Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Biking the Rail Trail

The Hawthorne Trail, a sixteen-mile rail trail, extends from Hawthorne to Gainesville. It's a state park created after the state bought the right-of-way from the railroad and paved it.

I love the trail, and go through phases where I spend a lot of time biking it. In the past week -- now that it's still light when I leave work -- I've been on it three times.


It's beautiful. There are many different ecosystems (although I'm sure I'll get the names wrong), like prairie-type areas.


Hammocks.


Marsh/wetlands.


Swampy creeks with a billion mosquitoes.


This time of year, the longleaf pine smells fragrant, everything's blooming, and wildlife is on the move.


On one ride, we nearly ran over two different moccasins who were warming themselves on the late-afternoon-warmed pavement. We gently chased them off so they would be safe. They were recalcitrant, but eventually complied.



Bike home, tired, hot, sweaty, and satisfied.

2 comments:

EG said...

I'm thrilled to have discovered your blog! :) I was linked to it from the mean pinks.

I grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and perusing your blog makes me ache for that place. I left it with a different set of eyes and would love to go back and visit it with this shiny new pair I got.

Keep posting!

sarah said...

Hi EG,

Thanks for visiting! Sheila's my oldest bestest friend.

I know what you mean about Gville -- I definitely experience this town way differently than I used to. It's like a whole new place, which is convenient for when I get bored.