The Withlacoochee River

[The Withlacoochee River] The Withlacoochee River strings through the area like a scrub oak, providing a connection, a frame of reference for the people and the spirit of the area. The slow, black water is murky with mystery, provoking the name "Gator Heaven" from at least one Ocala native. (As if they don't have gators) A distant and brooding cousin of the clear, touristy Rainbow River, the Withlacoochee is a quiet home to bream, bass, mocassins, gar, gators, gators, gnats, skeeters, gators, mocassins, gators, catfish, and gators. A tubing expedition for the outsider is a little like "Deliverance", but for those who have grown up with tannin in their ears and gators on the sleeping banks, it is the comfort of home. Broken arrow heads and oyster shells pay silent, forgotten testament to Timucuans and Ocalis, who once existed with this land along the river. Long dead and driven away, only the river remembers truely who they were.

[The Withalacootchee River] Towards the end of the river, the salty marshes begin, Elvis lives, Ralph Machio is chased by the girls, the fish turn to channel cats, grunts, mud fish, and skeeters. All the shrimp voted for Proposition 3, and so the boats are idling down. Fathers and father's fathers are looking for a job after having made a living all their lives. This is a river that flows through Tallahassee, that understands the necessity, but still yearns to feed its children.


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