April 20 Saturday, 2013
Since the last post after getting my bike fixed we took the bike trip over to Honeymoon Island. We also have continued the pace of eating out. Last week we ate at home just a couple of meals which is not typical for us at all.
Last Saturday we finally got to a West Coast beach in Florida. We loaded up our bikes and drove 24 miles to a strip mall just 2 miles from the causeway that leads to Honeymoon Island State park. It was a beautiful day with just a few clouds and a light breeze coming of the Gulf and temperatures in the in the low 80s. One of the things we really like about Florida is the numerous bike paths. Florida really makes it easy to be outside. We parked in a closed bank parking lot and got our bikes ready to ride. We packed a collapsible cooler with water and a freeze pack to keep it cold and then we were ready to go.
|Honeymoon Island on the left. We biked the causeway in the center.|
|Ready to go!|
|Patty has new mirror.|
Our path crossed the 41 mile long Pinellas bike bath that runs from Tarpon Springs to Clearwater. We plan to bike some of that before we leave the area. Once past the Pinellas trail we headed out on to the 2 mile long causeway that connects the mainland to Honeymoon Island State park. The causeway was very scenic as we had the deep blue Gulf waters dote with palm trees on both sides of us. There are small pull off areas along the causeway for people to stop and enjoy the beach for free. These areas were hopping with people. There is a small draw bridge near the center of the causeway where the path gets a little narrow. More on that on our return trip back to the truck.
|On the causeway.|
|Free beach along the way to the island state park.|
|Just into the park we met up with this turtle.|
The bike path ends at the entrance to the state park. It cost $2 each to enter the park on a bike; not bad. The traffic in the park is light and the speed is slow so it wasn't a problem biking there. The island park road is about a mile long with beach parking lots along the south side. At the end of the road there are several nature trails for hiking. We decided to continue our trip on one of the nature trails.
We locked our bikes up on a guardrail near the entrance. While getting the bikes locked up I felt a familiar burning on my toes. I was standing on a fire ant nest. In fact there were nests all around the area! I seem to find these ants where ever we have gone in the south. Anyway, after shaking off the ants we proceeded down the walking/hiking path in to the woods. The area is mostly slash pines that mostly just grow in Florida and cabbage palms. It also looks like they are trying to get rid of invading plants by burning them off. We walked about 2 miles round trip on the trail.
|Fire ant nest!|
|Slash pines on Osprey Trail.|
|Prickly Pear Cactus in Bloom.|
After the hike we went over to the main beach and had a beer and a snack. Then we decided to take a walk on the beach and get our first feel of the Gulf water. The sand there is hard packed like Daytona Beach making it very easy to walk on. We walked at the edge of the water for about ½ hour before deciding to head back.
The trip back was just as scenic as was the trip into the park. However, at the drawbridge where the path narrows, there were many walkers making it difficult to bike past them. Then, one large guy on a trike with one of those hat umbrellas on his head came the other way forcing Patty into the guard rail and she went down on her left knee. This time she only had soft tissue injuries and was able to complete the trip back to the truck. We got her cleaned up and it seems that was well and would just need time to heal. Whew!
That was a great day! Our total trip of biking and hiking was 12.5 miles.
Sunday was cloudy with a little rain so we did some domestic stuff. We got some groceries, beer, and we rented a steam cleaner for the RV carpets.
Monday our friends, Cindy and Rob, from New Jersey arrived to spend the week with us. We are centered in the middle of the 3 biggest nudist resorts in Florida and probably the best known in the country. We have Lake Como directly next and behind us. It is the oldest being built in 1941 and the cheapest to visit. Next to Como is Paradise Lakes about a mile away. Paradise lakes is a little more expensive but have many more amenities. Then there is the nudist flagship for the past few years, Caliente. Caltente is a short 6 miles north of us on US41. Caliente is expensive with lots of amenities and attracts a somewhat younger crowd. We managed to get a visit to each of the resorts over the 4 days Cindy and Rob were here. A good time was had by all!
|More wood carvings on the nature trail at Lake Como|
|Wood Carvings at Lake Como Nature trail.|
|Great picture of Patty at Paradise Lake Resort.|
|Cindy and Rob.|
|Caliente Resort. View form our dinner seating.|
|We found this nice Dahon folding bike at Lake Como that had a free sign on it. This is now Cindy's new (to her) folding bike. We will bring it up with us to NJ in June.|
It was interesting that the week wore us out. It felt just like being on vacation as were our friends. We are now used to doing stuff on a much slower time frame. We don’t need to rush to do things on any real schedule most of the time. We really didn't feel it until after they left and this morning. We feel like we used to after we were on vacation. We need to recover too! Thanks to Cindy and Rob for a good time and letting us join their vacation.
Next week we are planning to bike the Pinellas trail and at some point make it to Caladesi Island State Park.