Monthly Archives: April 2016

Suwannee Quest 3 – April 9, 2016

Stage 3 of the Suwannee Quest – the YakPak’s attempt to lead the Sandhill Chapter of the Florida Trail Association in paddling all 206 miles of the Suwannee River in Florida – one piece at a time.

After having to postpone twice in March due to thunderstorms we were finally  able to complete the section from Cone Bridge Rd down to Suwannee Wayside at US 41 – about 16 kayaking miles – which includes Big Shoals and Little Shoals.

With all the recent rain the river was running 59.44 feet ASL at the White Springs gauge which meant Big Shoals was a definite Class III+.  Needless to say, we used the portage and had lunch there to enjoy the sound and views of shoals.  You can see a video we shot of Big Shoals HERE.  Great teamwork was required among the participants to haul the kayaks around on the portage and find a decent place to put back in below the rapids with the river running so high.

Wild azalea blooming along the river bank.

Wild azalea (Rhododendron canescens) blooming along the river bank.

The 9 miles above Big Shoals looked like this - Tupelo, Cypress, and pine trees with relatively low banks. The Tupelos are almost ready to blossom - maybe 2 more weeks.

The 9 miles above Big Shoals looked like this – Tupelo, Cypress, and pine trees with relatively low banks. The Tupelos are almost ready to blossom – maybe 2 more weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Sundew (Drosera capillaris) found along the river bank. Sundews are carnivorous plants. This one is about 4 inches wide.

Pink Sundew (Drosera capillaris) found along the river bank. Sundews are carnivorous plants. This one is about 4 inches wide.

In this closeup of the sundew you can make out one recently caught insect and another exoskeleton.

In this closeup of the sundew you can make out one recently caught insect and another exoskeleton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Shoals at 59+ FASL, Class III rapids. We took the portage around them!

Big Shoals at 59+ feet ASL, Class III rapids. We took the portage around them!

Another view of Big Shoals. Some of those ripples are hydralics, but some are rocks!

Another view of Big Shoals. Some of those ripples are hydralics, but some are rocks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our wildlife sighting for the day. There's never too much wildlife seen along the Suwannee, unless you include weekenders on jet skis on the lower Suwannee.

Our wildlife sighting for the day. There’s never too much wildlife seen along the Suwannee, unless you include weekenders on jet skis on the lower Suwannee.

Little Shoals - no WHEEEE factor at all at 59 feet ASL. The lower 5 miles, below Big Shoals, looked like this.

Little Shoals – no WHEEEE factor at all at 59+ feet ASL. The lower 5 miles, below Big Shoals, looked like this.