Gore's Landing to Eureka

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Al Letch | VCKC
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Date: August 23, 2005

Number of Paddlers: 30, including 8 in private boats.

Travel Time: The trip from Mulberry Recreation Center to Eureka took less than one hour, and the directions were accurate. From Eureka back to Gore's Landing were inaccurate, advising to turn left at 316 instead of right. Only one party turned incorrectly, but quickly corrected. Also, some clever members figured out that 105th Street actually ends right at 316, not far from Eureka, allowing a straight shot to Gore's without returning to 315, saving a lot of time and miles. This should be advised if we do this stretch again.

Trip Length: Jerry's GPS clocked the run at 9.1 miles, with an average 3.1 miles per hour in our (slow) boat. All members finished within a short time frame, since many had pulled into the Outpost Canoe Camp landing by mistake, instead of the public ramp area, and had to re-launch to finish the last few hundred yards. This direction should be noted on future trips.

Boat Rentals:

Florida Pack & Paddle provided canoes and kayaks. All were in place on arrival, and Bruce was ready to meet us at the other end. His service and equipment was good, including some new Kevlar Wenonah's. It should be noted that although these canoes are very light and quick in the water, a couple of them are 18' long, and are somewhat more difficult to maneuver in tight areas. Low time paddlers should stick with the older fiberglass models.

Weather Conditions:

Perfect summer weather with blue skies and a few puffy clouds prevailed. The maximum temperature reached the high 80's by the end of the trip, but a cooling breeze helped to moderate the conditions.

The River & Terrain:

Water levels were reasonably high due to a good amount of runoff from recent storms. There were a lot of trees down along the way, but to our knowledge, no one got severely hung up or capsized. Some newer members had a little difficulty settling their paddling technique, and unfortunately, had one of the aforementioned Wenonah canoes. They managed to sort things out and finished strongly.

The scenery on the stretch of river is as pretty as it gets, with pristine, jungle like conditions almost the entire way, no signs of civilization, power boats or houses. There are only a couple of places to pull out, one almost at the end.

Wildlife Sightings:

Sightings were remarkably sparse again this month, with only a few reports of turtle, one alligator, (a big one!), a beautiful owl, some heron and jumping fish. We are not sure what may have been watching us from beyond the jungle's edge!

Group Enjoyment and Difficulty:

This is not a particularly difficult stretch with few challenges. It delivered a lot in the way of scenic beauty, peace and tranquility…a lovely day on the river. We wound up our outing at the Island Seafood Eatery, and everyone seemed to enjoy the good spirit and comradeship of the occasion!

Look for next month's Trip Plan for the Econlockhatchee River to be published soon!

Al Letch

Last update Thursday, April 10, 2008

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