Author Topic: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip  (Read 3474 times)

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Offline Yellowyak

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Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« on: May 23, 2016, 04:38:27 PM »
This past Saturday morning I decided I'd take an overnight solo Kayak trip down the Peace River here in Florida. Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). I've been wanting to get on the Peace River for sometime and had not had the opportunity.

I started getting my gear together and then went to the grocery store to pick up a few items. After getting everything loaded up, we set off to Zolfo Springs around 1:15 in the afternoon. Made it to the launch around 2:30 pm, unloaded the car and got on the water a little after 3:00 pm.

My plan was to launch at Zolfo Springs and paddle to Arcadia, about 30 River miles. My wife was going to drop me off at Zolfo Springs and then I'd caller her sometime Sunday afternoon to pick me up. I printed her off directions to the three possible pickup points in case I didn't make it all the way to Arcadia.

Here's my trusty 10 year old Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 ready to launch.



On my way.





Beautiful weather with no rain in the forecast, with highs in the upper 80's and low's in the mid 60's.



I had looked at one of the outfitters web sites before I left and they stated the River was 2'-8" above normal, and running between 2-3 mph. I'd say the speed was pretty accurate and it helped get me a few miles farther to my campsite.

Came around a bend and started hearing music. There was a large group of folks on the west side of the River at what looked to be a small resort. I asked one of the group if this place sold beers, and they said you want a beer, come on over. It turns out this group of younger folk had rented out this resort for four days. It had a couple of buildings, dirt bike trails, a shooting range, etc. There were about 30 of them in the group I think. They had brought quads, dirt bikes, jet skis, rafts, you name it. They were here to have a good time, and they were. Spent a few minutes with them, had a beer, and got back on the water.

Here are a few pics of their setup.







Come to find out later that this is called the Peace River Valley Resort, and is available for rent for $545.00 per night for the whole 700 acres.

You're supposed to only camp on the west side of the River, and obviously obey any no trespassing signs. On this first leg, the camping spots on the west side were few and far between. At around 6:00 pm I found a nice site and thought I'd better go ahead and setup camp now instead of chancing not finding a decent site during daylight hours.

Campsite Coordinates: 27.45989, -81.84689, Elevation: 4ft Surrounded by water on three sides.





I hate it when people leave their trash in a fire pit. I ended up cleaning it up and hauling it out with me.



Setup camp, had a drink and then started cooking some diner. Whittled a couple of skewers and grilled some Sea Scallops and a couple of Florida wild caught shrimp.





Hit the sack right after dinner. It was a full moon tonight and the weather was perfect. I didn't bring nor need a sleeping bag. A Thermarest pad and a sheet were perfect.

I ended up sleeping in until I get a text from my wife at 7:00 am, checking on me. I replied, and stayed in bed until around 7:30. Got coffee going, cooked a little breakfast, relaxed and started breaking down camp. Got back on the water a little after 10:00 am.



After about an hour in to the trip, my legs started getting a little sun burnt. Pulled over to get some sunscreen out from my first aid kit. Whoops, no sunscreen. Plan B, a little Gold Bond powder to help with the sting, and a lightweight cover with a Pack Towel to prevent further burning, worked perfectly.





Cool old bridge.



At around 1:30 pm, I decided that I was going to stop short of my planned destination of Arcadia. I figured I had about another 1.5 hours to get to the Gardner ramp and my wife had about 1.5 hour drive to get to that ramp. I believe it is about another 7 miles to Arcadia from the Gardner ramp. I'll do that trip another time.

I got to Gardner ramp around 3:00 pm. According to SWFWMD, it was a 23 mile river trip. My wife arrived about 15 minutes after I got to there, so it worked out perfectly. A great trip on a beautiful river, with perfect weather, doesn't get any better. Thanks for looking.


« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 04:44:06 PM by Yellowyak »

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 06:44:48 PM »
Neat boat for that kind of river.  Was the camp site at a private camp along the river?
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Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 06:50:48 PM »
Thanks. No, the camp site wasn't private. It was on the west side of the river, and as long as it's not posted, it's open to camp on on that stretch of the river. South of Gardner, it's open to camp on both sides of the river.

Offline imnukensc

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 06:59:57 PM »
Neat trip!
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 07:12:24 PM »
I'm glad you had the Gold Bond and didn't have to resort to smearing yourself with mud!  Didn't that young lady floating on the foam mattress have any extra Coppertone to spare? O:-)
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Offline WesinND

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 07:15:17 PM »
That looks like a fun trip!  Wes

Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2016, 07:32:42 PM »
Neat trip!
Thanks Nuke

I'm glad you had the Gold Bond and didn't have to resort to smearing yourself with mud!  Didn't that young lady floating on the foam mattress have any extra Coppertone to spare? O:-)
Now you got me wishing I had gotten burnt up on Saturday, just so I could of asked her.

That looks like a fun trip!  Wes
Thanks Wes, I had a blast.

It was interesting that I didn't see a single other paddler besides a couple of canoes that went by when I was getting ready to launch. I think most folks are doing the shorter day runs that start below Gardner, where I ended my trip.
There were a couple of Jon boats that went by thought.

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 04:15:29 AM »
Excellent!  Glad you had the chance to get out on the water.

Offline Sarge

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2016, 08:21:00 AM »
Looks like an awesome trip! Thanks for sharing it.

I'm still salivating over the shrimp and scallops. That's a big deal to those of us 400+ miles inland.


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Offline madmax

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 08:31:06 AM »
Well done sir.  Come up to NC this summer.  I'll run you down some whitewater and you can cook monkey bread on the fire.
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Offline woodsorrel

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 08:54:02 AM »
What a terrific trip!  Thanks for sharing it, Yellowyak!

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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 11:15:07 AM »
  ( I posted here last night but it seems the post went into limbo land, so I will try again.)


  Looks like you had a great time and it was great to see ya had the chance for a solo trip before it got too hot.


   Thanks for sharing your adventure!
:thumbsup:


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Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 11:33:28 AM »
Excellent!  Glad you had the chance to get out on the water.
Thanks Dave. You would love this route in your new kayak, perfect boat for this river.

Looks like an awesome trip! Thanks for sharing it.

I'm still salivating over the shrimp and scallops. That's a big deal to those of us 400+ miles inland.


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Thanks Sarge. Those scallops and shrimp sure did hit the spot. I had brought along a nice big T-bone also, just wasn't that hungry.

Well done sir.  Come up to NC this summer.  I'll run you down some whitewater and you can cook monkey bread on the fire.
Thanks Tony. I might end up taking a road trip up to the Carolina's sometime this summer after I get my daughter off to college for the summer session. Don't be surprised if you get a PM from me.

What a terrific trip!  Thanks for sharing it, Yellowyak!

- Woodsorrel

Thanks WS, I appreciate it.

  ( I posted here last night but it seems the post went into limbo land, so I will try again.)


  Looks like you had a great time and it was great to see ya had the chance for a solo trip before it got too hot.


   Thanks for sharing your adventure!
:thumbsup:


:)
Thanks JB. It was great to be able to get out on a trip before the higher humidity sets in for the summer months. If the weather stays decent, I might be able to get in another trip.

Offline SwampHanger

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 06:24:53 PM »
Love river pic's no matter where their from. Really liked the wildlife shot as well.

Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2016, 10:01:14 PM »
Oh yea, lotsa wildlife going on at that one spot.

I did see one 6-7 foot gator swimming up river. Heard two splash in the water from the bank. Saw one nice sized deer. One huge catfish I think, at least 3 feet of its grey back broke the water, huge fish. We'll plan a trip down the Peace this fall.

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2016, 06:41:10 PM »
awesome Greg, Glad you finally got to run part of it. Hate you got all cook up. You didn't take pole to the crawdad hole? :doh: and catch mister catfish :P
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Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2016, 07:56:43 PM »
Thanks Spyder. When I was packing up for this run, I was so focused on minimizing my load out, that I totally forgot to put my fishing gear in the car. I had it set aside, but it didn't make it. I thought I did pretty good, packing a dry bag backpack with all of my sleeping gear in one bag, and a dry duffel for my clothes, toiletries, cooking gear, FAK, etc. I always have a small clear dry bag that I keep between my legs on the kayak that holds my wallet, keys, .45, etc., on all trips, so that's always a given.

Of all of the things I took, I don't think I'd change a thing. I didn't use the 12' Kelty tarp I took, but I wouldn't leave it behind. I didn't use my Frog Togg rain suit, but once again, I wouldn't leave it behind. Yea, I did bring a little pack chair, a small table, and parachute ground mat that are luxury type items, but hey, they're light, pack small, and why not a few luxury items if you can afford the room and weight.

I also took as a cooler a Sam's Club insulated bag. I've got like three of these things and they're perfect for a day trip. Large, light weight, but only keep ice for about 12 hours. I have one of those Yeti 20 bags, but truthfully, I don't like it. It keeps things cold for a long time, but it's difficult to open one handed from behind, has a small opening, and is heavy. It's a great cooler, but for my purposes, it doesn't work for me. For someone with a canoe or power boat, it'd be perfect. I'll probably put it on Craig's List and find something different.

Anyone want a good deal on a lightly used Yeti?

Next time, I'll make sure that the fishing gear gets packed first thing.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 08:02:12 PM by Yellowyak »

Offline madmax

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2016, 05:54:18 AM »
Quick reflection.  I love spending time with my friends outside.  I love my solo time (well not without Max.  LOL).  But you got me thinking about those chance encounters with strangers.  Over decades.  And no, I have not lingered at the bootie shot... much.

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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2016, 06:24:51 PM »

Anyone want a good deal on a lightly used Yeti?



I might have to work out something with you for that.  I've got the Roadie and just love the Yetis.

Offline madmax

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2016, 01:25:10 PM »
What is it with you and Yetis, Greg?  Daywalker's (Runs with Beer) is probably still rocking that one trucking through TX.  LOL
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2016, 03:00:14 PM »

Anyone want a good deal on a lightly used Yeti?



I might have to work out something with you for that.  I've got the Roadie and just love the Yetis.
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What is it with you and Yetis, Greg?  Daywalker's (Runs with Beer) is probably still rocking that one trucking through TX.  LOL
I know, it's crazy. I've been trying to get one that fits me for kayaking, but I just can't get one that I've been happy with. It's an expensive testing process, that's for sure. I think I'm done testing the Yeti's for kayaking purposes. I do like my brother's 65 for the car though  O:-). And I do like that country song about the Yeti 110.

Offline SIXFOOTER

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2016, 03:41:44 PM »
I have an R-Tic Ice 45 on the way, reviews said it did a bit better on keeping ice and is a couple inches overall bigger. Not what you need for the yak either tho. I guess you looked at the yeti hoppers? Is that what you have?
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Offline madmax

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2016, 04:06:28 PM »
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 04:15:02 PM by madmax »
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Peace River Solo Overnight Kayak Trip
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2016, 05:08:21 PM »
Yeti is sold.

I have an R-Tic Ice 45 on the way, reviews said it did a bit better on keeping ice and is a couple inches overall bigger. Not what you need for the yak either tho. I guess you looked at the yeti hoppers? Is that what you have?

Yea, I have the Yeti Hopper 20 and the Sidekick pouch thing, or I should say I had it...

I read about those R-Tic's a while back, looked pretty cool, literally. Didn't know they were shipping. You'll have to let us know how you like it.

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