Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 11 "Kayaking & Dining & History"

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 11: Kayaking & Dining & History

Kayaking amidst the serenity of nature is truly our favorite, but sometimes we like to kayak over history to dinner!

In our "backyard" you'll find Little Lake Harris. The launching sight is about a mile from our house. Little Lake Harris is a beautiful body of fresh water in the central Florida area that is chock full of alligators, birds, and turtles, and dotted around its pristine shores are a few restaurants. It also offers up some of the best sunsets around.  Little Lake Harris stems from (the much bigger) Lake Harris which spans east and west from State Route 19 all the way over to the Leesburg, Florida area of State Route 27. The two lakes are divided by a long causeway/bridge on State Route 19 that dead ends into the magnificent Mission Inn. 

In the heat of summer here in Florida you can't always get out to kayak during the morning or daylight hours as often times storms are brewing, and we don't mess around with lightning in Florida (we are one of the lightning capitals of the world to say the least). But because the days are longer in the summer, on those rare evenings when the storms dissipate and the winds lie down, we love to head to the launching dock and paddle over history into the sunset for some dinner. Nestled in the sleepy town of Howey in the Hills, Florida, on the shoreline sits The Boondocks Restaurant. 

The launching dock we use rests on a piece of historical land. In 1925 a 1.5 mile long wooden bridge began at the launch site and stretched across to the town of Howey in the Hills. In 1949 the bridge had become deteriorated and was demolished upon completion of the State Route 19 bridge mentioned above. It's a really cool feeling to think about when you're kayaking over a piece of such historical content. You find yourself trying to imagine just how it was back then...the way of life, the citrus industry, the "booming" town of Astatula, and the kinds of vehicles and gutsy folks who would have braved the trek across the rickety slats from one town to the other. 

The photos to the right (and more) can be found at  

When we arrived at The Boondocks in our trusty #WildernessSystems T145 "Mean Greenie" we feasted upon some really awesome seafood pasta, and enjoyed dining over the water with a view that's like none other. Oh, and we had dessert too!

Before the sun slipped out of sight we paddled back to our dock in Astatula, loaded up and headed back to the house. It had proven to be just the evening we had expected...calm, casual, and relaxing.

Sometimes kayaking is about the scenery, sometimes kayaking is about the adventure, sometimes kayaking is about immersing yourself in the history of an area, and sometimes kayaking is about the destination. Regardless of your motive, get out there, kayak, and discover a world from a different perspective.


Kayak Tip of the Week: If you're going to go kayaking in a new area be sure and talk to some of the locals about the history of the area. You never know when you might be paddling over something highly significant to not only that specific area but maybe even the nation's history.


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