” position for up and downstream travel. The rusted relic reminds me of the many aged bridges through Appalachia.
Afternoon thunderstorms sometimes threaten but the faster they come, the quicker they go!
The karst limestone geology of this area allows for the development of sinkholes and springs which bubble to the surface. While camped at Lafayette Blue Springs Park, I took a stroll down their trail which connects the many springs and sinkholes that pop out of the forest. The entire network is linked underground by a series of caves which are frequented by divers during warmer weather.
Some of the old relics along the way are worth pulling into the shoreline trees to snap a photo. Any guesses on what model car this was? 1930’s coupe?
When packing my boat in the morning I have to be extra careful not to squish some of the local wildlife that may take up residence. The dragonfly mating on my boat’s bow, frogs decorating it at night and turtles and snakes along the shore make me feel like I’m in spring already. The warmer weather this past week and forecast of more mild temps is really making the days go by more easily.
Having arrived at Dowling Park for a resupply, I’m happily surprised that 113 miles of this river are behind me and a little more than double that to go. The flood level has fallen but is still in a very high state of flow. Once I pass the confluence of the Withlacoochee River in 20 miles, I’ll be dealing with about half the flow. though in a more narrow channel. My next resupply and update will be in White Springs, about 70 miles upstream. Thanks for the support and input along the way!