Suwannee River Trip by my wife

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ris
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Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by ris » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:23 pm

For several years for a week between Christmas and New Years my wife and her friend have spent that week canoeing down a section of the Suwannee River in Florida. It flows 246 mile from the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia to the town of Suwannee on the Gulf of Mexico.(there are two towns called Suwannee in Florida this one is right on the Gulf) They started at the Florida Georgia line and have paddled all the way to Branford Fl. Sunday they started in Branford to do the last 75 miles to the gulf. I have to say I am proud of her. The temperatures have been in the high 20s and low 30s in the morning for the last 3 days but the highs are in the mid 60's. The rest of the trip will be much warmer. The Suwannee is a nice river to canoe or kayak down. It moves at 2 to 3 mph and is tannic colored water. If it is ok I will keep posting their adventure. PS I am at home working to build up the cruising kitty.
A loaded Canoe

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First Camp Hatch Wildlife Management Area. If you are wondering I do not worry as they both carry PPDs.(personal protection device) Hers is in the fanny pack.

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Richard

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Jimmyt
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Jimmyt » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:07 pm

I thought she was a trooper when you guys did the loop. Canoeing and camping in upper 20's lower 30's, well - that's just over the top! The gal's got game! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the trip!
Jimmyt
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Starscream
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Starscream » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:48 am

Nothing better than a capable partner!

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ris
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by ris » Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:15 am

The trip is going good for the women. They are stopping at the major springs as they canoe down the river. There are over a 196 springs that flow into the Suwannee River, most are small but several are magnitude 1, 2, and 3 springs. The second night they stayed at Gornto Springs and stayed right on the River.
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The 3rd night they stayed at Hart Springs which has a really nice canoe/kayak landing.

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On the upper part of the Suwannee there are no organized places to stay but after 76 miles of river there are river camps every 10 miles. At this point which is White Springs Florida things get much nicer for overnights. Most of them have shelters or are State or County Parks. So there are showers and rest rooms. All this nice stuff starts at mile 170. The gulf is mile 0 so you know how far you have to travel to reach the gulf by reading the mile markers. The mornings are getting a little warmer every day. By the 5th morning the morning temps will be in the 40,s with the highs in the low 70s.

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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Inquisitor » Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:20 am

Fantastic trip and pictures. Keep them coming.

I'm assuming you're uploading via cell coverage along the way???
Odysseus, expert on the Siren's call

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ris
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by ris » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:20 pm

My wife (Jill) and friend stopped at Otter Springs on the 4th night. As you can see from the picture below a lot of these springs are in upland areas with sand and lots of scrub oaks. In Florida an upland is 10 ft above water level. 8)

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The pic below was taken by a person walking by as the women were getting in the canoe to leave. You look close and you can see that the spring area is not large and is only about 1/4 mile from the Suwannee River.

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The fifth night they spent at Fanning Springs.
In the pic below Jill is on the right and her friend is on the left. With the river moving you at 2 to 3 mph if you have 10 miles to go in a day you do not have to paddle hard. Once you get within 10 or so miles of the gulf the river is affected by the gulf tides. Also the wind blowing up the river can slow you down so the river flow is negated.

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Russ
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Russ » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:37 am

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
--Russ

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Be Free
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Be Free » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:19 am

Make sure they stop for a meal in Fowler's Bluff. There's a little restaurant on the east side with a dock and great food.

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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Chinook » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:56 am

Hi Richard and Jill,

Any sign of sturgeon in the river? I recall hearing that there are some very large sturgeon in the rivers of that region, and they like to jump. That could be scary in a canoe. Love the pictures and descriptions. Enjoy.

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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by ris » Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:13 pm

Be Free they went to Fowlers Bluff on Monday and it was closed. Its also closed on Tuesday. Mike they saw a lot of Sturgeon on the river rolling and there were a lot of small ones in Manatee Springs State Park which is where they spent their 6th,7th and 8th nights. When I say small Sturgeon that is 3 feet or less. Here are a few pics. !st is their canoe which is a 14 ft Rouge River. A wide, very stable and heavy canoe. As you can see by the stuff laid out for packing into the canoe the Rouge can carry a lot of stuff.

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We love swamps and there are a lot of swampy areas along the lower Suwannee. The water is gone in this pic but you can see all the cypress knees.

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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by NiceAft » Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:32 pm

Richard,

Thanks for this thread.

Here, in the cold Northeast, I am enjoying being on the water vicariously through Jill’s trip.

The low tonight is 25F (-3.88C).
Ray ~~_/)~~

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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Be Free » Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:43 am

The lower Suwannee and the upper St Johns are all beautiful. I've spent a long time on both and I never tire of it. My wife does not understand it when I say how beautiful a swamp is, particularly on a foggy morning or a winter day.

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ris
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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by ris » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:32 pm

The last camping site on the trip was at Weeks landing. Do not panic at the picture they were told by an official that the best camping site in the area was behind a no campfire sign and that no rangers would be in that area for 2 days so be safe. :wink:

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The last day of the trip was a 12 mile paddle against the wind to the town of Suwannee on the Gulf of Mexico. Town is small as it is just a high place in the gulf marshes. There are no beaches so no Condo's! The women had a great time. I finished my last job of the year (2021) so we are now free to travel.

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This last picture is a campsite on a Suwannee River sandbar. These sandbars are favorite camping spots on the upper areas of the River where there are no parks or river camps. This is a campsite where Jill and I stayed on our trip of the upper Suwannee. In Florida the State owns all lands to the high water mark' so all sandbars are state owned' so you can camp on them.

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Re: Suwannee River Trip by my wife

Post by Jimmyt » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:57 pm

Thanks Richard! Really enjoyed the pics and narrative. And thanks to Jill and her friend for taking the pics. Glad you had a good trip!
Jimmyt
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