Monday, June 1, 2009

Cold Water Tubing

I live in Florida and we have some of the most beautiful spring fed, totally clear rivers you would ever want to see. Spring water in Florida is always 72 degrees. Very cold.

Yesterday was my birthday.

My best friend, Barbara, took me to the Itchetuckne River located near Gainsville. It took three hours to get there. It was 90 degrees out so it was the perfect day. It was a three hour tube ride. I was never cold or hot. The only thing that got wet was my tush and my feet. LOL

This river is still basically wild. There is no development and the canopy of trees were amazing. I would say that 70% of the time we were in shade dappled with sun.

I saw huge cypress trees which must have been there a couple of hundred years ago. They were similar to redwood trees though not quite that large. I saw a lily but not like anything you have seen before. They grow right out of the water. It is white about 6 inches across or maybe bigger....the flower is star shaped but what makes it really unique is between each point of the star is something that springs out that looks something like a long thin feather that is wider than the kind of looks like it is exploding.

The wild life was amazing. I saw over 100 turtles. They love to line up on the logs to sun themselves. I saw blue herons, white egrets, and huge mullets which were jumping four feet straight out of the water. I was sure I would end up with one in my lap. :)

The sounds of the river, other than the occasional human (not many people there on Monday), was silence and the noises of nature. We heard a breathy barking noise that we think were coming from river otters. We heard a barn owl in the middle of the day. Can you believe it? We heard what we thought at first were alligators, but we knew alligators were not present because the water is too cold for them. It turned out it was woodpeckers. Whatever they were pecking made a deep tone and the rhythm they produced sounded very much like an alligator growl. Have you heard an alligator before. It is a very deep type of croak. In fact, sometimes large frogs can make a very similar sound. We heard lots of other bird sounds.

We had fun navigating the sunken trees and avoiding the branches which stuck up above the water ready to snag your tube. The three hours passed in the blink of an eye. I was so sorry I did not have a waterproof camera. My fingers were itching to take fabulous photos. Believe me next time I will definitely have a camera.

I had a fabulous 63rd birthday. :)


  1. Carole, your day sounds fantastic, How cool that you got to go for your birthday. I wish you had a camera too I'd love to see it. Someday I will get to Florida.

  2. Happy Birthday Carole! what an exciting time for you!

  3. Happy Belated Birthday, Carole! What a great way to celebrate your day.

  4. Thanks, Everyone. Not having a camera killed me.

  5. Carole - Wow I am soooo glad it wasn't alligators! LOL I wouldn't be in Florida's water if I even saw 1 ever! ha ha ha Never seen or heard one before! Boy sounds like you had a really nice day, great weather and so much fun. I've only been tubing once and it was a lot of fun.

  6. Oh that sounds like the perfect day out, how amazing, the trees, the flowers, the wildlife - just *wow*!!

    The way you describe that flower, well, can I just say it's given me an idea (jewellery wise or maybe something fabric wise, who knows...)

    Happy belated birthday, sounds like you really had a good 'un!

  7. Sounds like so much, so glad it was a great trip for you!! :)

  8. Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a great time!
    My birthday is the 4th. We are Gemini buddies!

  9. Very late, but happy birthday - and thanks for a grand post.

  10. Hi, Patti...we sure are. LOL

    Thanks, Dave. :)

  11. Happy, Happy (Belated) Birthday!!! Sounds like you had a great day!
    Many Blessings!

  12. O!!! Happy Belated Birthday!!!


  13. THanks walk in the woods, Deb and Creative. :)