Located just beyond Stumpknockers restaurant just off Hwy 200 is a boat ramp allowing access to the river that runs parallel to the E Withlahcoochee Trail that heads over to Dunnellon. This morning around 9:30 Skipper Dave Naman, Navigator Don Eirtle, and yours truly, along to take pictures, began our slow and leisurely excursion.
Due to the chilly weather the wildlife we thought would be in abundance along our route was lacking in quantity but we were treated with a couple of gators ranging in size from 14′ to 16′. At first, after watching one of these monsters for a few minutes and it didn’t move, we started to question whether it was real or not. It was! There are a couple of good photos and some “live” footage of one submerging into the marsh. This sighting made the whole trip greater than we knew it would be. A side note on the gator sighting. Although we had a local map showing the river, there were times we ventured into areas we assumed were the correct way to our destination. It was one of these side trips that we encountered the gator. Thankfully, we had Google Maps installed on a smart phone which steered us back to the proper direction.
Just past 12:00, we arrived at a boat slip belonging to The Blue Gator where we enjoyed an outdoor lunch and a couple of cold brews. Our waitress, Brenda, was kind enough to take a group photo before we headed back towards Hwy 200 and Stumpknockers. Our day ended at 3:30, all of us a tad tired but mutually happy about the trip.
Along with all the still photos there are numerous short films taken during the trip back. You might want to turn the sound down or off due to the whine of the outboard motor.