Kayaking the Little Manatee River

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.

Canoe Outpost Shuttle

Canoe Outpost Shuttle

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.

High Water or Low Trees

High Water or Low Trees

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).

Canoe Launch at State Park

Canoe Launch at State Park at high water level

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….


My wonderful husband, Rob

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.Very large oak treeSlider

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!

Happy Paddling!

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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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