The weather here has been a mix of gorgeous, windy, and overcast and we've been trying to coordinate a kayak trip. Last Friday, we packed up and headed out to explore Atensa Otie Key. Atensa Otie Key is located in the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge consists of a number of islands ranging in size from 1 to 120 acres....totaling 762 acres. Atensa Otie is the most frequented island but there is also Deadman's Key (don't want to visit this one!), Snake Key (nor this one!) and Seahorse Key. I really would like to go to Seahorse Key but, it is quite a distance to paddle and it is closed to the public Mar 1-Jun 30 to protect the nesting birds.
We put the kayak in at the boat landing in downtown Cedar Key and off we went....
It took about 15 minutes to get to Atensa Otie. We had a very nice beach to dock at....
Atsena Otie (which incidentally used to be called Depot Key and then Cedar Key) provides a dock, interpretive information and a hiking trail that leads to a cemetery. Ruins from the Faber Pencil Mill (built in 1868) were also supposed to be visible near the dock. So off we were....
|View on the way to the trail|
|Clear trails and wonderful woodsy feel!|
After about 10 minutes, we came upon the cemetary...a very very old cemetery. Call me crazy but I am fascinated with old cemeteries and old churches.
Based on the marker at the entrance to the cemetary, there are about 38 graves. We walked around to check out the dates...
I guess I can add "old fences" to my list of things I like!!
On the way out of the cemetary, we saw this.....
This is a burial site of a Timucuan Indian. Carbon dating has indicates an age of at least 4000 years old! The little sign says that to these Indians, the Suwanee River was sacred to their Sun God. To them, the moon of the Suwanee put the colors of the rainbow into the earth. The Sun drew the colors out into the flowers. Pretty cool, huh?
We walked back to find a place to have our picnic lunch. Here's where we decided to enjoy our sammies!
We almost had the island to ourselves! There were a few people there that were waiting on one of the tourist-y shuttle boats to take them back to the mainland.
Once they left, we DID have the island to ourselves! It had a very cool Survivor-y feel to it!
After lunch, we went to check out the remnants of the Faber Cedar Mill Site. The mill produced the cedar slats for pencils.
Pretty cool! We headed back to the kayak and paddled around a bit more before heading back to the mainland.
|The pier at Cedar Key|
It was a very neat way to end the afternoon! Life is good!!