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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rock Springs Run - Going The Distance

Rock Springs Run Doe and Fawn
Today did something I do not think will do again, at least in the next year or so. Did paddle the whole length of Rock Springs Run, from Wekiwa Springs up to King's Landing and back to Wekiwa Springs...15 miles, if the information in this link is correct. It was a solo paddle because my wife does not like paddling against the current for many hours. It came with a price since lost some pics opportunities on my way up the run.

Great Blue Heron

Put In / Take Out: The put in for this trip was the canoe/kayak launch at Wekiwa Springs State Park. It is, by far, the worst one of the places I have paddle but the beauty and the scenery in this part of the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run worth the effort. Effort because is a long walk from the parking lot to the launch. When you are going to put in is sort of down hill. But when you are coming back from the paddle is up hill and then it can be tricky, depending on how tired you are. It is the suggestion of the experts to bring a kayak cart for this paddle. For more information click on this link: Wekiwa Springs State Park.

Little Blue Heron

Rock Springs Run near the confluence with Wekiva River
I was in the water at 9:30. A couple put in in front of me so spent some minutes in the lagoon just out of the spring. Floated lazily until did not hear their voices and in the meantime took pics of some birds in the area. I do not know if were the settings or the shades but the first few pics did not came all right. It looked like a cloud was covering the subjects. Did clean the lens and played with the settings until finally a couple of them came good. At that point it was time to go; had a long way to paddle in front of me. Went down the river to the confluence with the Rock Springs Run where three canoes were entering. Did paddle by the first one with no problems. The other two were drifting all over the run and it required a little patience. Finally did it only to find a tree blocking the run but it was passable. Just did a little limbo, or a Matrix movie move, and that was it. Paddled by three more kayakers going up and had the run for myself, the only question was for how long.

Immature Ibis
There are three camp sites in Rock Springs Run. You have to make a reservation to be able to camp there. The first one, if you are going up, is Otter Camp, the second is Indian Mound, and the third is Big Buck. Did not see anybody else until I was close to Big Buck Camp. Saw two kayakers coming down, and shortly after that heard voices. The source of the voices were the occupants of two canoes from King's Landing in the side of the run. They warned me about a huge gator about "100 yards" from there and almost immediately after that two more canoes came down with the same warning. They told me the "big gator"went into the water and that a dead deer was also nearby. Saw the dead deer stucked in the vegetation to the left of the run. Did not see the gator but believe I have seen it before. On a previous trip did find a big one a few feet away from Big Buck, where I planned to take a break but there were kayaks already there so decided to keep going.


Rock Springs Run
A few gray clouds showed up in the sky and thought about turning around. At that time was paddling in the covered area after Big Buck. Have no clue what time was and how long before reaching King's Landing area. Three kayakers were trying to go under a downed tree. The first two made it and were waiting for the lady of the group, who also made it. I asked them how far from King's Landing and they told me I was 2 . 9 miles away, or 1 hour and 20 minutes. The lady also told me the were just floating with the current without any effort and maybe the trip should take me less than that. The time was 12:45PM so, without too many pics of wildlife and only a personal goal to achieve, decided to keep going up. Knowing how much I had left gave me some extra motivation.

Gator on Rock Springs Run

Rock Springs Run
After a couple of more canoes going down and a nice lady waving me good bye from one of the houses near the run finally made it to King's Landing at 1:35PM. I know because asked a young couple using a swing rope with their kid. Followed the flow of the beautiful run coming from the left trying to get as close as possible from Rock Springs, not sure but I think that part of the run is called Emerald Cut, but a downed tree(another one) stopped me. Decided to turn around at that time but needed to stretched my legs. At the area where the run joins the canal coming from King's Landing finally took a break, and a dip in the refreshing and clear waters of Rock Springs Run. Geez did I need it!!!!!! After maybe 10 or 15 minutes started my way down. This time took my cell phone out of the bag and checked the time: 2:00 PM.

Rock Springs Run...

Doe in Rock Springs Run
Shortly after I started my return trip started to hear thunders coming from the left, or the North. It became more and more frequent and then the wind picked up. It was also turning cloudy and gray and I said to myself..."You are in big doo doo". I was not concerned about the lighting but a tree falling over me in a covered area. With the current in my favor this time did not stop paddling for a while. Only stopped to take a pic of a gator in a log in the first covered area you find when you are coming downstream. The thunders appeared to be coming from my right side this time and then it stopped and saw a bit of blue sky between the trees. Was so relieved that even slowed down a bit. Entering the first open area the run bends to the left and then to the right. You can see several feet in front of you before you go into the first left bend. I was able to spot a deer walking in the border of the south side of the run. Turned my camera on and as soon as I finished the left bend was in a perfect position for a pic and did it. It was then when saw that it was not alone and tried a pic of the fawn. Did not get it and tried another one but this time the little one sensed me and ran into the forest followed by mom. I am not trying to insult your intelligence. The previous pic is just a close up of the doe from the opening pic. Was the only one I was able to take so made the most of it.

Did You Know That?: A deer lifespan in the wild is only ten years. They can swim and prefer to live in the same territory. They prefer to starve than leaving the area where they have lived. A female deer, usually called a doe, gives birth from one to three youngs at a time. The young deer, called a fawn, wears a reddish-brown coat with brown spots that helps them blend in the forest.

Great Egret

Going down the run after Otter Camp found a couple in an orange Pelican tandem. Made me remember a couple I know very well...We chatted for a few minutes. Leslie and Murrell, hope you find the information I gave you useful. I was nice talking to you. After I talked to them and a further down the run a a downed tree was blocking it. That one was not there in the morning when I paddled upstream. Climbed on the tree and pull my kayak out of the water. Then jumped  into the run, was only waist high, and pushed to the side where I sat inside the yak again. Here are more pics of what I saw today:

Immature Ibis

Adult Ibis

Tri-Colored Heron

Tri-Colored Heron






Area of a gator attack on June 28th 2011...
Brings the question...Dude(the attacked guy)...What were you thinking?


Ibis and a Tri-Colored Heron

Great Blue Heron grooms...

so it does a Little Blue Heron

...and a Great Egret

Arrived at Wekiwa Springs at 5:45PM. Let me tell you this and please, I have nothing against the people renting canoes or kayaks there. They are very good people. But one of these days somebody is going to get hurt there. It is a circus. People using canoes that do not even know which part of the paddle goes into the water. Canoes flipping over, people on the water in the lagoon, life savers floating by themselves. It seems so funny from the shore. As I said, and hope to be wrong, somebody will get hurt or killed one day. Sorry for the rant.

Wekiwa Springs Lagoon

That is all for today. For more pics of this trip check this link: Wekiwa Springs - Rock Springs Run

Thanks for reading and hope you come back for the next Views From Our Kayak

Rock Springs Run's scene

1 comment:

  1. Congraulations. Now, you know you have to try to get all the way to Kelly Park sometime. ;)