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Silver River Report

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Report By:  Unknown    Date: 5/7/2011 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 30 photos     Map & Directions: View

Just checked my "Trip Log" and I have not posted a report since March 15. I also have yet to post a report on the Silver River. Untill now.

My Report:

Ray’s Wayside Park, a Marion County facility, charges $5.00 for parking. An attendant was present when I arrived around 8 am. If no one is there, there is an honor box. And if you are not honorable, I’ve seen the authorities checking cars for parking passes. Three cars in the lot. Another arrived and launched her kayak before me. Must be a local, and did not have to use the facilities after a 90 mile drive. Besides plumbing, the Park has a boat ramp and separate launch site for canoes and kayaks. Plenty of parking, I’ve never had to park out of the main lot. If you arrive late, there is an overflow lot.

In the water at 8:20. A short canal leads to the Silver River. Reaching the Silver, you can paddle up River to the springs and the Silver Springs theme park, or down the Silver a short distance to the Ocklawaha River. I headed upstream.

I had passed the first kayaker, and saw two more ahead. Heard a crashing sound in the trees. Boy, those people are loud. Wait, its the monkeys that are loud. A good sized troop, all ages and sizes. I took one picture, and kept going. I'm generous, letting the pair who got there first, and the kayaker I had passed, now arriving as I stopped, have an intimate monkey encounter. Or, am I selfish ? Wanting a troop for myself. I'd say the latter.

Turns out one of the duo is a friend of a friend. And now I’m a Facebook friend of hers. Ah, the inbred paddling community.

Paddling against the current, I saw great blue herons, wood ducks, alligators,turtles, anhingas, cormorants and great egrets.

By leaving the kayakers behind at the monkeys, I had the Silver River to myself for most of the rest of the way up River. It wasn't until I neared the theme park area that I saw more people. Two canoes that had launched from Silver River State Park, the half way point for me. They were on the way back.

I saw lots of mother and child activity- perfect for Mother’s Day. The prime example was a wood duck hen chirping nosily. At me, I thought. Then I saw she was between an alligator and her chicks, not between me and her family.

It took about 2 hours to reach the theme park area. I was pleased to see, at the first tour boat dock, a feed the animals machine had been removed. Thanks to people on this site reporting the feeding of wildlife on the Silver River.

There are several springs, on both sides of the River. The head spring is easy to spot, near the glass bottom boat dock. I lingered over it for a while, thinking of accidently on purpose falling in, then began my way down River.

I was looking at nesting cormorants when I heard a rustle behind me. A lone monkey. I usually don't see solo monkeys, and when I do, they are bigger then this one. Of course, soon after seeing that individual, there was another solitary, well hidden monkey. High in a palm tree.

Thanks to a burglary, I have a new camera. Canon Powershot Elph HS 100. Except for one thing. When in the water tight case, it is limited to four settings, out of sixteen or so. The old camera and case accessed all settings. Which were less, but the new doesn't let you use flash in the case. But, it still works. All pics on the Silver River were taken with the camera in case, on "Automatic"

Traffic picked up as the day progressed, motor and human power. Motor boats were largely complying with the Idle Speed limit. The entire Silver River is an Idle Speed Zone. I asked a couple on a jetski what the point was. “This is all we have” “Trade it in for a couple kayaks” That brought a thumbs up from a kayaker on the River.

I still had not had my private audience with a monkey troop. And was afraid it would not happen. Two boat loads of people were watching a group of monkeys, with a third motor boat coming up River. I watched from a distance. The boaters left. Power boaters don't have paddler's patience.

I landed at 1:20, a five hour paddle. I did the short Silver River paddle, not continuing on to the Ocklawaha River as I sometimes do. Just before I got to the canal that leads from Ray's Wayside to the Silver River, a couple passed me. I saw his green tee shirt from behind, and thought, that shade looks familiar. When I landed, I saw the front. Green Bay Packers. Another Packer kayaker.

No swimming is allowed in the springs, which is a shame. You can swim down River of the attractions area. I did on a couple early trips to the Silver River. Telling myself the water is so clear I would see the alligators, and the combined length of the kayak and I was twice as big as any gator. But, there a lots of gators, so I stopped that years ago. And, if an experienced researcher, partner of the late Wes Skiles gets bit, what chance do I have? article

So, as usual after a Silver River paddle, I visited one of the nearby springs. Silver Glen. See Dave's Yak Tales for the rest of my day. On the way out of Silver Glen, a van with a kayak went by. My friend, John, who has a van and just bought a kayak. Nope, he has Wisconsin plates, this was a Florida tagged vehicle. Turned out to be Darkknight, aka Luis, coming back from Salt Springs Run.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles):  10?
Fees/Costs $: 5

Photos from Silver River:    (Click image to view full size)

Monkeys No Comm

First of the day. Part of a large troop

Great blue heron No Comm
Great blue heron
Wood duck couple No Comm
Wood duck couple
Look, in the water No Comm
Look, in the water
Alligator No Comm
Protecting her chick No Comm
Protecting her chick

The alligator is out of the frame

Morhen family No Comm
Morhen family
Turtles No Comm
GBH & gator No Comm
GBH & gator
Turtle and gator No Comm
Turtle and gator
Citizen Activism No Comm
Citizen Activism

The animal feed is gone. Or, maybe, just being refilled.

Self portrait No Comm
Self portrait
Anhinga lunch No Comm
Anhinga lunch
Gator and turtle No Comm
Gator and turtle
Monkey No Comm
Nesting cormorants No Comm
Nesting cormorants
Be careful! No Comm
Be careful!
Female anhingas No Comm
Female anhingas
Monkey No Comm
Wood duck No Comm
Wood duck
Green heron No Comm
Green heron
Yaker's best friend No Comm
Yaker's best friend

They feed on mosquitoes

Mother and chick No Comm
Mother and chick
Monkey No Comm
Monkeys No Comm
Monkeys No Comm
Monkeys No Comm
Monkey No Comm
Mother's Day No Comm
Mother's Day
Blue gill No Comm
Blue gill

And striped bass, Silver Glen Spring


Post Date: 5/9/2011

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