Feedback from Suwannee trip
November 28-30, 2002
By Mike Wadel
If the music bugs ya -- turn your speakers down.
This provides a few details of our November 22-24 trip on the Suwannee River this year.
After reading all of your stuff the first thing I did was to place the SRWMD river mile markers on my topographic maps along with the boat ramps and canoe launches. Actually I started at the Ed Scott Bridge on U.S. 41 with river mile 171 and boat ramp number 48 (Hwy 41 Bridge Park) and scaled the mile markers myself (can't help it - I'm an engineer) with my map measure. I ended up with about 44.5 miles at the Suwannee River State Park which is pretty close to the 43 miles that the SRWMD came up with (171 - 128 = 43). Maybe my pace (stroke) is a little shorter. J
Then based on the times you gave and your estimated speed(s) (3 mph) I calculated the distance for a particular item (sandbar/camp) and noted this on my map. So with my compass and maps I knew exactly where I was most of the time; and during this "most of the time" I want you to know that you were right on the (my) mark!
Enough said about that dead reckoning stuff.
Friday, November 22, 2002,
Saturday, November 23, 2002,
Note: In your web page you said that the Cubby Hole was 2hr:
25' paddling time below the I-75 bridge - at 3 mph that makes it 7.25 miles
below I-75 or between 16 and 17 river miles below the 41 bridge. In your book on
page 37 you state about the Cubby Hole: "We estimated this site to be roughly
halfway between the shoals and Hwy. 75." - this would put it east of I-75 rather
than west as you describe on your web page. I think west is the proper choice.
Sunday, November 24, 2002, river gage at 51.49' - Again, ice on the canoe, toilet seat and the Coleman stove in the morning. We were on the river around noon. We saw the steps at the Crooked Creek area but did not see any colored flags. Shortly we were passed by two canoes. We only saw a total of 4 other canoes all weekend and that was fine with us. We paddled the 4 miles down to Suwannee Springs and decided to get out there as my paddling buddy had been feeling kind of poorly all weekend and this was the closest place to get out in spite of the steep climb up the wooden stairs with all of our equipment. I called the outfitter on my cell phone to come get us and before I could get all of our stuff to the parking lot Mike with ACA showed up and when I looked around he was carrying our 70 pound Mohawk up the stairs on his shoulders plus he had the rest of our gear in his right hand - what a guy!
Twenty-two miles total - overall it was a good trip, even with my partner getting sick. We saw deer, otter, turtles, and lots of birds, but no gators. Even with the water level below your recommended minimum of 51.6' we had no trouble and, in fact, those conditions made for an interesting rush at a couple of places where the river narrowed and increased in speed - what I like to call "Florida rapids." Again, we saw no orange tape along this part of the river.
Suggestions: In your web page, change the reference to Photo Album 2 to Photo Album 3 in the Cubby Hole paragraph; in the note, "12:40 we passed under Hwy 751 Bridge", change the road number to 249.
Enough for now.
I can't thank you enough for providing all of that information on the river. You certainly "take all of the worry about being close!" J
Mike & Linda Wadel firstname.lastname@example.org