Several days ago we spent the weekend with my immediate family at Silver Springs State Park where 550 Million gallons of water per day come out of the spring formation!  Although it rained most of the weekend except for several hours each morning, we took advantage of  the few hours of clear skies we had.

On the sunny Saturday morning we decided to go canoeing.  Heidi and I headed to the entrance of the park on bikes to rent two canoes for us, my mom, brother, and nephew.  At the front office we picked up the keys for the two canoes from the park ranger, but what I didn’t think about when we left was amount of equipment required for the canoes.  Somehow we managed to carry 6 pfds, 4 paddles and a few seat pads on two bikes for the half mile for so back to our campsites!

"Biking" with all the paddling equipment.

Biking with all the paddling equipment.


The canoe launch was 1.2 miles down a hiking trail and getting my bother-in-law’s huge canoe to the water proved to be challenging.  We came up with a solution that worked great – using two bicycles and four people.  One bicycle supporting each the front and back of the canoe, one person stabilizing each side, another in the front steering, and a fourth holding the back.

When we finally got on the river we saw all types of wildlife and tried to capture its beauty in the pictures below. We spent four leisurely hours paddling, splashing, and spotting wildlife.  Despite the rainy weekend we ended up having a wonderful time.

The view from the bow

The view from the bow.

Alligator sunning himself

Mid-sized alligator sunning himself

More turtles!

More turtles!

Birds drying their wings

Cormorants drying their wings.

Wild monkey chillin'

Wild monkey chillin’.

Paddling along, enjoying the view of Heidi's butt.

Paddling along, enjoying the view.

Heidi paddling like mad straight into the side of the river to prove my steering was not working.

Heidi paddling like mad straight into the side of the river to prove my steering was not working.


8 Thoughts on “Family time at Silver Springs

  1. The alligator is the most awesome and the turtle looks stuck. I didn’t realize that you guys have maple trees in FL.

    It’s so great to see you guys having a good time!

    • Heidi on August 5, 2013 at 3:06 am said:

      My favorite part about the turtles is the way they have their necks stuck way out, each one all in a line. They don’t get stuck – they just need to lean over a little and – plop – back in the water. It was fun watching them swim in the river, but it didn’t photograph well.

  2. Tamar on August 5, 2013 at 1:49 am said:

    I’m always in awe of your ingenuity and your bike skills. My class of now 4-year-olds went to Central Park boathouse for a field trip, so I got to row a boat which was fun.
    But your lake looks much nicer! Love all the pictures, but can’t find the 4th canoe paddle…

  3. Tamar on August 5, 2013 at 2:22 am said:

    Wait a minute… there are monkeys in Florida????

    • Heidi on August 5, 2013 at 3:03 am said:

      In the 1930’s, there were commercial “jungle tour” boat rides for tourists. In order to make the scenery more authentic, someone had the brilliant idea to place a colony of monkeys on an island in the river, under the assumption that they would be contained on the island. Well, it turns out that monkeys can swim – they escaped and established themselves in the area. There are also non-native feral hogs.

  4. Pingback: Silver River Nature Walking | Status: Go!

  5. maudie engel on August 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm said:

    Glad to see ‘you all’ having a good time (my southern coming out) love the pics;if you ever make it back to florida ; will have to go to nature, like ‘Disneys wild kingdo’ ha. Yes monkeys in FL… really, would not have guess , hope all your plans come together. At least your finding local habitat & history to boot!
    love to you both MOM

  6. I want to see a picture of y’all caring that canoe with those bikes!!!!

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