As a kid, I spent a lot of time either on or near Central Florida rivers. Heck, what else were we going to do? A buddy of mine had a Nintendo (yep, the first one), but there's only so much Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt that a person should play. So, off to the river we went.
One of the nearest hangouts was just over the Sumter County line and into Hernando County. At Nobleton, folks still don't pay much attention to the "no jumping from bridge" sign, and cars generally have to slow down since there are so many people waiting to jump off into the water.
It used to be the same way at the nearby Nobleton boat ramp, where daring youngsters would cannonball out of cypress trees and into a deep spot in the river. This was 20-plus years ago, and unfortunately the Withlacoochee doesn't have the same levels today as it did back then, or else you'd probably see more of this kind of thing still going on.
See that tree with the boards in the panorama? That's the spot. I made the climb and splashed down a few times from there, but as you get older, this type of thing doesn't seem as appealing. It's not exactly the safest activity in the world – but it's far from the most dangerous, too.
Go ahead and take a spin around the image. If you've been here before, this may just be a trip down memory lane. The Withlacoochee holds a lot of special moments for me, from riding in boats to just hanging out at the water's edge. Good times.