Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How we spent our week in pictures

Bike path near Orange City Florida

We managed to make it 7 miles back to the trail head and our car on this rear tire.

Condo complex the kids are staying at with the other grand parents

 Our version of Abby Lane

View from the condo

Pool at the condo

 Bike path along a canal from Inglis Florida to the Gulf

 View at the end of the trail

 They like to let people know well in advance when the rides will be.
 Trail head in Inverness florida
 Mural at Inverness trail
 Old trail depot in Inverness, now a restaurant.
Park and lake along the trail

The entire trail in 46 miles, so far we've covered about 1/2 of it.

Riding the easy way

December 26th 2011 near Coleman Florida,
Our 2005 PT Cruiser.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Click any picture to enlarge, Photo heavy Blog.

Road trip over to Ponce Inlet, Florida.  Our goal was to do some bike riding and go to the Ponce De Leon Lighthouse. We made the Lighthouse our first stop, there are eight different buildings plus the lighthouse to visit. Each is filled with different displays telling the history of the area, the light and the U.S.L.H.S., U.S. Lighthouse Service, had never hears of this service before, turns out that it was absorbed by the Coast Guard right before WW I. There is a 20 minute film that covers the history of the Lighthouse, after that we spent probably an hour and a half exploring the museum. Of course here are a few pictures.

First thing you do is face the challenge head on and look up to see your goal.

Just a little over half way up we decided to take a little break.

As we were taking our break  this is the sign that they have on the wall for you to read.  Not very encouraging is it.

203 steps later and we were out on the observation deck.

As close as you can get to the light.

View of the Inlet

Don't look Down.

Take a look at the little ledge right below the railing, about 15 feet down. It will come up again in a story later.

After our climb down the same 203 steps our rubbery legs took us over to the Lens Exhibit Building, other then the view from the top of the lighthouse this was our favorite building.

Part of the display of lenses.
The restorers here at the museum are considered the foremost experts on Fresnel lens restoration in the world.

This was a very small bulb in this lens but it was very blinding to look at.

This is the story involving the ledge at the top of the lighthouse

A few other interesting things we found there.

Ninety miles of open sea in one of these.

Old time fire extinguisher.

After that we unloaded the tandem and started out riding down the coast, about three miles down the path the wind changed and the fog started rolling in so we cut it short and called it a day.

The fog rolls in fast.

The dread Pirate Roberts protecting a parking lot.

War Memorial.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blue Springs

Today we biked the Blue Springs section of the Spring to Spring trail, from the trail head it was about 3 miles down to Blue Spring State Park. They normally charge $2 entrance fee for cyclist, but the Ranger was a little confused when we pulled up on the tandem, one bike two people, after a little thought he said $2 and sent us on our way. We rode down and took a walk on the boardwalk back to the spring, the sign said that there were 86 Manatee in the park today which was pretty good since there were only about 50 people. We were there for about an hour and spotted about a dozen Manatee before we hit the trail again and headed back to the trail head. Ended up riding about 12 miles. Volusia County has a fantastic bike trail system and you could probably find a different trail to ride everyday.

 Train passing over the bike path tunnel.

River along the boardwalk

Very weird tree.

In just a matter of minutes we were able to train this Manatee to roll over. Manatee Whisperers

Manatee of a different color.

We almost got a ticket because Cathy cabled the bike up in a handicapped zone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spring to Spring Bike Trail

The rain never showed up today so we loaded up and drove over to the Spring to Spring Bike Trail. There are three parking areas for the trail, we choose the one in the middle, it seemed to be the biggest and easiest to get to, it's located on Hwy 4162 just east of Hwy 17 (GPS 28.86627N / 081.31574W).

We started out heading south first to Lake Monroe Park, this was roughly 3 miles and all of it was through the woods or along side ponds, none of it was near any roads. Lake Monroe park has a boat ramp, fishing pier and 44 WE campsites with a dump station. After that we headed back north past the parking lot with the car so Cathy could see that we weren't lost today as we were yesterday. The other part of the trail runs along a road but it's 50 feet back behind all the Palm's and you can't see the road until you have to cross it to head up to DeBary Hall. We met another couple there and after 30 minutes of conversation about other bike route in the area, they have a web page ( Bike Florida), dedicated to Florida Bike Paths, we headed back to the car. About half a mile from the parking area is Gemini Springs Park, a spur of the bike path runs back through the park. After a short walk around the springs the smell of steaks being griledl made us race back to the car and head home for dinner.
Not as long a ride as yesterday but a very pleasant 11 miles.

Gemini springs Park

A 911 Memorial for a local boy who went to New York, joined the NYFD and died in the collapse of the towers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Green Springs Park Bike Ride

It was a little overcast to day but it was warm and there is a chance of rain tomorrow (Saturday) so we loaded the tandem on the back of the car and headed of to Green Springs Park, over by the Historical town of Enterprise,Fla. Green Springs Park is a little hard to find since it's not on the maps, or at least the ones I have so here's the GPS data 28.86306N / 81.24881W, this is to the parking lot.

The park is very nice it has a couple picnic areas, kids play area an entrance bike path to a section of the East Central Regional Rail Trail, right now there is only about 3 miles or so paved and completed but when they finish and tie everything together it will be close to 50 miles.

Reflections in the spring, you can see why they named it Green Springs.

One of the Boardwalks
Area still under construction
We started out going right when we hit the trail and after about a mile it hit a main street that had the path along side it, too much traffic noise so we turned around and headed the other direction. After about 3 miles we had to go around a small barricade, the path was paved but the wood fence was still under construction, after another mile is turned to very hard packed dirt, another mile and we hit the construction crew pouring concert for the driveways that crossed the path and we were forced onto the street about 50 feet from the path. There was no traffic and we were just getting warmed up so we continued on down the road, we came to a fork in the road and we took it, a little later we came to another fork and took that one too. Well one thing led to another and we just kept wandering around taking what ever road or street looked interesting until we finally decided that we were totally LOST. There are a zillion little lakes in this area so none of the road go straight for more then half a mile and 99% are dead ends, the good news is that I had a small hand held GPS in the handle bar bag tracking our distance and the bike route. Twenty minutes of playing with that I pretty much figured out where we were and roughly how to get back to the car. I had noticed that the longer we wandered around lost the deeper and growlier Cathy's voice became, once I told her I knew the way back and it was just a few miles, her happy go lucky voice returned and I was able to stop worrying about my unprotected back. Twenty minutes and two wrong turns later we were back at Green Springs Park, as we approached the car I sped up went past the car and asked her if she was ready for LAP TWO, that's when I felt a hard smack right between the shoulder blades of my unprotected back. A quick check of the odometer showed that our 3 to 6 mile ride turned into 19 miles.
GREEN=Paved      YELLOW=Paved under construction      RED=Packed dirt

Now believe me, if any of this was my fault I would gladly take the blame, but I'm having a hard time convincing Cathy that all the blame falls on her shoulders. I'm going to need a little help her from Odel over at Semi-True Tales on this one (Ex Fighter Pilot), I need him to explain to her that the pilot rides up front and the navigator rides in the rear seat, so when we get lost it's the fault of the rear seat. I'm glad you guys are back on the road, I missed your writings.

Cathy's not really as small as she looks here, it's a Tandem bike and the front half is a 21 inch frame and the rear half is a 17 inch frame, plus the camera angle, but if the picture was bigger you would see that she's not peddling, at least that's what everybody we pass always tells me.

That's it for today but I sure hope Cathy has learned from her mistakes and does a better job on tomorrows adventure.