Sunday, August 06, 2006

Econfina River State Park

I wrestled all morning with my essay and having been housebound for too many weekends, I decided to slip out and visit the Econfina River. The state park is exactly fifty miles from my house and it only cost me about 13$ for gas down and back!

The Econfina is a river which is like a tidal creek really and it flows into the Gulf from the bottom of Taylor county at the end of highway 14. The launch is four dollars, on your honor and it is a misdemeanor to ignore the box!

Three alligators in the first five minutes suggested I would have an interesting trip but they did not bother me except for one doing a very loud bit of splashing! I kayaked down towards the gulf and took photos as I went.

The river widens considerably towards the gulf and the banks are alive with crabs scuttling about in waves as you pass by. Sea grasses line the banks and there are lots of sabal palms and cabbage palms along with dead trees of all shapes. There are also many limestone rocks submerged in the river and I ran right into one while trying to get a photo of some shrikes! Bump, scrape!

The river has these pretty red flowers in spots and I have seen them on the St. Marks River as well so they must like the brackish water. It stormed up while I was out and I turned around after a mile or so. The tide was coming in and I surfed up the river with no resistance at all to my paddles on the way back to the launch. It was the strongest tide I have noticed yet while kayaking except for Perdido Key under the bridge.
That tide gave me a fight!

There are fishing shacks along the river, mostly stilt houses, as I'm sure the old timers have seen some big blows in this area this time of year.

I pulled the kayak into the truck just before a thunderstorm let loose and I jumped in the cab and made for home with a bit of satisfaction that the weekend ended well! But the essay still needs extensive rewrites and I may not turn it in on time! Channeling Marjorie Rawlings has so far not been working...

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