Withlacoochee River Silver Lake Trip

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Mickey Jensen and Gary Brady | VCKC
Published Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Date: February 26 & 27, 2008

Length of trip: 7.2 GPS-measured miles (rather than Outfitters info of 10 miles)

February 26, Tuesday Group

12 canoes, 2 SOT Kayaks, 2 Tandem Kayaks, 7 Kayaks (2 no-shows), 15 PBOs (2 No-shows)
Total Number of Paddlers - 54

February 27, Wednesday Group

3 Canoes, 1 SOT Kayak, 1 Tandem Kayak, 6 Sit-in Kayaks, 5 PBOs
Total Number of Paddlers - 20

Nobleton Outfitters did a superb job with shuttle service and providing equipment. There was more than adequate staff to get the boats and equipment unloaded and everyone in the water in a reasonable length of time. Corrine gave a very nice shore talk with detailed information about the river conditions and directions to the campground which had a restroom.

The weather was good on Tuesday with temperatures in the 50s to start the day warming to mid 60s. It was overcast most of the day with winds occasionally. The shoreline provided enough protection so that the wind did not pose any real problems. Wednesday was much cooler (45) and didn't warm up very quickly. Everyone huddled around the outdoor fire pit while instructions were provided by the outfitter. We lost at least 6 paddlers who chose not to brave the elements at the last minute. As it turned out, with the exception of the occasional gusts of wind, it was a nice day paddling, acknowledged by all who participated.

The river started out a little narrow but was wide enough for two boats side by side most of the day. The current was approximately 1-2 miles per hour most of the trip. There were few birds or wildlife spotted, but a river otter was spotted and turtles sunning on the logs were common. A gator or two was also seen.

PBOs put in and took out at separate locations from the renters and ran their own shuttles. This added some extra time to the trip and did delay the sweep paddlers to miss lunch with the group.

It was a very enjoyable paddle with several new members learning to paddle. The trip was much shorter than advertised by the outfitter (7 vs. 10 miles). It actually turned out to be a good thing because of weather conditions and the number of novice paddlers on the river.

Lunch was provided by Nobleton Outfitters. The limited menu offered a choice of soups, salads and sandwiches for a very reasonable price.

The close proximity to The Villages made it a short 45-50 minute drive home. Nice trip; great outfitter; we should do it again.

Submitted by Mickey Jensen and Gary Brady

Last update Friday, April 11, 2008

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