Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Adventures in Silver River State Park Part II

PART II
You can read PART I of my adventures in yesterday's post.

Canoeing
Saturday morning was a beautiful morning - the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky (and thank dog, since we got rained on a few times the first two days).  We set out early for Ray Wayside Boat Basin to begin our canoe trip; it is a short drive from the main entrance of the park on State Highway 40 and is right near where the Silver River meets the Ocklawaha River.

Daddy-dog, Ma and Uncle Rob (with me in there) heading out



If you start your canoe trip here, it is a 5 mile paddle up river to Silver Springs...and then of course, a 5 mile paddle back (but that is with the current so it is much easier).

See!  I am in there too!

It is true when they say that Silver River is one of the most beautiful and peaceful rivers to paddle.  The water quality is excellent in the river as it flows through undeveloped, and protected, woodland just to the west of Ocala National Forest.

Along the Silver River

This fish swam right up to our underwater camera!

After a short paddle, we started seeing some of the many types of turtles thay call Silver River home.  There are Florida Snapping Turtles, Florida Redbelly Turtles, Florida Mud Turtles and Florida Box Turtles, to name a few.  We saw some swimming under water and some sunbathing.

Hi Mr. Turtle!

Turtles with orange bellies!

A little further along...*GASP*...we came across some bacon-on-the-hoof (wild pig) and I was not allowed to have a taste!

Yum!  Bacon-on-the-hoof



And yes, there were monkeys.  It seems some brilliant Florida cracker...*ahem* I mean local tour boat operator known as Colonel Tooey released a troop of Rhesus Monkeys (is this where Rhesus Pieces come from, I wonder?) into the forest in 1938 to enhance his "Jungle Cruise" ride.  (I guess we got to give the tourists something to look at, don't we?)

Daddy-dog's photos did not come out all that great but we did catch one on video...though excuse the rocking and rolling of the picture...the canoe was rocking and rolling as Ma tried to keep me in the canoe.  I wanted to go to those monkeys!!  (You can hear my crying in the video.)



After a 3 mile paddle, you come to the Silver River State Park canoe launch...then, it is only 2 more miles up to Silver Springs.  This part of the river is a protected wildlife habitat and this is where we saw some Florida favorites like Anhingas, other water birds as well as alligators.

I barked at these birds!

Big ole gator!

Gator swimming in front of our canoe...

As you can imagine, this was an exciting yet exhausting trip!  I took a lot of these with Daddy-dog:

Napping in the tent with Daddy-dog

I give Silver River State Park 4 out of 4 Dog Bones for being a quiet and relaxing park with beautiful natural habitats.


74 comments:

  1. It looks great, but I could never take the two big dogs there, they'd go for the monkeys and the gator, and that would scare the schnaps out of me!

    It does look lovely though and I bet you really enjoyed it.

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    1. I didn't even notice the gators, Miss Jodi. They are so still in the water and blend in. The monkeys on the other hand...I wanted at 'em for sure.

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  2. Wow... you saw it all on that canoe trip. Wonderful scenery. We like the picture of the fish the best ... Thanks for all the time it took to put the post together.

    Have a great day.

    hugs, bugsy and knuckles

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    1. We did see it all on the canoe trip! All the critters were out and about. The fish looked tasty...too bad the waters are protected so you can't go fishing.

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  3. That looks like a pawsome place to visit....thanks for taking us on a tour with you

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    1. It is a wonderful park! I highly recommend a visit.

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  4. OMD, that canoe ride looks like SO much fun! I can't believe they didn't let you taste the bacon-on-a-hoof, though. I'm sure you would've shared.

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    1. Oh, I would've shared. It was a fun trip though later in the day, it was getting hot out there on the river!

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  5. OMD Oz the gator. Were you not scared? Oh and bacon on the hoof. Pawsome trip pal. We loved seeing the pix. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. I wasn't scared because I didn't even notice them. The big one never moved...Ma said he only blinked an eye. The other one was in front of the canoe so I couldn't really see it swimming.

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  6. Ok, that looks like fun and I was really with you until I saw the gator...nope, don't want to be anywhere near those creatures, glad you made it back ok! Looks like you didn't even have to help paddle...good deal!

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    1. Oh no, Ma and I were in the middle like a king and queen. No paddling for us. BOL! The gator was so used to seeing crazy humans in canoes and kayaks, it didn't even move.

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  7. OMD, currently dying over "bacon-on-the-hoof"...muahahaha! ;-) Looks like an absolutely fabulous camping trip and canoe ride Oz!! Good job for keeping those creepy birdies and monkeys away from your family! But, how didn't you run in fear, away from the gators?!!! Gasp!!

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    1. I think sudden movements startle gators and then they come a'chasin'...so, we just glided gently by and they didn't even flinch. It was a fun ride!

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  8. How very cool. You lucky dog to see all that fun stuff. I like the turtles, maybe not the gator.

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    1. The turtles were fun and they were everywhere! Watching them swim underwater is pretty nifty.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us, i love all the wildlife and bacon on the hoof made me chuckle.

    Sheba.

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  10. Oh Oz, what a wonderful place to visit. Mom & Dad are hoping in a few years (less than 3) when they retire they can travel and see some neat places like this! You are pretty brave around those alligators!
    hugs
    Bailey, Hazel & Greta

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    1. I was only brave around the gators because I didn't see them. Oh, I hope your mom and dad get to go one day; it was a lovely park.

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  11. Wow what a fun and exciting trip!
    Do those gators ever come up by the tents? I hope not!
    That wild pig was pretty scary!!
    Loved your crying when you saw the monkey!!

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    1. Oh gosh no, Miss Caren. The campground is pretty far from the river. That wild pig was HUGE...we couldn't believe it.

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  12. How FUN! I'm going to try my best to talk Woof Woof Papa into taking Daisy and me there sometime soon...we haven't all been camping together so it sure would be an adventure!

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    1. Oh, it's an adventure all right...but camping is fun! I hope you convince Woof Woof Papa to go!

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  13. Holy fish bait!! You are having the wildest adventure! Pigs, fish, canoe rides! What next
    Benny & Lily

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    1. I don't know...that's all I got at Silver River. I guess we will have to wait for my next adventure. BOL

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  14. Woof! Woof! How FUN and that's great you a wearing a life vest. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. Great I am wearing a life vest because it has a very strong handle (so Ma can keep me in the canoe) Sugar. BOL

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  15. Wow, looks like tons of fun!

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  16. What a super article! Looks like you really know how to have a good time. Alligators - yikes!! And so close to them in a canoe. Love the monkeys!

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    1. Thank you. The gators were pretty close...but I didn't even see them. BOL

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  17. Oh, so much fun! I'm so envious that my husband and I are in the process of planning our own camping trip. Except for sleeping bags, I think we have everything we need. I'm really glad to see you wearing your life jacket in the boat, Oz. Safety first!

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    1. Safety first, indeed Miss Dawn! I am so glad to hear you are planning a camping trip!! You will have such fun.

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  18. What another great adventure day. I love that you got to see all kinds of wildlife and your life vest is way cool.

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    1. Seeing all the wildlife really was the best part.

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  19. How cool you saw that bacon!
    Nola

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    1. Bacon that comes to you, Nola! It was great.

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  20. Wow! Great pics. A nap after a long canoe paddle sounds pawesome. I think Rita would be terrified if we put her in a canoe. She's afraid of so many things (since we don't know what happened to her in her early months...). Maybe one of these days we'll be able to try to go camping with her.

    Can't believe all the critters you saw! Those pigs are BIG! And the alligator would have totally freaked me out.

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    1. That was my first time in a canoe. Ma had to hold me on her lap in the beginning but then I got used to it. The pig was HUGE...we were shocked.

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  21. Oz took a ride down the river
    The alligators made him shiver
    A monkey, a fish
    A pig, bacon's my wish!
    He'll settle for a nap and some liver.

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  22. Beautiful pictures and scenery. Looks very relaxing and serene.... though I think the alligator in the water would freak me the heck out!

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    1. Nah, the gators are so used to seeing silly people in canoes and kayaks...they didn't even move and if they did, they swam in the opposite direction.

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  23. This is such an awesome trip! You are one cool little guy! Thank you for sharing your adventure!

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  24. Wow, that's a lot of fresh bacon! Looks like a great trip, though the monkeys seem s a little out of place. "Florida cracker", hee hee! :)

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    1. Bacon on Florida cracker...sounds like a good snack, doesn't it...if you were a gator! BOL

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  25. You sure saw a lot of wildlife on your canoe trip. Good thing you didn't go near those wild pigs. We heard that they can be mean. And the alligators are no fun either.

    the brown dawgs

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    1. We heard the same about the wild pigs...we weren't sure if they could swim so we stayed pretty far away.

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  26. That looks like so much fun!

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  27. Wow. That's all we can say, Oz! How cool is it that you saw all those animals! Especially the bacon and the monkeys!

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  28. Oh Oz, you are soooo lucky!! Looks like a FABulous time dude!! Bacon on a hoof!! BOL!! You crack me up! Too bads you didn't gets to taste...I thinks you could've taken him!! BOL
    Kisses,
    Ruby

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    1. I don't know about that, Ruby. Those pigs can be mean.

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  29. Lovely green. Cool monkey. Scary Alligator!

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  30. What a great vacation! You sure were up close to some wildlife! :-)

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  31. I love yur life jacket!

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    1. Thanks. Now I just need a cooling vest because it can get H-O-T out on the river!

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  32. You woofies have the best adventures, I wish we could go out and see such wonderful things!

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    1. Maybe in your next life you will come back as a dog. BOL

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  33. Ringy Dingy hello great and powerful Oz was that monkey see no evil, speak no evil or hear no evil?
    What did the monkey say when he cut off his tail?
    It won't be long now.
    Bacon, Bacon, Who’s Got The Bacon?
    You certainly got to see and do a lot.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

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    1. I think that monkey was see no evil since he refused to turn around for a photo. BOL It was a fun trip my pal.

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  34. Momz has taken that trip 3 times now and sez it's the best kayak run in Florida...I haven't been yest but maybe one day

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    1. I know! But I don't think I could do a kayak...I tried to get out of the canoe way too many times. I'd be off that kayak in a flash...and I don't even like to swim. I bet you would be a good dog though, Giz.

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  35. Those photographs are amazing! I did wonder where you were when I saw the first one - I'm glad you were on the trip.

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  36. Wow so much wildlife! That bacon on the hoof sure is big! I can't believe that actually saw a monkey - that is just so crazy! And I don't think I'd like to see an alligator while canoeing... you have very brave pawrents!

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  37. Wowzer Oz,

    You sure know how to have an adventure - but I have to ask, where was your paddle? Were you not pulling your weight in the canoe buddy?

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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  38. That looks AMAZING. So much fun. Love the pics of you in the canoe:-)

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  39. That looks like a great place! And so many animals to bark and growl at!
    Dina

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  40. I iz admirin your bacon on da hoof Oz my pal.....is lookin like a pawsome idea for my next Gotcha Day......

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Cairn cuddles,
Oz the Terrier