It is beginning to look like we might be in Florida for awhile longer. We need to eliminate every single weed from the farm, fix my teeth, earn some extra scratch and ideally upgrade/replace/make a couple few things for our bikes and gear before we hit the long and lonesome road again….well at least I should.
The glorious farm where we reside is situated on the Santa Fe river which is a murky, swampy and slow moving river. Lauren and I have been going on small canoe rides almost nightly and enjoy its creepiness very much.
Recently, while canoeing after smoking a powerful jimmie it became clear to me that Lauren and I must take an epic canoe trip from the farm all the way to the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast of the state via the Suwannee (110 mi +/- 5)
A lot of our bicycle tour’n stuff (stove, camera, tent, headlamp, panniers, etc.) will work fine for this trip. All we will need to get for this is a decent water filter and apparently life jackets ($250 fine!) and a whole lot of snacks. For some reason I feel like we can obtain these things for free somehow. Any ideas?
We will mail food and supplies ahead to post offices in river-side towns along the way like badasses.
Our farm overlords do not want us destroying their parents prized canoes and will not let us use them. Luckily, I think I will be able to borrow one from my mysterious step-grandma in Jacksonville for the trip as long as we can return it intact.
This will be a great way to get an idea of what Florida was like before 18.3 million people ruined it. We will be going through some of the most sparsely populated and remote areas in the region. Although it is all downstream this trip is not without its share of challenges and dangers.
Ordered list of dangers and challenges:
- Florida is very hot this time of year and always miserably humid. Intense thunderstorms can quickly appear out of nowhere. Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S. and Lauren has a titanium rod in her back which we believe makes her a lightning-magnet. Inevitably she will be fatally struck by lightning when she is pregnant and her spawn will have be albino and have special powers.
- The dark, creepy waters these rivers are infested with alligators, deadly water snakes, huge/venomous spiders, The dense cypress and pine forests along it are filled with mosquitoes, chiggers, Lyme ticks, prickers, coons, dillas, bobcats, swamp monkeys and, of course meth heads.
- The initial section of river is known as confusion cypress swamp and is littered with downed trees, under water logs, garbage, and pain-in-the-ass-to-cross sections.
- About 15 miles downstream from the farm the Santa Fe disappears and flows underground for three miles. Lauren will have to carry the canoe and all of our gear while I lead the way.
- There are plenty crazy gun-totin’ country folk who live along the river and do NOT like it when people canoe down it. A guy just downstream from us has built a dam to deter people from passing. He also once threatened to shoot me and a friend and invited us up on the bank so we could brawl (he thought we sole his coon trap). Guns are very popular in Florida. This shirt will protect us.
- We both suck at steering a canoe and often run into the banks or worse, the spider infested branches that line the river. We have never done anything like this before….in canoes at least.
- How the heck are we going to get back?
We shall leave as soon as we are ready. Training begins immediately.
P.S. #2 This will never happen.