Wednesday, July 20, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak:Chapter 8 Discovering Wekiva River Rock Springs Run

Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 8 Discovering Wekiva River Rock Springs Run

As hard as it was to leave our brand new kayak and actual kayak-wheel-thingy in Michigan until next summer, we decided to do so in case we would want to fly instead of drive. So it was back home to our new-old mean-greenie kayak...thank goodness it was home waiting for us.

After we got home, the locals found out we loved kayaking Silver River so much, they suggested we give Rock Springs Run a try. When they said it was only about 8 miles from our house there was no reason not to try it. Silver River is about 75 miles away (but worth it every time nonetheless). Rentals are available at both King's Landing and Wekiva Landing, but we use our own kayak. 

To launch onto the Rock Springs Run from King's Landing (or Wekiva Island) there is a fee. Launching from King's Landing (and if you're only going down river) you'll have to coordinate your time with the launch site's pick up time(s), or use two vehicles - one at the ending point to transport the kayak back to your starting point and pick up your other vehicle. If you're renting a kayak from King's Landing and going all the way down to Wekiva Island (approximately 8.5 miles) all you have to do is be at the pick up point at the designated time so you don't get stranded.

Our first trip down Rock Springs Run to the Wekiva River took place November 2, 2010. 

We began at King's Landing (near the top left of the first Google map below). On this inaugural run we connected to the Wekiva River and turned left, away from the actual springs (intersection of Rock Springs Run and Wekiva River is at the bottom right of second Google map below) to reach our pick-up point of Wekiva Island - and we made it in plenty of time to not miss the shuttle ride back up to King's Landing.

The meaning of Wekiva (sometimes spelled Wekiwa) is "spring of water." The Wekiva River is located in central Florida. It is 16 miles long beginning in Apopka, Florida and joins with the St. Johns River in DeBary, Florida. The Wekiva is is longest river in the state, so there is plenty of nature scenery to take in on this beautiful waterway.

We immediately fell in love with Rock Springs Run's "intimacy." Paddling this winding gem of nature puts you within only a few feet of flora and terrain at times. 

Compared to Silver River, Rock Springs Run is very narrow, winding, and shallow with many obstacles (sometimes calling for intermediate to advanced maneuvering skills). We highly suggest that you have been kayaking for a while before you venture on the full run from King's Landing to the Wekiva River, or go with someone who is familiar with the river and can help you.

We were more so concerned about navigating this trip, we didn't take a lot of time to photograph the scenic delight, but we were able to snap a few captivating shots on this first trip.

Little Egret: known by its black, slender bill
Feeds on a variety of small creatures found both in the water and on the shore

Little Blue Heron: known by it bluish-grey color
Feeds on fish, frogs, crustaceans, small rodents, and insects
Green Heron: known by its brown-green colors
Feeds on fish - sometimes using small sticks or insects as "bait" to lure the fish closer

Eastern Phoebe (also called a flycatcher): known by its song "phoebe"
Feeds on insects, and will favor fruits and berries in cooler weather

Osprey (sometimes referred to as fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk: known for its
rich dark brown wings and tail, and grey-ish head.
Feeds on fish: Its talons make it a marvelous fishing raptor

Needless to say, we wanted to return to the Rock Springs Run with two vehicles so we could take our time and not feel hurried to get to "the finish line." The nature and scenery are simply stunning, all of which you will see as you journey and discover with us From the Nose of Our Kayak. 


Kayak Tip of the Week: When approaching an overhang, judge wisely. Never try to go under an obstacle, such as a downed limb, if there is a suitable "escape" route to the left or right. Sometimes, portaging is your only solution whether in the shallow water, or moving to the dry land and carrying your kayak around the obstacle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

JLB Creatives

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)