Monday, January 21, 2013

Paddle - Pa - Looza!!

Wow!  I can't believe it's been over 3 months since my last paddle.  Finally ready to get the Sea Eagle out and hit the river.  This time it was the Loxahatchee in Palm Beach County Florida.  A group of 45 geocachers met up on a brisk and cool morning to hit the water and paddle from Riverbend Park to Jonathon Dickinson State Park for a total of 9 miles.
Our route
shooting the dam
  Along the way there were 2 dams, one of which I was able to "shoot" but the other had to be portaged.  Not a problem since we wanted to get out there and go find a cache anyway.  There were also 4 other places in the river where we had to portage over downed trees and just as many places where we had to do 
Doing the Limbo
"the limbo" to slide under some trees that were down but not laying right on the water.  Our lunch stop was at the home of Trapper Nelson, a rather excentric character who once lived on the river and was much loved by several movies stars in the 60s and 70s.  After lunch we paddled out into the wider part of the river where we say an osprey on her nest and where a manatee swam under my kayak.  The day had started out cool in the low 60s but as the day went on the temps rose and the water was really warm.  We stopped for a couple more caches, but after having started around 9:00 am I was happy to just get to the take out at the state park. 
No, didn't see any gators today
My group was the first out and we made it in by 2:15.  I was fortunate to be out front which meant I wasn't caught up in the big groups that took a longer time with the portages.  My companions were a father who is in the Army and stationed in Alaska who was in Florida visiting his teenaged son.  They made terrific team mates and it was an extra bonus for me to watch a father/son outing that showed off a really positive relationship.  Also it was nice to have a little help with the portages. 
Since their car was back at the put in park I offered to shuttle them back as a thank you for letting me be in their group.  It was a perfect day on the water and got the geocaching weekend off to a great start.

Here's a link to a youtube video made by a local.  It really shows the beauty of the trip.

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