The Suwanee River, San Felasco, Gainesville, and Santos

The Suwannee River ride was a soft pedal ride along the Suwannee and the Withlacoochee rivers.  We rode the Big Oak loop (and we saw the Big Oak), both inner and outer and rode by the confluence of the two rivers. Riding there was ho hum, but a nice morning spent on the bike is better than sitting in the van!

Our campground that night was a bit unusual…it had a lot of open space and the owners had donkeys, a horse, an emu, a pot bellied pig, goats and 5 macaws.  All were in large, open fenced spaces.
The following day we rode at San Felasco state park and, like Suwannee, you could probably ride everything on a rigid fixie.  They have no terrain, but they also cut every tree out of the way.   They could build at least a few ride overs! WE did see about 200 deer and they seemed to be very used to bikers.

The next two nights were spent at Butch’s cousin Jill’s place in Alachula.  We had a great visit with Jill, Dottie (Butch’s other cousin ) and Brian, Jill’s husband.  Spent the day at the Payne Prairie Preserve, looking at alligators in their natural habitat…nothing between you and them YIKES. There were snail kites, herons, turtles and limpkins. We picked yummy tangerine-like oranges from Jill’s tree, saw huge apple snails (later find out that they have a deadly toxin when touhed), and got a lesson on cleaning and dating old bottles.

On to Santos..Santos is touted as Florida’s premier mtn bike venue.  I beg to differ.  The black diamond trails are challenging and the man made jumps, walls and other features are impressive, but other than the Vortex, John Brown and the Sinkhole, the trails are flat and bland.  Some are marked green (easiest) and others blue (intermediate) with almost no difference.   Riders who gauge themselves by Santos blue would certainly have trouble on blue trails elsewhere.  We planned on two days, but left after one. 

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