Heard from some friends that there were Rosette Spoonbills on Bennette's Creek off the Northern part of the Withlacoochee river in Yankee Town near where it feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday our day off from the shop we drove up there with kayaks in the van to go check this out. The last time I was in Yankee Town I stayed at the Isak Walton Lodge which had burnt to the ground and is now rebuilt and opening soon. The one thing I remembered about this area were the no-see-ems or flying teeth. They were there to greet us this time too. After getting directions to Bennettes creek we got on the water and right off the bat we saw a dolphin, then paddled off looking for the 1st left after the last house which we took, and a right at the "no wake " sign which we also took. We paddled all the way to the Gulf and not a Spoonbill to be seen. Planned it right by the current and the tide so we wouldn't have to paddle against either out or back. Saw 2 more houses nearer the Gulf and figured we turned too soon, maybe that wasn't the last house we previously saw, so back we went to where we thought would be the correct turn. Saw lots of birds, little blue herons, great blue herons, ibis, egrets but no spoonbills. The lady at the campground said we didn't want to find bird creek because it was easy to get lost, well, we found it by accident. Paddled all the way to the gulf again this time by a different route then back toward where we started out where I found a guy at the first last house and asked him where Bennette's Creek was. He pionted back the way we just came and said," see the woods about 500 yards up, just look for the floating logs, that's the creek". Back we went and finally, Spoonbills, wood storks, black crowned night herons, oh and on the way bald eagle. What an adventure sore shoulders and all. Can't wait to go back and go all the way up Bennette's creek to the gulf.
This past weekend we did the ride for Ataxia and took some Catrikes for some of the riders to use to do the ride. Very inspiring to see some of these people with this disease who had to be lifted from a wheel chair and lowered to the trike to do the ride. Did I mention there were hills and wind. David Henry who wasn't in a wheel chair did 25 miles on the Expedition, (without the ride kick in the pic). Natalie Denny who had to be lifted from her chair and placed in the trike did 16 miles in the hills from Clermont to Killarney Station and back, total 16 miles. This is the ride we did and I give here kudos for here effort on those hills. We saw several people walking up some of the hills which she could not do since she can't stand or walk. I'll think about those people with this disease the next time I have a little physical pain or discomfort. Pictured is Kyle Bryant whom also has to be lifted from a chair, with Mark from Catrike, David trying the ride kick power trailer, Natalie climbing a hill, and her family who rode with her. I tried to put this on facebook but I couldn't get it to post.