On Monday February 8 we left Zephyrhills at 11 am, stopped for fuel on the way to Ocala and arrived at Wandering Oaks a little after 1pm and fixed lunch. We walked around the park – not quite as picturesque as the name would imply, but the spaces were large and we have full hook-ups!
We fixed a nice salad for dinner.
On Tuesday we got up early to take Acey in to have the dash air conditioning fixed. It stopped working in December. Jim consulted the American Coach forum online and a place called PatRicks was highly recommended. He called them back in December and made an appointment for today! We dropped Acey off at 8am and drove to the Apopka Trailhead in Inverness to ride our bikes on another section of the Withlacahoochee Trail.
The Inverness station got a facelift.
There was a small lake at the trailhead.
… a great area to picnic – and a water tower…
a restored caboose – a nice relic on this Rails-to-Trails route.
A storyboard described how the caboose was fixed up and a wheel assembly was found. The bright sun was not our friend – hard to read….
Two large turtles sat on a bench – and Linda was wearing her turtle shirt!
The map indicated there was a railroad trestle near this trailhead that Linda thought would be fun to ride up and over.
Her bubble was burst when we found out this very short and flat bridge was the trestle!
She was expecting a more challenging structure like the bridge over State Road 50/US 98 that we crossed last week. While we stopped to see the trestle, the view of the lake made it worthwhile!
There was work being done on a section of the trail, so we turned around and headed south.
We rode to the trailhead at Floral City, where there once was a railroad Depot.
There was a nice mural on a building depicting life in former days. We have seen lots of types of bikes on the trails we have ridden, but never a big wheeled bike!
The gazebo — a place to rest before we turned back toward Inverness.
This marker on the floor of the gazebo caught our attention. Google helped me to find out that Emma passed in 1994, just short of her 101st birthday; but that’s all I could find.
Some history of Floral City…
It was another beautiful day to ride – and we logged just over 21 miles. We went back to get Acey and were delighted to find out that the problem was a blown fuse! Its really nice when you can find a repair shop that doesn’t take you to the cleaners!
On Wednesday, we drove up to Gainesville and had lunch at Leonardo’s Pizza. They make an outstanding deep dish pizza which took us back to Linda’s college days. YUM!
We visited a small part of the Florida campus. Here’s the corner of University and 13th Street.
Interesting marker – this was placed just a few years after Linda graduated…
Linda had many classes at Matherly Hall, and there seemed to be a whole lot of buildings that I didn’t recall being there in the 70’s.
The Century tower is one of only 4 carillons in the state of Florida (fewer than 200 in all of North America) It has 61 bells and a range span of 5 octaves.
The Plaza of the Americas – a lovely green space in front of the library – notice the blue and orange tie hanging on the library!!
After our quick visit to the campus, we went to visit Swamphead Brewery. They had a swampy pond next to the brewery – a nice outdoor area was set up for visitors to enjoy their brew.
Jim had an IPA.
Thursday we rode on part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway – a beautiful curvy trail – (NOT a rails-to trails) We started at the Santos Trailhead.
There was once a plan to build a 200 mile canal across Florida!
This landbridge made for an easy way to cross over I-75!
Traffic looked fairly light on I-75 – probably due to the vius.
We had our picnic lunch at this trailhead, before we turned around. As we were finishing up, this gal came off the trail with her 19 year old Arabian mare. This is the first horse we have seen on all of the rides we have done; many of the trails indicate they are for walkers, bikers and equestrians.
We rode 20 miles and have now logged in just over 800 miles on our bikes since we started our travels in May.
After our ride, we stopped off at Infinite Ale Works – 33 taps to choose from!
On Saturday, we had a visitor! Linda and Miffy Brown have been friends since college days. It was really fun to get caught up with each other!
On Sunday, We Zoomed with our Sunday School class. Nashville had some icy roads from a winter storm, so the church advised folks to stay home and tune in online – due to technical difficulties, the service will be online Monday. So, after we get to Lutz tomorrow, we’ll tune in to Stephens Valley Church!
In the afternoon, we drove out to the Ocala Jockey Club. My longtime friend Nancy told me her brother had bought this place a few years ago – a beautiful equestrian facility with huge acreage and 30 some townhomes. Since Erik happened to be there this week, we went out to have him show us around the place. Here is an aerial shot I found on the internet. It doesn’t show the rolling hills, but you can get an idea how large the property is.
The townhouses are at the back of the farm – tucked serenely among the large oaks. A quiet place with easy access to I-75
We went up to the clubhouse to catch the sunset.
I probably hadn’t seen Erik since my family moved from Michigan in 1972!
We were treated to a really nice sunset!
We got back to Acey, made pizza for dinner and will be heading to Lutz tomorrow.