"Come on, we're wasting daylight." Those are the words I used to coax my husband to hurry up yesterday morning. The day dawned bright and beautiful and promised warm temperatures for our kayaking trip.
This excursion led us to Merritt's Mill Pond located in Marianna, Florida. Why it is referred to as "pond" is beyond me when in reality it is a lake. I'm unsure as to how big it actually is. Information on the net and by locals contradict each other.
We were going to launch our kayaks at Blue Springs, however upon arrival the police had both lanes blocked and there were scores and scores of cars lining the sides of the two lane road. People were everywhere. It seems the park entrance did not open until 10 a.m. Thankfully, the officer informed us that we could put in at the other end of the lake (located down Highway 90) or we could go a couple miles back down the road, turn left, wind through a neighborhood and we would come to a public boat landing (which is what we opted for).
According to a couple of other kayakers (an older gentleman and his father), once we put in we could go left for 3 1/2 miles at which point we would be at Blue Springs. If we went right for 4 1/2 miles, we would be at the bridge (highway 90).
We decided to go left first in hopes to see the swimming area before the park gates opened at 10. Needless to say, we didn't make it and by the time we got there, it was already beginning to fill up. You could hear peals of laughter, splashing, sounds of the diving board springing, and overall jovial revelry.
Merritt's Pond has several caves and diving is allowed. We were fortunate enough to see a couple of divers embark on their journey.
They entered the cave and disappeared....
Houses can be found bordering the waterway if you follow the trails, walkways, and docks to these hideaways.
Upon closer inspection of this, you can see the sitting area is actually beside an earth wall. I bet this creates a cool sitting area...
Some of the docks have not been used in a long time, or at least not used by humans.
The water allows crystal clear viewing to the depths below. Supposedly this is a good area for fishing. With shellcrackers, large mouth bass, and bluegills swimming around I do not doubt it. However, we weren't interested in fishing. We just wanted to enjoy the water
and watch as the clouds danced across the sky...
I did find some huge tree stumps beneath the water's surface.
I don't know what type of eggs these are, but they were everywhere.
Mike was there to protect and serve, helping to make sure everyone enjoyed their day without getting hurt....or hurting someone else. He was very nice and we enjoyed talking with him throughout the day.
After a while we returned to the landing to take a break and then journey to the other end of this. There were plenty of birds to capture our attention. Some paid us no attention....
And others, well I think his look says it all....
I thought about those secluded beach "getaways" when I saw this.
The scenery was unspoiled and serene. I really liked how the old trees still stood regally.
Spanish moss draped from some trees, while spiraling around others...
Before we knew it, we had reached the other end of Merritts Pond. Traffic flowed across the bridge, while the boats sat anchored around. Again laughter reached our ears.
We could not have asked for a better day. I had never been to Merritt's Mill Pond, but definitely intend to return to this little piece of paradise.