I took the long way home in search of boat ramps for a tag game on DRriders.com. I went north on 301 from S.R. 50 and stopped first at the bridge for the Little Withlacoochee river. I have been over that bridge many times, but never gave it much thought until we ran into a kayaker last week on the Weeki Wachee river who recommended putting in at that bridge when the river is up. He claims that there are some good rapids for kayaking over. At the time I wasn’t sure he knew what he was talking about because I never saw a place to park. Today, I found a small path off to the side that leads to a place under the bridge. Right now it isn’t much more than a ditch. Here are some of the photos from there:
The next stop was Croom-a-coochee for fuel and a gatorade. After fueling myself and the bike, I hit up River Junction for my photo of a proper boat ramp. I took a few photos and then went exploring a hiking trail leading out to the river. There, I saw a huge alligator a good distance away just floating. As I walked the shoreline, he submerged. Pushing through overgrown limbs and vines to follow the trail into a hidden field, I found the ground covered with yellow flowers in full bloom showing off their beauty. The ground literally buzzed with the activity of bees pollinating and feeding. I walked the loop to the other side of this little isthmus I was on where I came out on the shore line to take some photos of the DR650 from a distance and then zoomed in for more photos.
The next stop was at Iron Bridge, so named for the old iron bridge that existed here in the late 1800’s. Before the existence of this bridge the only way to cross the Withlacoochee river was by ferry. The ferry boat operator is interred in the small cemetery behind the fire tower on Tucker Hill. Several months ago one of the pilings fell over into the river and now lies submerged at the bottom of the river.
My last river side stop of the morning is at Hog Island. There have been times the river was so dry that the locals used it to go mud bogging by driving down this boat ramp right into the river bed.
The back side of the Florida National Cemetery.
On the way home, I stopped at the Blue Canoe general store for a soda and candy bar in Istachatta. Across the parking lot is this single wide trailer that has served as the post office for a very long time.