We had a very early start on Monday December 6, leaving Robertsdale, AL at 7am for another long driving day. Acey’s mileage upon leaving was 79,540.9 and Thor had 96,644 miles. We have put 1,526 miles on our bikes since we left Nashville in May of 2020. Jim drove the first shift while Linda finished the blog for last week and got it posted.
At 7:25 we crossed the state line into Florida. We plan to be in the Sunshine State until April. Little did we know when we moved from Fort Lauderdale to Nashville in November of 1981 that we would become snowbirds! (A fun article about snowbirds can be found here!) 😊
At 9:45 we stopped at T A in Marianna for fuel and to change drivers. Linda drove for a couple of hours. We crossed back into the Eastern Time Zone and arrived at Bulow RV Park at 4:45. We have a shady spot under a huge tree dripping with Spanish Moss!
Wednesday, we rode our bikes on the Lehigh Trail – a rails-to-trail path completed in 2010; here’s a shot of a sign with a story of the history of the trail.
Near the trailhead we could see the lone stack where the Lehigh Portland Cement Comany plant once stood. The plant was the reason the railway was built in 1952, tying into the Florida East Coast Railway, and was in use until 1965 when the plant closed.
There was lots of shade and a short boardwalk over a swamp.
A beautiful day for a bike ride!
We saw 2 turtles… and a squirrel…
We rode just about 14 miles today and then drove to the beach to eat our lunch. From our picnic table, we watched 2 surfers enjoying their craft!
Thursday , we drove to Daytona Beach for some parts Jim needed to some maintenance on the Aqua-Hot (provides hot water, radiator heat and the engine block heater) and Linda needed some beachwear. Afterwards, we stopped off at Coquina Coast Brewing – we spotted this small craft brewery on our way back from the beach yesterday. We enjoyed some brews and headed back to Acey to make dinner.
On Friday, Linda woke up early with visions of Christmas (not sugar-plums!) dancing in her head and had to write about it; perhaps these thoughts were brought on by the fact that we have not even thought about sending out Christmas greetings, and Christmas is coming in just 2 weeks… so thankful to our Heavenly Father for the indescribable gift of his son Jesus – The best verse to describe that gift is: John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. And we celebrate that extaordinary Gift at Christmas!
That God would send his son to live among us – experiencing life as WE know it – the joys and wonders of His creation, the experience of human love, the trials and temptations we face every day – and Jesus lived his earthly life without sin. He experienced man’s inhumanity, as well as his own Father’s wrath, as he went to the cross and died for our sins so that we could be reconciled with God. He rose again and lives today, seated at the right had of his Father. What an amazing gift! The love of God is amazing!
Linda’s mother was an artist and created a collection of 15 greeting cards and lithographs that she called “Christmas All Year ‘Round Cards” in 1970 – created from some of her paintings. Some of the original works grace the halls of Stephens Valley Church. So many thoughts of the true meaning of Christmas are expressed in these works. “The Holy Family” or “Can Any Good Come Out of Nazareth?” hangs in the nursery area of the church.
The Artist’s comments explain Mom’s thoughts about her painting:
Another painting. “And the Government Shall be Upon His Shoulder” depicts Mary holding her precious son – this painting also hangs in the nursery area of the church.
Unfortunately, the Artists Comments are not readily available, but the painting is based on the familiar verse often quoted at Christmas Isaiah 9: 6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace This is one of the most well-known Old Testament prophecies about Jesus the Messiah.
One more painting, of the seven we gave to the church is worth mentioning. This one hangs outside the choir room and also had 2 names, “Noel, Noel, Noel” and “When Children Are SInging”
Mom’s Artist’s Comments don’t mention the diverse ethnic backgounds depicted in the children of this choir. Interesting that was something Linda discovered years later!
May the true meaning of Christmas be a blessing to you and yours this Christmas!
After we ate breakfast, we packed up lunch and drove back to the trailhead to ride on the Lehigh Trail. We saw a gator as we passed over a bridge – it must have been about 5-6 feet long.
This really was a gorgeous warm day to be riding on this scenic trail.
Other than the flatand/or gradual elevation changes, wide curves and straight paths, its not always easy to find evidence of the former railway on a rail-to-trail. But, we saw a concrete mile marker and some rails that had been left in place by the end of the boardwalk over the swamp.
We drove back down to the beach and had our lunch at a picnic table, watching the activity there – and then headed back to Acey to get ready to move tomorrow. We are heading to Clermont, near Orlando on Saturday – just a short drive for a change!
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