June 9, 2012
It is no surprise to anyone that lives in Florida that summer is our slow time of the year. Hot days, high humidity and daily afternoon rains keep all but the stubborn indoors. It just so happened to be National Outdoors Day…and yes I am stubborn! I grabbed my husband Rob and we drove about an hour South of Tampa to paddle down the Little Manatee River. It had been raining and we were very happy to see the water levels up (almost too high). There was a nice current and it was early enough in the day that the sun was still shining.
We were one of the first ones to pull into Canoe Outpostto pick up our rentals and launch. After a quick safety talk with staff we were loaded up and on our way down the river with the warning to watch our heads.
The river was so high we had to duck under the tree canopy! After a crazy trip down the Peace River a few weeks back it was ever so pleasant to only have to steer the kayak. The swift current had us moving downstream at a very comfortable pace and was it ever peaceful! All of the beaches and open shore line that I was used to seeing over the winter months we now all under water (by a few feet).
As we floated past the State ParkI could really notice how high the water level was up as there was no “beach” visible at all. As we floated further down I noticed the spot along the trail where I had stopped just a few weeks before to cool down on the other side of the river and all I could see was trees….
It was not long and our trip was over, about 2 hours. We pulled up at the launch area of the state park where our shuttle would pick us up and we waited in the shade of giant old oaks. One of the other paddlers pulled up and asked for some help getting a small slider out of his kayak – it had slid all the way to the end of his vessel after it fell from a limb the fella bumped going under. We all had fun rescuing this little one and releasing it in a good are where a bird would not get him so easily.
It was a lot of fun spending a day with my husband out away from the TV and hustle bustle of our day jobs. He had a great time and can’t wait to go again, this is good! Remember, some of the best times are spent just enjoying each other’s company, alone. Take a few hours and get away from it all, only good can come of it!