Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

One FINE day

Kaying the Silver River

Glad to welcome new followers Karen and Al  whose advice we decided to take before they even gave it.  And boy were they right.  Today’s kayak trip was perhaps the best we have ever taken.  We did go down to Ray Wayside Park (Ocala Boat Basin) on the south side of Route 40 only about 4 miles from the park and put in at 10:45.  Not as early a start as I like but that happens with a slow easy breakfast and no more hurries in life.   We paddled up the canal about ¼ mile to the river , turned right and headed up stream into a not inconsiderable current.  The change in the water color from the canal to the river was noticeable.  The river gets clearer and clearer the further you go up toward the springs at the head.  The natural scenery along the banks is wild and jungly and we joked about being Tarzan and Jane.  Those old shows as well as Sea Hunt were filmed here.  Sure would be fun to watch Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Weismuller again after being here.

Our weather was a perfect combination of soft sun and gentle winds as we paddled up stream seeing Ibis, Cormorants, Turtles, Alligators………. well I’ll just let the pictures show you. The whole trip took our breath away.  We couldn't stop saying we felt like we were in Shagri-La

                                                             It's Tarzan and Jane

                                 Meet............GASP..........do you see him??

                                                                    An Anhinga sunning

                                White Ibis grown up this time

                                                            The Wood Ducks

                                       Mr. Green Jeans  no no I mean Mr. Green Legs

You've just seen 9 of the 175 pictures we took on this magnificent day.   If you are in the state of Florida and like Kayaking or Canoeing be sure to make this 10 mile trip one of your must do plans.  You can also rent canoes at the State Park and put in there for a shorter easier trip up to the springs.   The round trip from Ray Wayside Park was for us 4 hours of paddling upstream and an easy 2-3 hour float/paddle back.  Putting in at the state park cuts this at least in half but beware in both cases that taking pictures going upstream has a cost in that every time you try to do it you find yourself being carried back down the river.  :-)

We pretty much had the river to ourselves one jet ski, 3 other kayakers and 2 motor boats in the 7 hours we were on the water.  It was like being lost in a wonderful dream. And though we didn't see the troop of rhesus monkeys, who are descendents of a group released in the 1930's to lend an exotic air to jungle cruises along the river, we sure did hear them.  At first we thought it was a police siren and then the whole group joined in and the noise was nearly deafening.   But it sure gave an authentic jungle feel.  

When you get to the springs, the river ends but it is really the beginning of Silver River at these springs which send an average of 550 million gallons of water to the Atlantic every day.  This is the largest limestone artesian spring in the world and just amazing.  The theme park is still there and still has its glass bottom boats that many of us rode on as children.  Some of the drivers have been doing these tours for 50 years.  The piped music, Rhapsody in Blue when we got there, was a bit much for us but we were so enamoured of the non commerical river that it just brought more smiles to our faces.

Hope this gives you some sense of what a FINE day we had.


  1. OK. This is definitely a place that we want to explore. I hope the Spring doesn't run out of water before we get there. :)


  2. We lived in Florida for 14 years and Silver River was one of our favorite places. (The monkeys often come down to the water very early in the morning.) Enjoy- it is a magical place. If you like barbeque, Fat boys is a good spot.

  3. Beautiful. I love following this. Would absolutely love to meet you guys somewhere along the way.


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