~Thursday, January 14, 2021~
Once you see our route for Florida, you guys are gonna think we’re crazed. Actually, the route has been crazy overall. But when RV’ing in the winter months, the goal is to stay as far south as possible. And because many places were booked for the winter long before we even began this trip, we’ve found ourselves at the mercy of what’s open, which means a cattywampus route. I think a few years from now when we look back on how we planned things out, we too will be asking ourselves, what were we thinking?
One of the things we did not anticipate was joining the rest of the crazies in Florida to splurge on a gravel, sandwiched in campsite in the Florida Keys. We were so opposed to spending $175/night on just a so-so site, but once you accept that unless you spend $1,000 to $1,500/week at this time of year (and lots do), then you have to settle for less than a 5-star place. Another consideration was our furry travel companion. It wouldn’t work for us to be in the south end of Florida, keeping Sadie in the trailer all day while we toured around The Keys. From Key Largo to Key West is about 2-½ hours (100 miles). But from our location at Fiesta Key RV Resort, in The Keys it will be the perfect midway point that will allow us the flexibility to keep Sadie in a nice air conditioned trailer for less time or bring her along when it suits the situation.
One of the hidden secrets near Old Town, FL is the 32-mile Nature Coast State Trail. Since we hadn’t taken a bike trip in a while, we decided to check it out.
There are several points of entry onto the trail, and opted for the Fanning Springs trailhead. Instead of heading down the more traveled route, we went south which apparently has a more country-like vibe as you ride by fields of farmland with grazing cows and horses, all while riding under bridging trees. The southern route is about 18 miles roundtrip, ending in Chiefland. As we rode, we were struck by how straight the trail was, and later came to find out that this trail retraces the historic route of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. We’re hoping another day to catch one of the trail’s highlights…..riding over The Suwannee River Trestle Bridge, then to Trenton as opposed to Cross City. The section to Trenton again, has more scenery and less road noise from Highway 96.
Since we didn’t have a lot of daylight left once we got back to our campsite, we took a hurried walk along the boardwalk to the Suwannee River.
Since I didn’t have my camera with me the last time, I wanted to get some cool shots before leaving this peaceful place. It turns out, the lighting was still cooperating. And it’s amazing how one day of even a slight rain can raise the river level enough to notice. The swamp underneath the boardwalk definitely had more water in it than the last time we walked through. And where there’s water, there’s alligators. But shucks, not this day.