That’s right folks, the Chicks with Ticks spent a whole work week (plus Sunday) in North Florida on the Suwannee River. We were surveying 80+ miles of cross sections of the Middle Suwannee. One thing is certain, we are bad ass!
The first day out was a doozie – boats broke down, I forgot there was a kill switch that prevents the choke from working unless you plug it in, the surveying went slowly and we just plain needed to get our groove on. Well, Stella – your groove is nothing compared to what Kristen and I had.
Working with some colleagues from our Seattle office (who will only remain anonymous because I did not ask if I could use their names), we completed what is – to date – our largest river survey. Yes, it’s true, we got poison ivy, bruises all over, scratches, and a new appreciation for massage therapists, but we also got a new appreciation for ourselves.
Kristen climbed shear banks for five long days – in this heat – without complaining (for the most part). I shot clean for five days under fairly strange conditions – rock ledges, shifting sand banks, cramped spots – and we also managed to dodge the damn sturgeon.
That thing about the sturgeon killing and hurting people as the fish jumped seemed to be a random and fairly rare event that only happened to other people. Well, I am here to tell ya folks that there are FAR TOO MANY JUMPING STURGEON ALL ALONG THE MIDDLE SUWANNEE RIVER FOR MY TASTE. Yes – daily I watched as multiple sturgeons some 3-4 feet in length – cleared the water weighing in at about 100 pounds. every trip on the boat was a nervous ride.
I can’t explain the feeling – but those things are HUGE and it’s no joke – get some extra life insurance before you go hauling down the river.
The fact that I setup survey gear on rock outcroppings that probably stood as lookouts or fishing spots for native Americans hundreds of years ago gave the trip a sense of depth…an other worldly feel. There must be stories locked in that riverbank limestone. Hundreds of years of hunting, fishing and living on the life filled river.
Ahhh – the Suwannee….can’t wait to head that way again!