Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ichetucknee


The Ichetucknee River must be my favorite place ever.
My parents were driving through town in the beginning of October, so I took advantage of the no summer crowds and the still hot weather and brought them there. They had already been years ago when I first started UF, but this time I had a secret weapon. Floating lounge chairs!

All those years I was using circular inner tubes when I could have been relaxing on these lounge floats! Well the tube rental place only had two left so I graciously let the old folks have them while I took a clear inner tube.

I guess the only way to really get the river to yourself is to go during the week. There were still some people but it was finally quiet enough for us to see animals! First we saw turkeys as we were driving into the park. There's a really nice stretch of woods leading up to the pay station that was full of fall wildflowers. Weaving their way through were some wild turkeys but I didn't have access to my camera.

I tried to keep my voice down as I excitedly pointed to the wild pigs rooting around by the shoreline. My parents seemed to have conked out on the incredibly comfortable lounge floats and I ended up yelling to get their attention. Surprisingly this didn't phase the pigs. They were so intent on what they were feeding on that they didn't even look up as we floated by, less than 4 feet away. There were two but were blocked by foliage.
Next up was an entire family of OTTERS!!!! I was so excited that I spotted these and this time my parents were on the alert and saw them too. Sadly we floated by much too fast for me to get a focused picture. The only other time I saw otters was when they were swimming upstream and they were pointed out to me by someone else.
Of course we saw the obligatory turtles, herons, and fishies.

Next up is my review of Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist county and my 12 mile hike in the Ocala National Forest!