We’ve kayaked all over North America, but this spring-fed river is our favorite paddle of all. The crystal clear water is an astonishing turquoise color. Herons and egrets fish from the cypress-lined banks, and hundreds of turtles jostle for space on logs. In late winter, we’re almost certain to find manatee, the gentle, endearing roly-poly giants of the Florida springs.
I love this river so much that I’ve written about it before. If you’re interested in more details about where/when/how, check out this post: Kayaking With Manatees.
This was the first time we’ve paddled the Ichetucknee in a rental kayak. As part of simplifying our lives, we gifted our big, heavy tandem kayak to the people who bought our home on the bay. While we figure out our new way of adventuring through life, we’re going to be renting kayaks. I must say, it was really nice to have the kayak and all of the gear waiting for us at the launch, and when we were done, to just walk away.
Meanwhile, Continuing The Downsizing Operation
Along with thoroughly enjoying our stay in Gainesville, we’ve been busy downsizing our lives. Our Arctic Fox trailer sold quickly on the consignment lot. And a few days ago, we traded in our trusty 2013 Tundra for an SUV.
In my opinion, car shopping is second only to a root canal in terms of less-than-fun activities. We did our due diligence in researching vehicles online, and narrowed down our choices. We steeled ourselves for the ordeal of car shopping. Gainesville has every car dealership you can imagine, all lined up in a convenient row.
A vehicle with plenty of cargo space and the ability to tow a small trailer were two non-negotiable items. We started out looking at the biggest SUVs, and test drove one.
We felt like we were driving our living room sofa. Which was kind of nice, LOL. But we really don’t want anything that big.
So we downsized our desires to a mid-size SUV. After several days of looking, we bought a Subaru Ascent. In part, we ended up at Subaru because their sales people are not annoying. But also, the Ascent is highly rated, it’s comfortable, and it can tow 5,000 pounds. On the lot, it seemed to have abundant cargo space.
And then, we got it home and did a trial run of loading our stuff into it. That didn’t go too well. I was ready to take it back to the dealer and get a living-room-sofa-sized SUV, but Eric wasn’t having any of that.
So we are continuing to root through our stuff, giving each item a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. We’ve made three trips to Goodwill since we’ve been in Gainesville. And we’re not done yet. I need another trip to the river to get through this ordeal.
P. S. We ordered a cargo box for the roof. There goes the view from the fancy sun roof! But at least we’ll have a place for the cat tree.