I Should Be Walk ‘in the Plank!! Sorry the day 5 posting is late- but you just can ‘t trust us River Pirates!!
Day 5 begins with a somewhat late wake up time, at Peacock Slough River Camp; of around 8:30 a.m. or so. We awoke to a light drizzling rain and occasional breeze, and temps in the mid 50’s. To me it was the perfect New Years Eve Day. For as long as I can remember most New Years Eves have started with an overcast coldfront sort of day here in Florida. The WORLD just seemed to be in PERFECT ALIGNMENT.
Jeff and I got the stove fired up and finished our last day of 2 fried eggs a piece and Corned Beef Hash for breakfast. After breakfast around 10:00 a.m. we decided to slowly pack up our gear again today, as the rain was falling pretty steady outside of the “Holiday Festive Chickee”. Also could have been that Jeff and I felt really at home in the “Holiday Camp”. We must have spent about another 2 hours packing up and just enjoying the area zone we were in at that moment!!
Wouldn ‘t you know it , the rain subsided just in time for us to re-pack our gear in the kayaks and get back on the river around 12:20 p.m. We had a pretty strong tail wind that was helping to push us along down river, as well as the 3 knot current. Not to complain but cold wind on your neck is almost as bad as it is in your face – I said Almost. We paddled past an old swing bridge that looked like the skeleton of some long dead prehistoric animal, only after carefully looking at it again; found out it had 3-4 Evergreen trees of some sort growing out of the middle section of it. AMAZING- out of Death comes LIFE!!!! Another paddling EPIPHANY!! Jeff and I, once again took this opportunity to play (ferry in and out of) in the eddie lines that the current was making around the pylon that supported the swing bridge!! Once again, my smile muscles were hurting!! We continued to paddle for 2-3 hours before stopping briefly at, if memory serves me correctly; at Convict Springs to snack on some cheese and trail mix around 3:30 p.m.
We paddled on after this and within 2 hours were at Adams’ Tract River Camp around 5:30 p.m., all totaled about another15-16 miles on the river for day 5. Once at the river camp we introduced ourselves to the camp hosts and unloaded our gear and began to set up our LAST home on the Suwannee. We ran into another paddler named Spencer that had also been paddling for many days on the river, Jeff and I spent some time talking to him before dinner.
For dinner Jeff and I had Chinese Kung Pao Chicken from Mountain House and the traditional “Southern New Years Eve Good Luck Food”– Yes —- wait for it………… Black Eyed Peas!! Jeff also ate his “Northern Traditional Good Luck Food”– Pittsburgh Pretzel!! After dinner we reflected on our family and friendships as we sat around our New Years Eve Campfire- the only fire we had the WHOLE TRIP! Both of us gazed up at the Blue Moon that we had this year on New Years- to my understanding a full moon on New Years Eve is called a Blue Moon and does ‘nt happen all that often- TOTALLY FITTING for our trip!
At some point Jeff broke out some Ice Cream Sandwiches he had stashed for dessert, as we ate them and called home around 10:00 p.m. to check in, I noticed Jeff putting coins out in front of his tent and in front of the window of the tent. “Jeff”, I said. “What are you doing?”
Jeff replied, “Putting some coins outside of my tent, for Good Luck and continued prosperity, and financial well being in the New Year!” Jeff went on to explain that this is an old Polish Tradition.
“Pretty Cool!”, I said.
We spent the next hour or so outside by the fire talking and listening to our surroundings. At midnight I was startled by the sound of our cooking pots/pans being banged together in celebration of the New Year by; Yep, you guessed it Jeff! Seems this is another one of his “Traditions from Pittsburgh and Poland”- maybe not in that order.
This was soon followed by fireworks and GUNSHOTS! Yes, I know. Are you sure? Yes, I’ m sure as I have been raised around firearms for most of my life. Jeff and I decided after about 15 minutes it was probably wise to go get low in the tents and hope a stray bullet did not find us. I’ m sure they(whoever that is) were probably firing into the ground or into somewhere safe. But it was still a little unnerving to say the least!! After this excitement we were pretty much done for the night, but we did make it to the New Year!!
Check back again on Thursday for Day 6 and the final posting on our Suwannee River Expedition! -Sea Turtle Sean