Secret Spaces and Historic Places

This month's ride with the Yellow Belly Sliders High Springs Bicycle Society was built around visiting various points of interest around High Springs. Tom Hewlett, Senior Slider, explained the route and handed out maps with great detail. Then we split up into two groups, the "Sonics" and the "Toodlers."

While the Toodlers were being transported to a pair of points of interest, the Sonics pedaled hard to meet up at the same time. Our first stop was a carefully planned, very special visit to Crockett Springs (now privately owned) which was one of the first white settlements in this area. We were escorted and informed as we toured this historic site, actually named for Davey Crockett who rested here.

As the Toodlers were whisked away again, the Sonics settled back in to the traveling at hand as we made our way passed another early settlement known as Traxler and moved on to our planned visit at Larry Behnke's place near the phosphate mine. The way his property has been cultivated leaves you with a feeling of having visited a magical place. It is very peaceful and scenic and I am sure the best way to convince an overheated cyclist of the magic would be to offer them a swim in the Floridan Aquifer. Well, he did, so we did and it WAS perfect.

Keeping true to all the facets of magic, there was the obligatory discussion of the creature sighting that had become somewhat of a legend at Larry's since it was unable to be fully explained by the divers involved. As two of our group were enjoying their dip and Larry was relating the story, I couldn't help but notice a curious disturbance of the surface. Hmmmm...

A few short miles had us back in High Springs, again being carefully guided by well placed YBS routing signs, but there was more to come. We were sent along the old railroad road to the remains of the original "Round House" and then on out the banks of the Santa Fe River to see just how many yellow bellied sliders we could count.

A looming thunderstorm approaching from the south chased us back into town to load up and retire to the Hewlett's abode for refreshments, prizes, pizza and general revelry.

I've put my photos up in the Gallery. Please enjoy.

23 miles & smiles