On Father's Day we decided
to take the Island King up to the Blackwater River for a day of
paddling and playing.
We packed up our kayaks
and his canoe (he says the Indian in him whispers that he needs to be
in a canoe not a yak) grabbed the Youngest Island Boy's girlfriend,
Miss Mocha and her brother, Astronaut John and off we went.
On our drive up there were
two crows flying around and they seemed to be following us. No matter
how far down the Interstate we drove, they flew along, circling
trees, resting and then catching up with us.
I jokingly told the Island
King that crows following you is a “harbinger of death.”
Unless you're my cousin MG
who has a crow that comes to her window every day to chat with her.
We put in about 4 miles
upstream from the pull out spot and down the river we floated.
The river was a little
high but there were still plenty of sandbars to stop and play on.
Being Father's Day I
expected more people on the river but there weren't that many folks
A few groups from
Blackwater Canoe Rentals came by in tubes and there were several
groups of locals messing around but we had a lot of time just
floating along by ourselves.
This was the first time
Miss Mocha has been kayaking and her and the Youngest had some
serious trouble getting in sync with their paddles. I thought for
sure one of them was going to konk the other on the head but they
finally managed to get a rhythm going and luckily there were no head
We hadn't been on the
river for long when two crows – which I am positive were the same
ones who followed us on the Interstate – showed up.
They circled us for a LONG
time and this one kept landing on trees near me and then crowing at
the top of his lungs. I have no idea what he was
saying but it was slightly unnerving after me joking about them
warning of death.
I sat still, listened to
what he was saying and after a few minutes he flew off and we didn't
see him or his friend for the rest of the day.
I guess he had something
on his mind and once he was able to tell me about it, he was off to
bother speak to someone else.
I don't speak crow so I
have no idea what he said.
We stopped on several
sandbars to swim and then picked a big bar to have a picnic lunch on.
It just so happened that
the sandbar we had our picnic on was directly across from a big bluff
so we got to watch a family do some bluff jumping.
They had 3 generations of
men, a 70 year old grandad, his two sons and one of their sons and
let me tell you, granddad put those young ones to shame.
He climbed straight up
that bluff like a spider monkey, jumped in the river and then did it
It didn't take long before
the younger generation realized they couldn't let grandpa show them
up so they all climbed up the bluff, lined up and took the plunge
I noticed the Island King
and the Island Girl with their heads together, whispering something
and I knew they were going to be the next ones to jump off the bluff.
They tried to talk the
rest of us into jumping as well but the Youngest, Miss Mocha,
Astronaut John and I all have better sense so we decided watching
would be good enough for us.
The bluff was about 15
feet above the water and after he jumped the Island King told me that
15 feet is just far enough for you to have time to change your mind
before hitting the water. Of course at that point there's no going
back so no matter what your mind tells you, your body is going to hit
They enjoyed the jump but
both of them agreed it was a one time thing and they didn't need to
do it again.
We spent all day on the
river and pulled into the pickup spot about 5:30.
When we got there a
Blackwater State Park ranger was there and everyone was looking down
I walked up just in time
to hear that a woman had gone past the pickup spot with no tube, yak
or floating contraption of any kind.
The Park Ranger was on his
radio calling for a search vessel so I offered to take my yak and
head down stream to see if I could find her.
He agreed since it was
going to take a while for the search vessel to arrive but just as I
was about to get into my yak a man walked up and told the park ranger
that the woman was his wife and that she was sitting on the other
side of the river on a sandbar just around the bend and that she
wouldn't come back because she was mad at him.
The park ranger walked
across the bridge and then we watched as he blazed a trail along the
river down to the sandbar where the woman was sitting.
He was just a cussing as
he was chopping branches and clearing a path but that was nothing
compared to the cussing the woman did when he made her walk back with
They got to bridge where
her husband was waiting and the two of them had a huge screaming
fight – which ended with a hug and her getting in the truck with
The ranger just stood
there shaking his head and when I asked if it had been a rough day he
said “Well, the domestic disputes are a common thing but since no
one drowned today I guess it was a good day.”
The Island King enjoyed
his Father's Day and even though the crows were watching us nothing
It was a wonderful,
relaxing day and I always enjoy taking someone who's never been.
Most people only think of
the coast when they think of Florida but there is an absolute
paradise hidden in the woods and I love watching people fall in love
with that part as well.