Alapaha Dead River Hike — November 22-24, 2013

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Tom Morris led 19 Sierrans for a weekend of camping and hiking in North Florida.  The camping began Friday night at Tom’s private preserve, Thunderhole, where we got to socialize around the campfire.

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The next morning we drove to the Alapaha to one of Tom’s favorite spots on the Alapaha has a distributary (similar to the deltas of the Mississippi and Nile Rivers) called the Dead River.  Our easy hike followed the distributary as it bends away from the Alapaha, curls around in a U direction, and disappears into the aquifer.  As you can see from the photos below this spot is a charming part of our North Florida World.

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After a second night of camping, we visited the Withlacoochee River.   The rapids were particularly beautiful as you can see from David Moritz’s photos of the eddies ad swirls.


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While Henrietta got her car stuck in a sand pit driving to the rapids, Tom smiled, went to his van, and pulled out a shovel, a line and a winch rig.  After 20-30 minutes of pushing, moving sand, and winching, her truck was saved.   Instead of being a traumatic experience, we all had a good time pitching in and helping.  Even Stepahnie and chance happened by and helped out.

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Before we headed home, we stopped off for a few minutes at Falmouth Springs.  The photos given below are from that sojourn.

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Post by Dave Wilson

Photos by Dave Wilson and David Moritz

From Wikipedia:

The Withlacoochee River originates in Georgia, northwest of Valdosta. It flows south through Berrien, Cook, and Brooks counties in Georgia and into Florida, forming the northeast boundary of Madison County, Florida and the western boundary of Hamilton County, Florida and eventually merges with the Suwannee at Suwannee River State Park west of Live Oak. The river is 115 miles (185 km) long.  It is believed to be the source for the name of the central Florida river of the same name.


Withlacoochee” probably stems from a Muskhogean dialect, which suggests that its application is comparatively recent. It is compounded of Creek we (water), thlako (big), and chee (little), or little big water. This word combination signifies little river in the Creek language, and as we-lako or wethlako may also refer to a lake, it may signify a river of lakes, or lake river. The St. Johns River which flows through a series of large and small lakes was called welaka by the Seminoles.