Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Last Sunday we took the WHOLE family canoeing in Holmes County Florida. We were headed to the beach for a week and I’ll admit, I wasn’t thrilled with the thought of a three hour canoeing tour. I was feeling a little bit like Ginger and we all know what happened on her 3 hour tour!
I was willing to be the Mary Ann and get out there but the promise of ICE cold water was slightly less than appealing.

The “we” includes Mom, Dad, Me, Jason, Tracie, Wyatt, Jackson and little Lincoln. It took 3 cars loaded down just to begin our vacation at the beach for a week. We arrived at our canoe pickup and when we stepped out, we saw the bluest water I have witnessed outside of the Caribbean. It is a spring fed creek in Northern Florida in one of the most unlikely places possible. Not that close to the beach or anything else spectacular lies a creek perfect for canoeing, floating or ice fishing. Ok, maybe not ice fishing but had you stepped into the water, you might have to look down to prove to your feet that you didn’t step through the ice. The water temperature hovers around 55 degrees and that is when the outdoor temps are topping out over 100! Lucky for us, this day was no different on the heat meter and so the cool was some sort of reprieve.
We were taken to the drop off point and would canoe back to our cars. You have to understand that the clientele that were participating in this canoeing event were not movie stars, they might not even consider themselves high class but more of a redneck crowed. So when the friendly local sheriff pulled up to the point to do a cooler check (no alcohol rule) Jason took one for the sake of the locals and offered up our cooler of Dr. Chek, turkey and blueberries while the partiers launched their canoes and rafts filled with the contraband. They must have known the sheriff wasn’t going to come after then in his pressed shirt and all important hat. We got on our way, pulling Jackson in a raft behind us. I wasn’t a very good paddler and after asking Jason several times which side and what to do he said just put your paddle down. Fine by me! The water was really shallow, sometimes ankle deep but we were able to float on down. Our first stop was at what they call the blue hole. This is where the real party is. All of those rednecks from the launch were taking their prohibited substance to this exact spot. It was the bluest fresh water I have ever laid eyes on. It was also the second coldest I have ever taken a dip into. (Once, as a teen, I decided to take a lake dip in March. It was 80 outside. My dad still laughs to this day about it.) The closer you got to the blue hole, the colder it was. When you got to the middle, you can look way way down and see the spring water bursting from the ground. Just one of the many interesting sights we viewed at the blue hole was a floating homemade boat called “the recycling boat” It had 2 Large white tubes on bottom like a pontoon with holes on the side for placing your recycling trash into. Rednecks can be “green” too!
Our next stop was for our picnic. With the entire contents of our home in the cars for the beach, we packed what was left into a cooler for our lunch. This included; leftover pizza, blueberries, a loaf of wheat bread and a pack of turkey. No mayo, no mustard. We pretended it was on there and we all survived the day without condiments!
Later, we made a minor pit stop for our daily dose of entertainment as you hear mom let out a little scream and hear a little splash. They had tipped their canoe. It was some sort of altercation about which way to paddle and an underwater tree trunk that took them down. After we were done obsessing about the fate of the camera, we laughed a little and then paddled back to help. They had to drag it to the no trespassing shoreline to turn it back over and dump the water out. I’m just glad it wasn’t me. Mainly because we had Lincoln in our canoe at the time but also because as I mentioned, that water was COLD!
We knew we had to be approaching the end, we had found another spring, took another swim and even had a little rowing race with my sister when we heard the thunder roll. We got back to the ending point and didn’t have all the canoes pulled out of the water when the rain started. Florida is famous for quick thunder showers so we thought it wouldn’t last long and we sat down on the shack that is home to the canoe people. It rained so hard that it fell though their tin roof. We really came in just in the nick of time; it would have been tough to ride out that storm along the banks of that creek. Not to mention, Lincoln is petrified of thunder. It was such a fun time and I highly recommend it to all my south Alabama peeps. Now on to the third and final leg of our “tour de deep south!”

1 comment:

  1. oh fun! We used to go up to TN to the Buffalo River and canoe down it. The water is cold...but not 55 degrees cold! More like 75. It's cold, but when it's 100 outside it feels great!
    That water is so amazingly blue!
    We haven't been since Addie was born...I guess I'll have to let Claire get a little bigger before we take the plunge with 2 kiddos! That is a great day of fun, though.
    So...your mom's camera...did it survive?