Monday, February 13, 2012

Biking the Withlacoochie State Trail

We woke up to 29 degrees this morning, and a problem with our front living room furnace. Ar-r-g-g-g-h! The blower turns on for about a minute, no heat kicks on, so the blower turns off. Back bedroom furnace is heating just fine. We've checked fuses, that's not it. We're not sure how to troubleshoot this one, so we are going to get out the manuals, and put a call into Tiffin or the furnace people Monday AND we're going to the RVforum to check and see what others have to say or whether they've experienced the same problem. Maybe there's something we can do, maybe not. And it looks like NOT. Consensus of opinion on the forum is a bad "sail" switch. Since we are headed to the keys on Tuesday, we're not going to worry about the getting the furnace fixed until after we come back and head into northern Florida again.

In the mean time, Sparky is of the opinion that you can't worry about something you can't do anything about at the moment. Time to hit another bike trail so she doesn't worry about it! After waiting a few hours for the temperatures to get up into the forties, Eldo took Sparky to the Withlacoochie Bike Trail today. It was 50 degrees when she hit the bike trail today---BRISK! But Sparky LOVED it! It was exhilarating! It was refreshing! Eldo went off to explore a few things on his own by car. It was too cold for him!  :-)

This trail was much prettier than the General Van Fleet one near Bushnell that Sparky was on last week. This trail is 46 miles long (Sparky did nine miles of it today and Eldo picked her up at one of the stopping points. Let it be known that she could have easily gone further but that was a great ride anyway! We had things to do and not a whole lot of time to do them today.

The Withlacoochie is a paved, 12 foot wide trail running through Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties. There is a wide variety of things to see in changing habitats, nearby ranches and farms. Part of today's trail was through the Withlacoochie Wildlife Management area. Did Sparky see any wildlife? Just a lot of birds, but didn't capture any photos...they were too little and too fast! HOWEVER......there was a river sign that Sparky decided to investigate...Sparky is drawn to water like a magnet.

So she hopped off her bike and started walking until she saw THE SIGN:
She paused to think about that for about two seconds and started down the path figuring, hey, it's cold, the snakes are comatose and under a rock or a pile of leaves...There was just one problem, the river sign said NOTHING about how far away the river was. A few feet into the underbrush on a very narrow path, which was full of leaves, Sparky decided  not to be stupid and headed back out. Besides, Eldo was waiting at the pickup point at the park, and she didn't want to keep him waiting...(Un-hunh, sure, blame it on me, says E.) Oh, well, the river was probably just about dried up since this part of Florida has been in a drought for the past two years......Back on the path and let's see what else there was to see!  Flowering dogwoods.....

Some interesting ranch entrances....
And THIS warning sign which was on one of the trail intersections....THAT was NOT seen on the internet web site!
Sparky kept going....She passed three riders on horseback to the side of the trail where there was a beautiful equestrian trail for riders. The horseback riding trail ran parallel to the bike trail the entire section Sparky was on today. The riders weren't wearing orange, and neither were the three serious cyclists who passed Sparky heading back the other way. Sparky kept going.....There were very nice rest stops along the way.....
There were knobby tree roots in the swampy areas, except the swamps were dried up.....They looked like an army of little chessmen standing watch, waiting to be played....

There were green mosses and lichens growing anew in the woods....It was a beautiful day to be out riding even though it was cold!
After the bike ride, we went exploring in the car through parts of the Withlacoochie Forest....As we were turning the corner of a county road to head into the park a little more, we saw four cranes standing less than five feet from the corner. Two of them wandered away quickly, the other two stood around and waited to see what we were going to do.....Beautiful birds and so large when you see them up close!
Soon, they were high steppin' out of our way.....
Tomorrow afternoon is our last chance to hit the Webster Flea Market and use our free round of golf so it's gonna be a busy last day! See you later.....And by the way, Happy Valentines Day! May you keep your loved ones close and near, and may you be able to treasure the time you have with them.....We've heard some very difficult and sad news from friends and family lately where loved ones are seriously ill, quite a lot of sad news it seems in the last couple of days....It's our age and our time of life where this happens more often, and it's always harder to hear when it's people you love and care about and not some distant acquaintance or celebrity.  Take care, everyone, and safe travels..... Eldy and Jeannie

1 comment:

  1. News of illnesses from friends and family ... always a shock ... and a reminder to live each day to the fullest.