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Way down upon the Suwannee River Wrap Up, October 2012

October 25, 2012

I could never understand all the fuss about the beauty of the Suwanee River until our Sierra Club Outing the weekend of October 20, 2012. There was something about the miles and miles of high pockmarked limestone cliffs, the combinations of oaks and cypress and the long stretches of unspoiled riverbank that took my breath away. Incredible fall weather, without a cloud in the sky and a consistent soft fall breeze made this trip a winner.


One of the best things about this trip, and so many of the Sierra Outings are the people with which we share Nature. All of these folks were experienced and most had been on several Sierra Outings. There seemed to be an attitude of camaraderie, companionship and cooperation that made our journey smooth. It was great that Will and Alyssa, two teens, were very easy to be with and strong outdoors people. Will and Alyssa can be future strong Sierra Outings Leaders.

Tom, Margo, Alyssa, Dan and I camped at Suwannee River State Park on Friday October 19. We relished the onset of cool fall weather in north Florida. We appreciated the warmth and conversation around the campfire in Margo’s campsite. That night Dan and I enjoyed doing a reconnaissance of the take out at Deese Howard Landing. Although the residents in the state park were respectfully quiet,  we found nearby US 90 to be noisy.

The next day, Saturday, we met Andy, Will, Butch and Cheryl at Stephen C. Foster State Park.  After a lengthy shuttle, we embarked on a nine mile paddle to Woods Ferry River Camp. We launched 1230, and it was not long before we saw the stark stunning beauty of the limestone cliffs, the array of north Florida tress all nestled in a perfect fall day.

We reached  Woods Ferry at 445 pm. The River Camps have screened rooms on platforms with ceiling fans, and there are showers. We enjoyed Dan’s Veggie soup and a toasty campfire. The nights were cool, yet noisy from nearby I75.

The next day we restarted our fire, enjoyed hot beverages and hot oatmeal and moved on. Again there was not a cloud around, with a slight breeze  form the west. We were baptized by the light warmth of the fall sun. In early afternoon as the light began to sparkle through the tress,  we passed the Spirit of  Suwannee River Park, where the Magnolia Fest was in progress, We continued to the Deese Howard Boat Ramp where we dropped Cheryl and Butch who needed to leave the trip. This last stretch of six miles to Holton Creek camp was spectacular, the dark blackwater of the River, the changing features of light as the sun feel on the clean blackwater of the river.So we stayed at Holton Creek after an 18 mile paddle. I think everyone’s energy was still there due to the beauty of the afternoon paddle. We had another fire, and had Parks chops and a lentil curry for dinner. People retired early, fatigued from the days journey.

Monday we had a short morning’s paddle to Gibson Park ramp on the intersection of the River and US 129. We finished at 1130 AM, giving us time to have leisurely drive back to Polk County.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Willie Maikit permalink
    June 13, 2013 10:54 pm

    ahhhh the Suwannee, , , could you put down how far it is from Deese Howard Ramp to the Suwannee River State Park

    • abquinn23 permalink
      June 14, 2013 10:54 am

      Willie….there is a great map of the Suwannee and all the put ins take outs available for the Suwannee river water management district….From Deese Howard to Suwannee River SP is 15.6 miles….Perhaps you can join us for our Upper Suwanee River paddle the 2nd weekend of October
      by the way from Spirit of Suwannee to Deese Howard is one to the best sections of the River

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