Palatka Lake Butler State Trail

Pete and I met up in a Keystone Heights this morning for a ride on the Palatka Lake Butler State Trail and we're not disappointed. The advent of a fairly strong northeasterly wind kept us much cooler than we'd have been without it and even helped out a bit on the return trip.

It started out with a couple of red-headed wood peckers and a good sized hawk resting above the trail on the morning's breeze, but soon after seeing a black racer on the trail we were treated to a surprising sighting of a coral snake sunning itself on the asphalt. This seemed real special, because we had just seen one the day before on the Nature Coast State Trail. We rode along talking about how we'd not ever seen a coral snake on trail rides before yesterday and in less than 10 miles encountered another one right in front of us.

Beautiful Florida sky with a heat defeating breeze and colorful wildlife sightings. Tough to beat! 41 easy-does-it miles.

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

Pete Ensing and I rode down the North Main and 6th Street spur to Depot Avenue, toured the new Depot Park and then pressed on to Hawthorne for a barbecued lunch at Diane's Old Time. What a beautiful job they have done on the park! We were both captivated by the stunning transformation.

The heat did try its best to be oppressive but we had "geared up" for it and persevered. Something about not hurrying seems to be the charm. So launching from Publix on North Main Street makes it a 41 mile round trip.

Withlacoochee State Trail

Saturday morning, I made a predawn drive to Inverness to meet up with the Westies and the CRABS which added 24 miles to my intentions. Great seeing both groups, but I did have a plan to do the south half of the trail (46 miles). The day was so beautiful that I got a little carried away and did all of the above, so as I drug in from the south end at least an hour behind lunch, Russ Rivard and George Ayers had gone above and beyond and hung around in the shade until I made it AND joined me as I refueled. Thanks, Guys!
This tree is across the trail from Regis' original shop location, right where I test rode my first recumbent trike!

Withlacoochee State Trail

I made a spontaneous choice to head south pre-dawn today and found myself in Inverness at the Rexall Drug store enjoying their 88¢ breakfast special. Mark just happened to be at the Caboose, midway through his morning ride, when I got over there, so we rode north to finish his trip, then I sailed down to Floral City on my own and took in Fort Cooper State Park on my way back. That takes care of the northern half of the trail, so I'll have to ride the southern half next time.