Paddling in Florida 2018

Last month a few of our “Pungo Paddlers” group headed south to do a little kayaking and cycling in Florida. We had a fantastic time. There were 12 of us total but not all were able to do every day’s adventure. I missed the first day on the Itchetucknee River. But I was fortunate to join in on the fun as we paddled Juniper Springs, Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs and the Weeki Wachee Springs. While paddling along we would see beautiful birds, alligators, turtles, snakes, monkeys and of course fish. It would often look as if we were in a jungle! We took a day off from paddling and rode our bikes on the Withlacoochee Trail. We would go out to dinner together and sometimes just go out at night for a special piece of pie at the Back-Porch Restaurant. A couple of mornings were really cold, like 32, but it always warmed up in time to start our adventure of the day. This was a fun packed week with a great bunch of people. I’m already looking forward to next year’s trip!

Day 1:  Itchetucknee River           I arrived a day late and missed the excitement of day one.

Day 2:  Juniper Springs                This was my introduction to kayaking in Florida and I loved it! Today was like paddling thru a jungle. The spring was very narrow in places and had a lot of tight turns.

Day 3: Silver Springs                   Wow! we saw lots of alligators today. And lots of turtles. Great paddle. There are lots of monkeys along the shoreline but we kept missing them.

Day 4: Rainbow Springs              This was our toughest day due to the constant headwind. Much more residential looking than our other days but still a very nice float with lots of fish.

Day 5: Withlacoochee Trail          We decided to get out of our boats and on our bikes today. We took a relaxing ride on the very popular Withlacoochee Trail. We did an out and back ride so each person
decided their own riding distance. I rode 58 miles. Following our ride we all had a great lunch together in Inverness.

Day 6: Weeki Wachee Springs     Wow! Suddenly it’s the last day of our 2018 Kayak and Cycling Adventure. And what a great finish it was. Beautiful weather once again as ten of the Pungo Paddlers floated down the marvelous Weeki Wachee River. It was a combination of jungle looking areas and areas of water front cabins and cottages. Our encounter with the manatees was a highlight. And to top off the day we shared a great dinner together at the Front Porch Restaurant in Dunnellon. What’s that again? You want another piece of pie? Sorry, but that was the Back Porch Restaurant.

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