Juniper Creek – September 21, 2016

A sweet return to Juniper Creek spring run in the Ocala National Forest for the YakPak.  We saw our first hint of fall color of the year in a little Sweet Gum tree near the end and one little gator and a few turtles.

Most of the downed trees have been breached after last month’s tropical storm, but we did find a newly fallen oak tree that took the 4 of us about 3/4 of an hour to work our way through it.  We cleared and broke off what branches we could because we knew there was a canoe coming down after us, but with no real tools we couldn’t do a good job.  Had to get out of the kayaks into waist- to chest-deep water to work the kayaks, then our bodies under and over the trunks and limbs and through the entangling vines.  The Rec Area knows about it and it should be opened up by the weekend, but if you are going out there Thursday or Friday plan on being a little late!

The shallow and twisting upper run.

The shallow and twisting upper run.

Upper section of the run.

Upper section of the run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The middle section generally has more obstacles.

The middle section generally has more obstacles.

And the lower section is wider and more open.

And the lower section is wider and more open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little gator in the bushes.

Little gator in the bushes.

Just a little bit of fall color at the end.

Just a little bit of fall color at the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now a few pics of us working our way through the tree on the middle section.  While unexpected and tiring and took a lot of team work, it was not dangerous.  We know Juniper Creek very well and kind of expect the unexpected on this creek.  We actually had quite a bit of fun!  Got a little water on the camera lens, tho.

Overview shot of the trees blocking the entire creek.

Overview shot of the trees blocking the entire creek.

Starting to work our way in.

Starting to work our way in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working boat #3 through

Working boat #3 through

Working boat #4 through. (Notice the big smiles.)

Working boat #4 through. (Notice the big smiles.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the boats through, now only 2 people to get over the last trunk and through the underwater grape vines.

All the boats through, now only 2 people to get over the last trunk and through the underwater grape vines.

Last one through is a rotten egg!

Last one through is a rotten egg!