The next day we headed out at the crack of dawn and got to our campsite at Rainbow Springs State Park. We chose this park for several reasons, among them the fact that the campground had full hookups (water, electric, and sewer), and that it was central to a number of the springs we had chosen to visit. The first day there we got my kayak (to add to Carole's), and just mainly scoped out what we were going to do over the next few days.
The weather was pretty good to us. Temperatures were unseasonably mild, the bugs were likewise mild, and we hardly had to use the air-conditioner in the trailer at all. What was a bit strange is that this part of Florida is apparently in a pretty bad drought, so the levels of the rivers and streams was down quite a bit. This would have some impact on us later on.
I have to say...getting away from cities I am reminded more and more how disconnected I have become from society at large. You can have your crowds and your craziness. My preference remains what we have left of Mother Nature in her wild state. Give me the forests and creeks, the mountains and waterfalls. I'll watch the critters move through the trees and the rest of you can rub elbows in the city streets.
|This was our campsite at the Rainbow Springs State Park. It looks rather exposed, but in fact it was shaded for most of the day, getting full sun only in the later afternoon.|
|We wasted no time in getting out on the Rainbow River. The day we paddled it, though, was a Saturday, and the river was rather crowded. Unfortunately not just with other kayakers and canoe enthusiasts, but with your gas-belching power boats.|
|There are almost always lots of turtles on the rivers and spring runs. They don't let you get close, though, so you have to take photos with telephoto settings.|
|I know this is a lousy shot...but it's almost impossible to take photos of river otters. This one was fishing and he caught a fish while I watched. Gobbled it right down, too, on the fly.|
|A barred owl we saw on the ride upstream. We saw a lot of barred owls this trip. I don't know if it was the luck of the draw, or if there are just a lot more of them now.|
|Good ol' Snowy egret.|
|Carole in her Wilderness Pungo 120 kayak as we paddle down the Rainbow River.|