Paddling into the Past.
The picturesque Cypress tree lining the banks. Accompanied by the sprawling Live Oak Trees. Spanish moss waving in the winds. As if they were hands greeting us. Great Blue Herons perching on the branches, peering down on us.
Upon each paddle stroke, the stained water moving below. The limestone and sand lined bankings passing by, revealing a look into the past.
A Day on the Water.
Over the past few weeks my trip has brought me all around the southern part of the state of Florida. From Lake Okeechobee to Sarasota, Jupiter and Sebring. Each place has provided a unique and new look into the state that I once called home. And has allowed for stand up paddleboarding some new place.
This adventure would follow suit.
After scouting maps, flow rates and launch locations we put together a plan to spend the day on the water. My good friend, Marissa Williams joined me. And we decided to meet in Arcadia. A small town, in the south western side of the state, rich with history. And where the Peace River meanders through.
With our go pros, cooler, fishing pole and boards. We began our journey.
The river was flowing, but not to fast to prevent us from paddling up the winding river. Around each bend Mother Nature always providing a glimpse into the past. Small alligators unsure of us and slowly slid back into the dark water. And turtles doing the same. Birds calling out as if telling their friends to look.
As we made our way up stream we occasional stopped to look for fossils and soak up this beautiful, untouched wonder. Our trip brought us up to a railroad bridge. Where down trees became untangled in the trusses that held the railway up. 30 feet above our heads. The river was not impassible as there were a few openings where we could paddle through. On the other side of the bridge, the river took a sharp left turn making a 90 degree bend. But leaving a sandy beach to land.
The Paddle Home.
After having a snack. A few drinks of water. We headed back down river. With the slow moving current at our back, we paddled less soaking up the surroundings. Having a chance to see this gorgeous, natural wonder. And the lessons that the water was offering.
The trip home took about half the time as our adventure up stream. And we crossed paths with a few more of pre-historic looking natives. We also met a few other people enjoying the water. As they sat beach side searching for fossils and soaking up the beautiful day.
It was the perfect trip. And a great day spent exploring another one of Florida’s hidden gems.
Leaving a lasting memory. And the excitement of re-visiting this place soon.