Halls River and Homosassa Springs 9/11/10

Halls River and Homosassa Springs 9/11/10

After a very stress filled and exhausting week I decided that I needed some solitude. I called up my friend Robin, from Good Time Kayaking, and we decided to drive north and get out on the water.

Our destination – Halls River and Homosassa Springs. This time of year there is little traffic on the Halls River and that was just perfect for me! We arrived at Natures Campground where we were planning to launch just before the marina there opened. There was a kind old fella that took our fees and told us about the river. We sadly remembered in our conversation the fellow Americans that were lost on this date just a few years ago and you could see the genuine pain and sadness in his eyes. I thought for a moment of what he has seen our country go through in all his years and I felt his sadness. It was clear he was a veteran – there was no need to ask, he carried himself with the pride that only a soldier would know. We talked about my son-in-law who is now serving in Afghanistan and he reminded us to take a moment and think of those lost while we paddled down the river.

Soon Robin and I were off on our trip up to the headspring of the Halls River. There was not another vessel insight the entire trip. It was peaceful and the quiet was soothing. We talked a little about the stress of the week but soon we were just wrapped up in the beauty that surrounded us. There were many birds and turtles around, lots of jumping mullet and even a friendly squirrel checked us out for just a minute. AS the sun got higher in the sky we started checking out inlets to the river. There were no clocks or deadlines, no one to watch or teach just us and the river. Tall grasses surrounded us as we paddled through a path recently cleared by airboats. The waterways opened occasionally to show wide open skylines and marsh. There were places along the river where the water was clear and ice cold and other dark and mysterious and nearly warm to the touch. There were signs everywhere warning of manatee traffic as this is a favorite spot for manatees to “warm up” in the winter. It will be nice to come back up in December and see them here. They are highly protected and there are rules to follow to keep them safe. When we bring our group up in December we will go over all those rules and make sure our groups does not disturb these peaceful creatures. We saw many varieties of fish and crabs; there was even a small ray of some sort that scooted off as we paddled by. We paddled as far as we could and when we ran out of river we turned back and headed to the dock for a little lunch stopping only once for a chilly swim near a spring.

Once we arrived back at the launch and enjoyed a peaceful waterside snack we headed to the Homosassa River just past the bridge near the launch. Robin warned me this was not going to be anywhere near peaceful ns boy was she correct. Tons of boat traffic greeted us. Pontoon boats like a train coming up the river and when we arrived at the springs there were just hoards of people. Boats all tied together and having once heck of a party.  It seemed like everyone was drinking and playing music and enjoying their day in their own way. I wondered to myself why the manatees would ever want to take refuge here in the winter….and this is the off-season for this area! Robin showed me the barricade that crossed the river at Homosassa Springs State Park that allowed the manatees to enter but not the boats. Giving them some reprieve from the crowds as they came in to the warm spring waters in the winter. After a quick dip we paddled on past the next bridge and left the crowds behind. IT was beautiful here. There were more spring and the water was clear. There were yellow Bellied Sliders taking in some sun on branches near the water and the sun was at a perfect place to just ripple through the trees and through the water. We spooked a flock of about 6-8 wood ducks, males and females. We could not even think to get close enough for a photo! We went as far as we could and soon had to head back. I was happy to get past all the party boats and headed back up the Halls River but sad our day was ending.

Next weekend we are heading up to Blue Springs near Orange City Florida…stay tuned for tales of our next adventure!

Jeanene

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About notacluegal

Jeanene was born in Pittsburgh, PA. As a young child her family was very active in the outdoors. Things changed when her parents decided to travel down different paths in life and with that decision so went many of the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Being lucky to live in the suburbs Jeanene always had a backyard to play in and loved being outdoors. As the years passed she took every opportunity to be outdoors. She bought land in Tennessee and as a single mom moved her young daughter to the mountains. The were many life lessons learned on that mountain. There was no plumbing on the property – or even a house, but that did not stop her. She learned to live off of what was available and built her own cabin from the trees on her property. Those were rough years but the most rewarding. Now Jeanene resides in Tampa, Fl. and works as an office manager full time….but still yeans to be outdoors. Jeanene started “Not a Clue Adventures” to teach everyone she could how wonderful the outdoors are! That camping and fishing and hiking can be done by everyone and at many different levels. Single mom’s no longer have to be afraid to take their sons and daughters outdoors. By working with young couples, single parents and even seniors, she gets to teach others about her love for the outdoors and hopes to open their eyes to new adventures. In 2009, Jeanene completed certification as a Leave No Trace Instructor. She also works closely with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) and the Florida State Parks. Jeanene is also certified in First Aid/Adult CPR.
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3 Responses to Halls River and Homosassa Springs 9/11/10

  1. Cora says:

    What a wonderful blog post. Thanks for sharing. You write beautifully! I have visited the Homosassa Springs State Park and observed the manatees. I had no idea what the area was like around the springs. Thanks for letting me see it all through your writing.

  2. Darline says:

    I very much enjoyed reading about your day on the rivers with your friend, Robin. Your writing and wonderful photos made me feel like I was there with you to share this special day. What wonderful creatures the manatees are. I\’ve only had the pleasure of seeing a few once near Fort Pierce long ago. If I remember correctly, some had cuts on their backs from boats.

  3. Jeanene says:

    Thank you Cora – more to come! Darline you would be correct with the cuts on the back – boats injure many manatees every year as they have to come up for air and some get curious due to the humo f the motors. It is very sad to see so many injured – especially since they are so protected down here.

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