Hawthorne Trail

Nineteen riders, feeling the need to recover from holiday dining, met at Boulware Springs for a ride to Hawthorne and back. A light cold front had moved through the night before and presented a crisp, clear morning with a fresh breeze from the north.



David and Terry came down from Middleburg, Sheila and Larry from New Smyrna Beach and her brothers Al form Orange Park and Tom from Gainesville, Phil from Leesburg, Stix from Orlando, Mac from Seffner, Dutch and Martha from St. Cloud, Bill and Jane from Fort White, Mark from Citrus Springs, Bill and Amber from Archer, Sandra from Alachua, and Deanne and I from Fort White. We all enjoyed visiting and taking in the view as we pedaled over brightly colored leaves along this beautiful trail. While cormorants ducked into Johnson Lake for their lunch, we slipped into Dianne's Old Time Barbeque for refueling and more visiting.

There was a reunion feel to the gathering in general as many old acquaintances were renewed and some new faces were added to the group. The trip back seemed a little quieter with the pondering of making it over the hills after the full round trip weighing on the mind. But everyone made it back safely adding even more to be thankful for on a fine Thanksgiving Weekend.

Thanks everyone for coming out and making it a great day! Also, thanks for the contributing enthusiasm from those who were on their way, but unable to attend.

Enjoy larger versions of the photos in the gallery.

O\vo~

Space Coast Invaders

Larry & Sheila from New Smyrna Beach and Rick & Myhra from Cocoa Beach brought their recumbent trikes along on a visit to the Nature Coast State Trail in Trenton, FL in honor of Larry's birthday. We were joined at the trailhead by local recumbent residents Don & Mei and John & Jeanne brought out their new tandem from Gainesville for its first rail trail experience.

Ride Start

A gentle breeze from the east coaxed us readily on to the bridge over the Suwannee River where we paused to talk with some fishermen in a boat below. They replied they weren't doing all that well as Larry reminded them, "...that's why they don't call it 'catching'!"



Just then, Rick pointed toward a large splash downstream where a huge sturgeon, "...nearly five feet, cleared the water like a Marlin!" We mounted up and back-tracked a little to turn south down to Fanning Springs and took the small detour through the shade of the north side of town over to the Fort Fanning Park on the river and crossed over to the wayside park across the highway for a break.

Back across town to the trail we resumed our trek south via the completely canopied tunnel of shade on down to Chiefland. Having started after 9 AM, it was really warming up by now and we were beginning to seriously target some cooler plans. We settled on hastening back to the origin where air conditioning might be available with menus.

A nearly overheated troupe repaired to the Cracker Box in Trenton for some very friendly and generous servings of fresh salads, Reubens, fried shrimp and the like. All in all a quite enjoyable, and certainly warm, forty mile outing.

O\vo~

Patch and Go

I was enjoying my first ride in a week and things are going beautifully, until my seat actually broke as I crossed the Santa Fe River.



It looked to me as though I was going to have to "phone a friend", since "poll the audience" appeared to be disabled at the time and "50/50" had unacceptable odds, until I spied a telephone terminal post and things began to look more promising. There, buried behind a fallen tree and guarded by a small army of carpenter ants, was a discarded traffic cone.

The cone was torn and revealed a very useful thickness that seemed just sturdy enough to me to be useful, so I broke out my Swiss Army knife and got myself back on the road in minutes.

Forty-one miles, exciting repair job, and lots of traffic as city folk headed to the rivers and parks in our area.

Photos are in the gallery.

O\vo~

Nature Coast Trail

Coming into Trenton this morning, I was greeted by a road block and then permitted limited access to the area near the trail head where it seemed most of the town was gathering for a Quilt Festival. The most activity I can remember seeing in Trenton. There were quilts on display everywhere, lots of vendor tents set up, live music performed on stage in the station house, flags flying in the breeze, and the festivities were getting busier by the minute.

A couple of gentlemen had been admiring our recumbents and asking lots of questions, when one of them, gesturing toward the rest of the surroundings smiled and said, "There's not a lot of 'guy stuff' going on around here."

He kindly snapped a photo of the three of us and they looked on as Mark, Gary, and I rode out of the crowd and on down the trail toward the Suwannee River. The breeze steadily grew into a respectable head wind so we enjoyed standing down from it for a snack in Old Town.

The ride back was at least 50% quicker and much easier to understand conversation, as the wind sailed us back to the Quilt Festival.

Photos are in the gallery.

Twenty miles and smiles
O\vo~

Hawthorne Trail

Here are some shots from today's outing




Photos are in the gallery.

O\vo~

Happy Birthday, Sheila!

What a lovely day to get blown up and down the West Orange Trail!

Myhra, Rick, Sheila, Larry, Deanne and I celebrated Sheila's birthday today with a wonderful ride up and down wind and finished it off with lunch at the new Thai restaurant in the ole Winter Garden Hotel.



Happy Birthday, Sheila!

Photos are in the gallery.

O\vo~