Fri - April 14, 2006

Random Shots and Thoughts from WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge 2006 - Part 1


I am trying to present my report from the Ultimate Florida Challenge using Google maps as a framework, something, like an extension of my map from the Dismal River paddling or WaterTribe Challenge Viewer. Pictures, slide presentations, video clips, stories, and, perhaps, FilmLoops will be assigned to places on the map. This project will take a while to complete, so meantime, I will be showing just more or less random selections of pictures with some commentary. All pictures presented in the selection below were shot with Pentax Optio WP.

Fort Desoto beach Fort Desoto beach a day before the race.

We arrived to Fort Desoto in the afternoon of this day after 32 hours of non-stop driving from Colorado. The original plan was to drive for 3 days and arrive two days before the race ...

Everglades sunset Sunset in Everglades near New Turkey Key.

I believe that I did not miss to photograph any sunset during my paddling in Florida, except, perhaps, the first rainy day on the Suwannee River. I cannot really see sunset over water in Colorado.

paddling UFC 2006 A self portrait when paddling along Highland Beach in Everglades.

Do I look tired? Well, I am tired. The entire day with a heavy headwind. A slow progress 1-2 mph.

The full moon shot from the backyard of Karen and Matt Layden's house at Jensen Beach.

I spent several days in their house sleeping, resting and recovering after I dropped out from the race 10 miles short to Key Largo on the Florida Bay.

I wasn't really ready to do any more paddling when staying at Jensen Beach, but I had talked myself into paddling the stage 4 of the race across Florida. I knew that I would regret in a week or two if I wouldn't do it.

Atlantic Ocean - Southern jetty of Fort Clinch inlet as seen from the fishing pier.

I camped three days at Fort Clinch before I started to paddle across Florida to Cedar Key. I spent my time there walking on beaches, hiking trails, inline skating, photographing and writing.

I guess that the UFC racers did not have a chance to see much of the Fort Clinch State Park beyond campground and showers, so I am going to prepare a longer slide presentation.

A very blue bridge on St Mary River.

It was my first stop during on St Mary River and the first one in Georgia. It felt good to be on water again.

First sunrise on St Mary River, still well below Traders Hill.

I didn't see a good landing spot on swampy shores inhabited by gators, so I slept in my bivy sack on somebody's dock. A few miles further upstream, the river shores got higher with many beautiful sandy beaches.

The second day of paddling on St Mary River, somewhere near Traders Hill. Very green, a lot flowers, springtime. A slow current, well, at least in comparison to rivers in Colorado.

What's the name of this flowering bush?

First day on the Suwannee River below Fargo.

It was raining all day.To my surprise, the river was quite different than St Mary River. I enjoyed a view of cypresses and other big trees in water.

One bad thing .... Some parts of the river were heavily posted with "no trespassing" signs: the sign on almost each bigger tree. I couldn't shoot a picture without having the ugly sign in my frame. This is environmental pollution!

Suwannee River The lower Suwannee River. A shot with partially submerged camera.

I didn't have many opportunities to use my downwind sail during the cross Florida paddling. This one was not longer than a quarter of mile, but it gave some time to play the camera. See my 10 Tips on Shooting Pictures without Viewfinder.

Cedar Key Mermaid's Landing at Cedar Key - UFC stagepoint #4.

From WateTribe site "Water can be very shallow at low tide and some would even call it mud". Well, I didn't see any shallow water, just a really deep mud when I was taking this picture. I was lucky to arrive at the Mermaid's Landing at high tide.

Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg - bridges over the Mississippi River.

The last part of my challenge: driving home to Colorado. This time we took almost 4 days with several stops in northern Florida, Mississippi and Kansas.

Related posts:

Part 1... Part 2... Part 3... Part 4... Fog over the Suwannee River


Posted at 02:11 PM    


Mountain Wayfarer | fit2paddle - fitness paddling | Wayfarer blog | virtual race | paddling with a camera