Suwannee Quest 4 – April 23-24, 2016

Stage 4 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.  This time an overnight camping trip.

We put in at US 41 in White Springs and took out at Spirit of the Suwannee campground, spending the night at Woods Ferry River Camp.  We used American Canoe Adventures for our shuttle since you can’t leave cars overnight at Suwannee Wayside and they did their usual great job.  Check them out at www.ACA1.com

For most of the people on the trip it was their first overnight in their kayaks and we had a great time while learning a lot of new skills.  The River Camps on the Suwannee are for the exclusive use of people who either boat or hike in and if you are a backpacker the accommodations are luxurious — potable water, flush toilets, hot showers, covered cooking pavilion with picnic tables, and little screened platforms for sleeping away from the bugs.  Also lots of tent space if you prefer.

The weather was perfect – no rain, warm weather and a nice breeze.  The water level by the White Springs gauge was 56.98 – medium normal.  The views along the river were stunning – porous limestone rock formations, spring wildflowers, and white sandy banks for rest breaks interspersed by some very interesting private homes.  Another weekend in paradise!  

The old White Sulphur Spring springhouse at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

The old White Sulphur Spring springhouse at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs.

Beautiful limestone bluffs and cypress tress along the Suwannee River.

The pitted limestone bluffs are getting higher as we travel downstream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sleeping platforms sleep 6-8 people, are screen to get out the bugs and have a ceiling fan/electric light. The Ritz if you are a backpacker.

The sleeping platforms sleep 6-8 people, are screen to get out the bugs and have a ceiling fan/electric light. The Ritz if you are a backpacker.

Getting ready for breakfast in the cooking pavilion at the Woods Ferry River Camp.

Getting ready for breakfast in the cooking pavilion at the Woods Ferry River Camp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrub Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium xerophyllum) found along the river bank near Suwannee Springs.

Scrub Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium xerophyllum) found along the river bank near Suwannee Springs.

Male Eastern Fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). The males have the blue belly patches with rusty bars, the females are darker with brown/black bars

Male Eastern Fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). The males have the blue belly patches with rusty bars, the females are darker with brown/black bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of little limestone ledges along the river, caves created by wave action.

Lots of little limestone ledges along the river, caves created by wave action.

Beautiful limestone bluffs and cypress tress along the Suwannee River.

Beautiful limestone bluffs and cypress tress along the Suwannee River.