Hawthorne Trail

A wonderful wildlife wake-up call was in store for us today. Starting with a bunny dashing across the trail in front of us and ending with a rafter of young turkeys milling about on the trail as their mother and aunts watched carefully, we managed to make the circuit without actual rainfall, though the humidity was very near 100%.

Sandra spotted a pair of Sand Hill cranes. We also saw several snakes and Deanne spied three young armadillos out and about.

Lots of cyclists were out to enjoy the day and the trail was in its usual excellent condition. One in particular, Richard Tuller, met up with us in Hawthorne and escorted us back to Gainesville on his fared Gold Rush. It had been nearly ten years since we last rode together.

There is always something unexpected to enjoy on this beautiful trail!


O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail

Starting at eight o'clock turned out to be wise as it was not yet hot and we were able to ride longer before giving up for the day. Fort White was still peaceful as today's turnout of tubers was still on its way and the area was still freshly rinsed from yesterday evening's thunder shower.

In fact, if anything had gathered in throngs on the trail today it was grasshoppers and it rather quickly became apparent that yawning or singing should be undertaken only if one was seeking to acquire additional protein!

Lew Sussman joined Sandra and me today on an easy, relaxed covering of the entire O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail and the eastern most five miles of the Suwannee River Greenway at Branford. Though we did stop a couple times to sweep some "redneck shrapnel" off the trail, it was largely in good shape with no major debris deposits.

"Good to see you back out on the trail, Lew!"


Nature Coast Trail

The Office of Greenways & Trails representatives on hand in Trenton today said we had the best turnout so far as 95 people participated in the National Trails Day Bike Ride on the Nature Coast Trail. Folks drove from as far away as Miami and West Palm Beach to attend the event.

Our group chose Chiefland as our destination as soon as we learned that today was coincidentally their annual Watermelon Festival. If there is one thing that is particularly difficult to turn down on a hot, sunny day, it would be free, cold watermelon and the bustling little town served it up right.

Mark and his son Jason drove up from Citrus Springs, Phil from Okahumpka, Sandra, Don and Mei from our local area and we ran into George & Lea Edwards, Chandler Otis, Dian Demetri from the Gainesville Cycling Club. It was great seeing so many folks enjoying being outdoors on such a fine day.

As usual, we owe a very large "Thank You" to the folks of the Office of Greenways & Trails for their tireless efforts at keeping this beautiful trail in such fine condition and for putting on the event. Oh, and "Thank You, Chiefland" for the delicious watermelon.