Oct. 11, 2008

Canoeing in Bonita Springs, Florida on The Imperial River

Lumberjack's Canoe Tours

Friday afternoon my darling son Lumberjack called and asked me to help him find a canoe on Craigslist. In ten minutes I texted him a number. In an hour he pulled up with a canoe. Its bright yellow and looks like a banana. It could be worse. He’d be a funny looking redneck if it was pink or something. He scored an awesome deal, $225 for a canoe, paddles, anchors, electric motor and those clip-on seats with backs.

Totally bummed that his girlfriend and swamp friends were all out of town I volunteered to go on its maiden voyage. This is a big deal, actually because I was involved in canoeing ordeal once that was so miserable I vowed to never get in a boat without a motor again. So when Lumberjack showed up with a canoe with an electric motor I was in!

We decided to go to the weir on Bonita Grande Road and go down the Imperial River to the boat ramp. I ended up having a volunteer take us and drop us off to avoid that “go get a car to get back to the truck” situation.

We first *didn’t* put on the proper gear, canoeing shoes, unless you consider duct taped redneck boots proper attire. Sorry Ric, I didn’t get the email before we left.

It occurred to me as we were leaving that we probably are required to have life vests on board. I Googled. Yes we are but that was the extent of the information that was offered online. Oh, besides no alcohol was allowed in canoes. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but fishing wouldn’t be fun without a cooler of brew.

See this tree?  We hit it.  Right away, dead on.  I probably should have been paddling and not taking pictures which I was told was frowned upon.  We got that accident out of the way straight off.  Maybe this is another reason no alcohol is allowed in canoes.  We had fender benders sober. Lots of them.  I mean lots.  He will have to repaint that banana.  There would be no need to complicate matters with impairment.

Do you know what a banana spider is? Good. I hope you never see one. I saw them, tons of them. They were on me. It was horrifying. Lumberjack says from the back of the banana, “Mother, please don’t go potty in my new boat, it will be frowned upon”.  It later occurred to me that maybe banana spiders are attracted to banana canoes.

We saw cool houses, huts, a tree fort with a sofa on it, snakes, gators, fish jumping, birds galore and a few folks who came out to say howdy. Seeing Bonita Springs from the water was a treat. I don’t know where I was most of the time, because the river is winding and I was confused. More reason to not have alcohol on your canoe.  We probably should have glanced at a map or something before we did this, huh?

Our trip from the weir to US 41 was about two hours. No motor was used, just current and Lumberjack power. I didn’t paddle. I’m a blogger not a canoe-er. I told him this in advance and he didn’t believe me. For the record, Twittering from a canoe is frowned upon, too. What did he expect?

Here are a few photos from our trip down the river. I’m hoping these photo bring you joy and they are not frowned upon.

Wizard of Oz tree climbing down for a drink at Bamboo Village.

Riverside Park at the Landing.

The Imperial River off of Riverside Drive.

Though the water looks dark it is actually very clear.  This was about four feet of water and we could see the bottom.  I leaned over a little too far which is apparently "frowned upon" by not only Lumberjack but others, as well.

Whoever you are that owns this I want to come over and sit on your lanai.  I love your house!  It's a sweet little piece of real estate!  Not just waterfront but waterunder!

You'll notice I'm not paddling.  There is both a camera and a Treo phone involved in this situation.  (frowned upon, no doubt)

Thank you for canoeing down the river with us.  Next time I swear I'll paddle.

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