Saturday, January 01, 2011

Kayaking on the Hillsborough River

Zephyrhills, Florida

Happy New Year!

We are sitting here this morning with the windows open enjoying the sunny skies and warm temperatures.  We even kept the windows open overnight.  It’s a far cry from a week ago when we ran the furnace almost nonstop!

We finally got the kayaks out yesterday.  The Hillsborough River is only a few miles from our campground.   We put them in at Frank Sargeants park, which  off of Hwy 301.  There are several parks with kayak and boat launch areas nearby.  We chose this one because it is close to Flint Creek, which normally has lots of gators.

I know some of you think it’s dangerous kayaking with gators, but Florida rivers are full of gators and if you’re not comfortable being in the water with them, then you’d better stay out of the rivers. 

There are very, very few problems with gators.  The main reason people or pets (mostly dogs) run into a problem with a gator, is because people feed them.  Once they get used to being fed by humans, they lose their natural fear of man and that’s where the problems start. 

The gators we encounter are wild gators and for the most part, they get out of your way.

You also have to remember I have “stalker” zoom on my camera, so I don’t really need to get close to them at all. 

We got in the water about 11am and paddled a short distance down a little canal to the main part of the river. 


The last time we were here, we saw lots of gators, but we didn’t see many this trip.  Normally they like to sun along the banks or on a downed tree.



Notice the gator beside Al?



Lots of Cormorants.


White Ibis





I thought the reflection from the water was interesting here.


IMG_1592 After we finished our paddle, we went over to Mom’s house to help her with some things.

We got back home about 5pm, took a walk and read awhile before starting our big New Years Eve “celebration.”  Our celebration consisted of a steak and lobster dinner cooked on the Nuwave oven.   

Before we went to bed, we started noticing a bad odor inside the motor home.  We finally decided it was because our gray tank was almost full.  Al had not hooked up the sewer hose since we’d been here , and we kind of forgot about it.   It was quite late by the time we figured out the problem was a full gray tank and  Al was in no mood to hook up last night, so we toughed it out overnight.  It seemed to help once I closed the overhead vent and opened the windows.  It was okay in the bedroom, but strong in the kitchen.  First thing this morning, Al hooked up the sewer hose and it appears that was the problem.  Lesson learned!

We’ve been learning a few lessons on this trip.  I guess that was the latest one!

We plan to do something fun today, but haven’t decided exactly what just yet.  It’s going to be another warm sunny day, so it’s  going to be something outside!  Stay tuned!


  1. So tickled to see you on the river! Love the birds and gators and your photos really made me miss kayaking in Florida. Maybe next year. Although I wonder how it is when it's hot and buggy? Do you kayak then?

  2. Karen, love your pics today! We kayak on the Indian River in DE in the summertime - no gaters but sometimes stingrays - keep having fun. Happy 2011 to you and Al!
    Connie in PA

  3. Sue
    Yes we have done some kayaking in Florida in the hot, sticky summer. We go to different places, like the Weeki Wachee River (where we can swim) or the Silver River where it's wide and there are nice breezes. Or we go to the beach where we can get wet as well. We'll go watch the sun rise at Fort Desoto (St Pete area) and then sit under a shade tree and read during the hot part of the day. You do have to make some adjustments.

    We'll have to put the Indian River on our to do list. It sounds fun kayaking with stingrays!

  4. Great kayak pictures but I still would be scared stiff to be that close to an alligator in a kayak! Yikes!

  5. I've enjoyed having your camera too. Those are some nice shots of wildlife and so easy when you don't have to change lenses to zoom in real close. Thank's for taking us yakkin'!

  6. Happy New Year - but it sounds like yours is starting out beautifully. We are actually supposed to get back into the 50s today which makes me happy. Enough cold!! Love your pictures. Just gorgeous.

  7. Beautiful pictures. Those gators look a little scary.

  8. We are only a few miles from you. We will be heading out on Monday back to Oscar Scherer SP for a week, then on to Lake Manatee SP for two weeks. We have put kayaks in there at Sargents Park a few times.

  9. So glad you were able to get out with the Kayaks. The photos are great glad you are enjoying the new camera.

  10. I've been waiting for you two to get into the water! Nice gator pictures!

  11. Looks like a nice day with great pictures. I don't think I would be brave enough to paddle in the waters with the Gators.

    Happy New Year.


Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to