Friday, December 31, 2010

29th State, 3rd paddle -- Florida (Dec. 31, 2010)

Oboy, get to kayak with Gary Gearloose again.

Sure better than last New Year’s Eve, when I learned my ex, the father of my two sons) had just passed away.  Lots better.

Gary returned after a visit with his mother and we went off for another paddle… luckily the weather was more Florida-like.  Location: Ichetucknee Springs State Park.

Video I made of Gary and his wonderful pontoon kayak.

From their website:  The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands before it joins the Santa Fe River. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. From the end of May until early September, tubing down the river is the premier activity in the area. In addition to tubing, visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. October through March scuba diving is available in the Blue Hole only (you must be cave certified). White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river.




Photos of me were taken by Gary.  There are really no words to describe this place, so not sure any will be added.  I do have one nice video if I can figure out how to get it loaded.

Florida-First Paddle     Florida-Second Paddle

Sunday, December 19, 2010

29th State, 2nd paddle: Florida (Dec. 19, 2010)

Cedar Key, West Coast of Florida.  From their website: As you leave the Florida mainland, rich Gulf waters reflecting blue skies beckon you as birds float like petals over the marsh vista. Welcome to our island, a place where time stands still and allows you to enjoy the unique qualities of our coastal environment. Cedar Key is a quiet island community nestled among many tiny keys on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Long admired for its natural beauty and abundant supply of seafood, it is a tranquil village, rich with the almost forgotten history of old Florida.

Gary stopped by on his way from Washington state to see his mother in Florida and we kayaked together, again.  We have paddled together a few times in Washington state, and darned if he didn’t go and get himself a girlfriend.


Our twin vans… his on the left, mine on the right.


He built the kayak himself… it’s a pontoon. He paddles sitting like this, or kneeling, or standing up.


Gary paddling standing on his pontoon kayak.  We paddled across to that white beach and took a break to stretch our legs (although I guess Gary really didn’t need to).



Photo by Gary



So what was your first clue that it was cold in Florida? Photos by Gary.


We parked our twin vans with side doors facing each other and it made a perfect shelter from the wind and cold.  Gary sets up his cooking right on top of his kayak… and has all his gear in a rubbermaid tub.  Real neat.


Another great paddle with Gary.


Florida-First Paddle      Florida-Third Paddle

Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.