Wednesday February 2nd 2022
The weather continued to improve. The day started in the fifties and peaked in the high seventies. It got a little cloudy as the day progressed, but generally was a very nice day. The positive trend is forecast to continue tomorrow and Friday.
I surrounded my chores with a couple of hikes in the state park. My first hike in the late morning started with a walk along the Swamp Trail to River overlook. When I first arrived there was no one around and the river was quiet and empty. A couple of minutes later kayaks approached the area from up river and a power boat noisily approached from the other direction. The tranquility was broken a steady stream of kayaks followed from the head water area. I watched the kayaks go by and the fish swimming in the clear water of the river for fifteen to twenty minutes. I would have hung around longer, but the quiet was about to be disturbed further.
The Marion County School System runs an educational program out of the Silver River Museum located in the state park. They host school groups everyday. Today I found out a boat ride is part of that program. As I was watching the kayaks in the river a big pontoon boat came down river and tied up at the river overlook I was on. It was filled with what I’d judge to be middle school aged kids. While they were getting docked I decided to clear out of the area before the kids filled the trail. On my way along the boardwalk across the swamp I met another group of school kids that were apparently going to replace the kids on the boat. They had arrived on a trailer with seats pulled by a pickup truck. This is a well coordinated activity schedule.
I completed the Swamp Trail then doubled back onto the River trail for a return visit to the campground’s kayak launch area. It was also very busy with kayaks filled with people stopping at the near midway point on the river to use the portable bathroom facility or have lunch. Out in the river it looked like a kayak traffic jam. I don’t remember as much activity in the river during my stay at the state park last year.
On my second hike of the day I returned to the campground kayak launch on the river. There was much less activity on the river and I only saw a few people on the trail. Unfortunately, it was still to busy and noisy for the wildlife to be in easy viewing. A few birds were on the far bank of the river, but I didn’t get to see the deer I still hope to see.